Stories From California

Sometimes I want to write more than just journalistically about my experiences as a reporter. That is why I started to write down my thoughts, observations and emotions beyond scripts for radio, print and TV. This experiment is a lot of fun and scary at the same time. But, as they say, you have to get out of your comfort zone.

Butterscotch Pines - Palm Springs, CA

We walk between the smell of butterscotch from pines. Snow swirls melt on my hair. A creek makes soft turns between red barked giants. Our steps are soft on paths moist from leaves and needles. In the distance water crashes over granite slabs into the gorge.

The light is soft beneath heavy clouds. The air is thin and cold. Each breath is precious. A tree with naked arms becomes a bridge across the flood. Silver, it pierces the sky. We cross, we smile, we laugh, take pictures. An adventure off the beaten path. My jacket is bright blue and warm. You carry our backpack and help me down the graveled rocks. 

Home on the Cliff - At the California Coast

Stuck to the window frame in front of my desk is a picture of a house at the ocean. My dream home. 

It is also the place where the story of my next book might happen. Last week I wrote the following words. Would you keep reading?

Drunk from this new beginning. My cup of life is filled with sage, rosemary and love. 

This is the magic place where I will start with all of who and what life made me. Where lies to please and appease end. Where nothing but straight forward action is required. Not a lot of spoken words, but kindness and compassion.

The house came furnished. All I brought fit in my car: a suitcase with clothes and a box of books, notebooks and pens, kitchen stuff, two sets of sheets and towels, the teddy bear my mother gave me when I was six years old and a machete for the weeds. 

Barefoot Under Waterfalls - Santa Monica Mountains

Our hike is mellow after an asphalt climb between mansions, wrought iron gates and garden landscapes. We walk through meadows of fresh grass towards a valley of dead trees, leaves the color of rust and a path of mud mixed with ash. Out of scorched hillsides grow fields of phospherous green, wild mustard yellow, lupine purple and California poppy orange. We cross a creek. Its whisper will be our companion and lead us to the waterfall.

The sky is this day's canvas. Cornflower blue. Not one cloud. Coal limbs from old trees stretch towards it, surviving witnesses of last November's forest fires. I touch a bark-less carbon skin. It's soft like driftwood and leaves no trace inside my hand.

Before the fires, thorny bushes scratched my calves along this hike. Sage and fern grew everywhere. Shade from trees used to keep the earth moist and slippery.

Today, we walk on sun baked paths.

Body of Love - Los Angeles California

Get out of your head, they say.

Get out of your house.

Get out of your comfort zone.

Well, I did all that last week, when I stepped towards the microphone at pspoets "Night of Love".

BodyLoveReadingEddieDirk

Start the Smoke Signals - Los Angeles, CA

The start key of my computer broke.

"This is a sign", a friend suggested.

Is it a sign that I should never start the thing again?

Is it a sign of improper handling on my side?

Is it a sign of bad design and shitty craftsmanship?

Anyway, I kept using the computer and each time I did, I wiggled the start key alive. I used tweezers, scissors, sometimes a letter opener, sometimes a nail. Until the light came on and the computer sighed its signature start-up-melody. When I was done working I kept the computer in sleep mode. Until out of habit I turned it off. Which happened more often than you might think, and forced me to wiggle it alive more often than I wanted to.

The computer I am writing about is the one I use for writing, editing, producing, sending my stories to the clients. It is my only one. IT IS IMPORTANT. And the start-key is an important key. The most important, I used to think. But that's