The air is thick, warm; stuffy like the air held hostage under a feather duvet. The music in the Casbah Cafe is drawing me through the ringer. My emotions are all over the place. The atmosphere is laid back and easy; two guys sit beside me simultaneously smacking down the button on a chess timer. Hipsters, school kids, ethnic mixes create interesting faces; long noses, thick sensuous lips and skins of the middle east, central America, the all-American jaw. I feel home. Its sounds ridiculous how a street with four or so blocks of funky cafes and unique vintage clothing stores, can make me feel at home. The word vegan is imprinted through this place. It reminds me of Brighton, it reminds me of home. Why the tears, as the gypsy kings make me wriggle in my seat and bop my shoulders to the beat; as Dean Martin buba, boo, boo’s his way in Spanish, drilling into my heart? Oh God, and now an orchestral piece so bloody English I want to laugh and cry at the same time as visions of her Madge (the Queen not spikey tits Madonna!) walks in the corridors of my mind, waving a gloved hand. Why the tears? Well, I have just spent a painful few days in Ventura, visiting a friend in Ojai and desperately seeking an old love. I was annoyed with Ojai, annoyed with Ventura and its malls of thrift shops and the feeling in the air of it being slightly depressed and a little bit depraved. Hey, I cannot judge how it feels to me there. Others may see the history of the Mission, the Spanish inspired architecture and love and the sound of the 101 that you just cannot seem to escape, it follows you to the beach, up the steep streets to City Hall and me into the nest of the bedroom where i lay my head. Revisiting Ventura county was a necessary evil, a knocking on my knuckle head (Oh Jesus now ‘to , know, know, know Him is to love him’ is now playing, I will soon be prostrate on the floor in a puddle of my salty sorrow). I had to go back, leave LA, get clarity, find what I don’t want. Do not get me wrong, I would love to fall back in the arms of that gorgeous, surfing man who sandblasted my heart, but I couldn’t live in Ojai, live without the fun little theatres, the funky cafes and the vibe of the groovy and good. I look around and I like what I see, the faces, the places. I feel I’d like to stay a while. Ventura did have one little gem, besides the orange throated humming bird that preened in the tree that bore the exact tone of orange that broke the grey back drop of the sky. I went to the Palermo Cafe on the main drag (in a hope to ‘bump’ into The guy) carrying my sad soul and my bijou Asus Netbook. I had flights to Mexico to cancel, (travelling there just didn’t feel right, well it does but not right now, I hope to find someone to go with, I hope that decision comes out right in the wash), and felt a bit of an ejit, shouting into my computer and the glorious world of Skype. I sat opposite a couple who looked so bloody at ease with each other. My mind made the bold assumption that the man behind a long grey goatee (his not hers!) and the woman with the sweet face, under thick blonde hair, where as kind as kind could be. I was drawn to speak to them, I felt I could connect with them. That little voice inside kept on at me, like a skirt tugging child. He got up and kissed her goodbye, ah, the love. I grabbed the opportunity and told a lame fib about needing to know hwo long it would take to drive to Ojai (a trip I’d taken countless times). What transpired was a conversation that lasted ten minutes and flowed like to the depths of a connection of at least 100 times that. It eventually led me to a church, run by some rich surfboard dude and, ultimately, the breaking down of my resolve to put my search for God before my search for MAN. I stood, head lifted to face words on a huge screen, as young, fit looking surf dudes sang raucous verses on the stage and sounded more like a hip teen band, and I felt slightly foolish. I sang along to the words and, eventually, opened up my arms to seeking ‘Him’, first. I was crying, my heart bloody cracking like the crust of lava from an errant volcano. EVERYtime, I have sought God and not some outward thing, person, place; the Dude has come through for me. I felt such deep sadness, the lonely part, that has accompanied me for so long, but has never been present when I’ve focused on nature or science or just being. I had listened to this blonde guy, super honed, trendy, young and very cool speak of the bible and how it says that it is through pain that we find the joy, through difficulty that we find what we are searching for. He spoke of his 5 yr old daughter and a returning cancer. He saw every precious moment with her a gift and he said he fails so much to be strong. I had found a book called the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz www.miguelruiz.com , based on ancient Toltec Mexican beliefs, tucked into the tiny library in the cottage I was staying. They made total sense to me; speak the impeccable word (strive to speak the Truth and avoid gossip), do not take it personally, it is never about you, dont make assumptions and always try your best and when you fail, start over, don’t judge.
My apologies for a blog which is reading more like a chapter of a book. Maybe it is. I will attempt to round it up neatly and, in turn, create some sort of theme. What I am trying to say is that Ventura, Santa Monica and Ojai were not the truth for me. I was not happy but I judged myself and stuck a big ole imaginary post it on my forehead that read ‘unhappy sad zac’, I was in the wrong place in my head and physicality. The ‘small, still voice’ was urging me to move on but to do that I had to be honest that I didn’t want to be there. Now, I have discovered that I am a teeny tiny bit, ok, a chunky portion slow on the uptake but I do get there in the end and, in my defense, I do embark on the journey too, sometimes making an arse of myself. I can only do it my way. However, the up shot (a phrase from way back in the day meaning the final shot in archery, hence its conclusive connotations) is I decided it is ok to be absolutely consumed with thoughts of finding my Man, that it is absolutely ok to be sad, to trip up, to not have a bloody clue where I am headed, to be ashamed of my restless soul, for me to be afraid, for me to eat too much and to be a bit of a mess. I am trying my best. I am doing the best I can. I must have faith one day soon I will get off my tush and get a job, I am just waiting for it to come my way. Like Silverlake and yes soon, oh so very soon…my MAN! God willing.