Horror vacui

Many artists throughout time have feared open spaces. The distance between the clouds and the horizon was simply too much for them to fathom. It made them uncomfortable when they painted it, the same way certain subjects leave a writer with a knot in their gut.
*
My girlfriend tells me this as we make our way south on Highway 101, fresh out of the Redwoods in Northern California, in her dirty red Mini-Cooper. She’s reminded of this phobia as she can’t bring herself to look out the passenger window at the all-consuming black mass of the Pacific Ocean, just a stones throw from the highway.
I can’t say I blame her. I glance out the window and it’s like looking into space. Silent. Black. And huge. I love Humboldt County and the whole Pacific Coast, but it’s not a place I can quite call home. As a Puget Sound local, I’m not used to the unobstructed view. I need some peninsulas, islands an rocky beaches.
We’re on our way to Disney Land. It’s only for a few days, but the four days of driving is supposed to be “half the fun” as they say.
I realize how different a thousand miles makes. For one, Lorde’s “Royal” isn’t every other song that’s on the radio (the others being Macklemore). But the freeway code is different. More anarchistic. Common law as a whole is different. Discussing pot in public is a taboo. Littering is a more serious offense.
I’m getting older now. The once-silly notion of “life decisions” is a very real and serious matter. Do I stay in the Pacific Northwest? Do I travel with my girlfriend to Arkansas?
*
The ocean only seems to get bigger when you drive down the coast. You drive faster, not knowing what else to do, but eventually find yourself in Southern California. The air quality sucks. The people don’t know how to drive. Looking out the passenger window at a horrible black mass seems like a century ago.

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2 thoughts on “Horror vacui

  1. Hello cuz! Hope you don’t think I’m being a creeper reading your Word Press page but things get boring on a boat. Being a Mariner I understand what you mean by “Silent. Black. and Huge.” Sometimes when I look out over the vast emptiness of the ocean with nothing on the horizon my mind can barely comprehend home. For an instant my whole life feels like a dream. The only thing that’s true is the quiet emptiness of blue in the day and black at night. I think that life is nothing but a tragic joke and all hopes and prayers end in that stillness. Then I come back to myself take another drag and count the days till I can go back to my dream and see those i cherish again.

    1. Hey! No worries. I don’t blog very often, but sometimes I get weird ideas. The whole horror vacuii thing is kind of weird. It reminds me of that movie “Gravity.” The quiet and empty are so peaceful, but they can also be haunting. There is truth in fear and in happiness.

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