Silicon Valley View: A Ride Through the Baylands
Posted on July 16, 2010
Every now and again a writer needs to spread his wings and find new places for inspiration. I took my writer’s residence a couple of thousand miles away from its regular place and the orange madness, and settled down in Silicon Valley for the summer. Just swapped the old residence with another writer in desperate need of a change in scenery.
On my first day out, I decided on a bike tour through the Bayland’s, a marvelous wetland area just east of Palo Alto and Mountain View.
I cycled past the city’s outskirts, past a small lake and a golf course, past the last remnants of human presence and past what we tend to leave behind if we have no need for it anymore. A driftwood horse, bowing its head deep to the eternal winds that blow in from the bay. A building, transformed into an alienating painting of both decay and civilization.
I could see the wetlands past it, I could smell the ebbing bay, so I cycled on.
Human sound changed places with the sounds of nature, with the squeaking of birds, the rustling of tall grass and reeds, the wind breathing new words and ideas in my ears.
When I observed the Bayland pelicans I realized they showed an odd resemblance to writers. Like writers they get together exchanging views and ideas and slurping inspiration. Some of them already spread their wings to find new places and new ideas, others seemingly relaxed, but with a close eye on each other.
And when we are done, when we got out of it what we want, what we need, we all go back to our writer’s residences, to our little solitary islands, and we nip and we tuck our stories, we groom and we tweak our sentences, we weigh our words, over and over again. Alone.