A quick trip to Big Sur brought me to Nepenthe, the former cabin owned by Orson Welles that was transformed into a cliffside gathering place for artists in the 1950s. The new owners were the parents of textile designer Kaffe Fassett, whose fabric I had just used at quilt camp. The connection was a pleasant surprise, and the adjacent shop housed more of Fassett’s unique designs as well as his biography.
The book section displayed books from famous writers who lived and wrote near Big Sur, including Jack Kerouac, Henry Miller, and John Steinbeck. I discovered one of Steinbeck’s short stories – “The Flight” – in the collection “The Long Valley, and I felt a special connection as I read Steinbeck’s words while I looked out over the beautiful vista. If you can’t get there in person, Steinbeck’s words will transport you. “The Flight” begins with:
“Out fifteen miles below Monterey, on the wild coast, the Torres family had their farm, a few sloping acres above a cliff that dropped to the brown reefs and to the hissing white waters of the ocean. Behind the farm the stone mountains stood up against the sky. The farm buildings huddled like the clinging aphids on the mountain skirts, crouched low to the ground as though the wind might blow them into the sea…”
I’ve really enjoyed all your posts during your trip to CA and also your colorful photos! The combination of sewing, reading, and beautiful photos (particularly of that little bookstore) is a perfect match to my own heart. BTW, I just finished re-reading “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” for our Honolulu Book Group – what a great read. Fits my psychological mind. Thanks for recommending it. It was an excellent match for “The Goldfinch,” which I finished right before it, as the relationship of Rosemary and Harlow paralleled that between the narrator and Boris.
Many thanks for what you do. It is a gift to all of us.
I enjoyed both books too but had not thought of that comparison – nice connection. And thanks for all your good thoughts!