“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”
~ Teilhard de Chardin
(since posting this I've been in contact with one of the folks responsible for keeping the memory of the Dreamkeeper Cabin, Paradise/Perfix Beach and the Journal alive. I found Bill Buck's email address and asked for permission to post some of his pics from his gallery here. Turns out there was a reason the name "Bill Buck" sounded so familiar... we had met out at Grampa's place in 1988 during the summer after he had graduated from Righetti High School in Santa Maria. In his email he mentioned a "groundbreaking sweatlodge ceremony" he had attended out at Muhu Tasen. In 1988 I was very busy with Muhu Tasen and remembered a young fella named Bill Buck. He also mentioned another young man that had been there that summer, America, Abbie Hoffman's son. Gads, what a world and how small -- in spite of its 6 billion folks -- it really is. Made smaller by this wwweb thingy... So, since I posted this the other day, I've added a few more pics. Thanks Bill Buck!)
Bummer... I'm sitting here with my head racked by a cold. I've worked 7 days straight and I get to spend my 2 days off feeling crappy. I was gonna take a trip to the coast today with bro' Marty, tonight is the full moon, a lunar eclipse no less (just after sunset) and a minus tide at sunset. The temp is supposed to be in the 50s... sigh... I continue to conclude I was born 200 years or more too late. Unless I were to be a believer in reincarnation... but I'm not. I don't know. I know I've had dreams of places and times I've never been but such is the mystery. And a mystery I prefer to leave it. I suppose I may find out when I get to that point of passing over, which may, you know, be just a dark, final, dead-end. Not knowing what really lies at that point is one of the motivations for making this life worth the investment of sincerity in life's effort.
I mean really... when I think about Perfix Beach and what its like spending time there... comparing that to this modern day ratrace filled with war and massive starvation (still some 35,000 people a day dying from starvation and the diseases of malnutrition) I have to ask, "what have we really accomplished?" Have we improved the state of humanity? Do all our plastic googaws provide satisfaction? Have we accomplished anything worth writing home about? If the creator were to show up today, could we say "look at what we've done to your garden! Isn't it beautiful?" And mean it?
My attraction to -- and relationship with -- nature, relies on some inherent sense of belonging, of sharing. But working for a system that does not value what I do... really makes me a hypocrite. Unavoidable, but still...
Consider your most favorite spot in nature. How does it make you feel when you are there? How does even thinking about it make you feel? Now... consider if it had been a spot shared by generations of your family, with your ancestors' bones interred there as far back as memory itself... we all come from such places. Indigeneity lies at the root of all our family lines, somewhere way back when, we all were from somewhere... and every somewhere has such a place that is special, beautiful and sacred.
Perfix Beach is surrounded by sand dunes, in fact it takes a climb of several hundred feet to get to the top of those dunes. To the south access can be gained along the shore by scaling rocks from Pt. Sal and from the north by crossing Mussel Rock. but to get a sense of that place it must be viewed from above.
This is the view of Perfix from atop the Guad Dunes, looking south.
(These pics are borrowed from Bill Denneen, with permission, and their use is sincerely appreciated. Many thanks Bill! Here is the page of Bill's pics.)
Many, many times have I stood at this spot and marveled at that view, timeless, shared by so, so many... just behind this spot, tucked into one of the many folds of this massive hill of sand, lies an old midden mound.
Sometimes, atop these dunes the weather will expose a chert arrowhead.
From the very highest point of the dunes, on a clear day, looking east you see the Sierra Madre mountains and the Cuyama River cutting through them as it wends its way from the Cuyama Valley (Highway 166 follows the Cuyama River) and the drainages of the Caliente Hills, the Chorizzo Plains and Mt. Pinos. On the clearest of days Mt Pinos itself can be glimpsed, some 80 miles or so away.
Here is Bill, loaded with his backpack, standing at the slope that was the most direct descent to the beach. I ran into Bill a few times out here, often I was alone and he had groups of folks with him. A lot of times I would avoid people all together.
When you get down to the beach you cross a small creek that cuts off the Guad Dunes from the old Minetti property (which may have been purchased and included in the greater preservation efforts) and then down to the beach. When on the beach there is a small arch of rock:
and depending on the vagaries of the winter storms the arch may be nearly buried in sand or stand some 10' overhead. Winter storms move the levels of the beach sand up and down... changing the beach year to year.
Half way down the beach there used to stand a very unique cabin. Now gone, burned down, its demise a mystery which carries some rumors... the cabin was built up against the hill, above the highest of tide lines. I don't think I ever slept there but one time, prefering instead to camp at the top of the dunes, on the edge overlooking the creekbed and Minetti's property. For years there was a diary kept at the cabin which visitors signed and made unique entries... comments, poetry, drawings... and it took me years to find it online (after finding it once before) but thankfully, someone, I'm assuming Bill Buck, has made parts of that diary a webpage(s) of some interest for folks like me who remember:
NOTES FROM THE JOURNAL KEPT BY NRH
AT THE "DREAM SEEKER" CABIN
And when on Perfix Beach, which most likely has no other people on it, you enter a special world. A world I will get back to in the future, both literally and here on the blog. But for now... Perfix Beach is where I first met Pablo. Brought to meet me by Hoos nahil and Somis awil. I was fishing, camped at the dune top, and hanging out at the arch when they came around the hill, crossing Mussel Rock. A perfect place for a meeting that had great implications for a major turn in my life. Little did I know then that the short, mustached, and very winded and huffing man, dying for a cigarette, complaining about such a long walk was destined to become one of my best and closest friends. Unfortunately... I can't ask him if that walk was worth his effort. But... knowing the intertwining of destinies that was to come Pablo wouldn't have had it any other way.