Ataraxia, Solvang again, and the California Autumn


The beauty of where I live is that a day-cation is usually an hour away. After working all morning in Ojai, the bright Autumn day summoned a drive. Despite being alone, I was able to soak in the scenery along the 150 toward Solvang. After a weather cool down, the hills resembled parts of Oahu’s east coast: thick green brush, overgrown trees, and a pure silence. This silence thrusted me into thoughts of ataraxia. The Stoic ataraxia I once had has now turned into Pyrrhonian ataraxia, where my clear-minded apathy has given

Balance makes Beautiful

Balance makes Beautiful

way to a balanced truth in a new state of mind. After tons of meditation over the years, it became easy for me to clear my mind and feel serene. To smile at nothing in particular became a way of life. Now, the real work had to begin: how to balance smiling with frowning, and how to be okay with the mix and balance it. As I drove through the forests, I smiled at the beauty, but I frowned at the clouds. Then I frowned at the clouds while smiling at the life-giving rain they carried. Balance…

  It was just me and my pandora radio. Originally I had invited C to go with me, but apparently old age catches up with different people in different ways. That was fine. I started to feel like I was doing more than was necessary anyway. I mean, I like him, but maybe now was not the time to wish for anything.  Anyway, the day was beautiful and I promised myself a good day.
  Between Santa Barbara and Buellton, the clear skies let me see the islands and rigs out at sea. They made me think of my friend M who works out on one of those. That’s some respectable hard work, having to work around the clock for days on end.
   Forty-five minutes later, I parked in downtown Solvang and was ready to taste some wine. Randomly on the way to Toccata, a new winery caught my eye: Calilove Winery. Inside, a rock & roll theme was splashed on the walls, while Pink Floyd wafted in the air. This is what I needed: rock and wine. Of course, the bartender even looked exactly like Bob from Jay & Silent Bob, which added to the Rock ambience. After the crazy thick Grenache I tried, my spontenaity perked up. If my friend GC

could do it, why couldn’t I? In the vineyard haze, I grabbed my phone, downloaded the Priceline app, and booked a Queen room at a nearby hotel. Fuck it. Hotel it. Now I can drink with abandon! Calilove was followed by a pit stop for some drippy-sweet aebleskivers, then Toccata winery, where I met the raddest wine-tender. We bantered about life in Solvang and Los Olivos, and I wistfully remarked how I’d love to live around here someday. I wasn’t going to buy a bottle today, but after a long conversation about living the life we love, I saddled up my tab for a bottle of Malvasia Bianco (my absolute favorite of all wines). After a waddle down the street, I wound up at Dascomb Cellars, where they also let people sample cheeses with their wines. With this whole no-meat thing, I’ve quickly substituted it

Pretty Much Sums my Life

Pretty Much Sums my Life

with cheese and wine to handle the bacon and happiness deficiency.

     Down at Ti Amo clothing, among the racks of cute pieces, I found a couple of interesting things. First was this gorgeous beaded necklace that matched my dress. Although I’ve sworn off buying jewelry (since I make it), this called to me. While paying for it, the shop owner and I had a lovely conversation about what I do. She mentioned her friend’s son who was diagnosed with Autism. I found that she was almost brought to tears when I assured her that her friend’s son had the capacity to change. It was almost as if her friend’s son was actually hers, but she was too scared to admit that. That’s why I love what I do- it impacts people directly, and improves their lives and insights.
    For dinner, I managed to find my way to the Solvang Brewing Company, as recommended by Ryan over at Toccata Winery. He said he would probably be there with some buddies in case I decided to show up. Although it was nice of him to offer to meet up, today was about reintroducing myself to myself in the California Autumn.
    Back at the hotel room, my food coma was getting the best of me. At around 7:45pm, it felt like 11:45pm. As I was watching the Hangover, a good friend of mine called me out of the blue. It was great hearing from him, and nice to hear how his son was doing. Right after making plans to hang out this week for some catching up, the “itis” caught up to me and I was sound asleep in this beautiful Danish town.

2 responses »

  1. Pingback: The Ostracism of Ataraxia. | Shivastus Solomonicus

  2. Pingback: Thought Uncommon

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