Change takes me from the hills of Spanish tiles and stucco, nine miles of gridlock traffic, and ten hours of computer screen comas to a handcrafted table on an open deck, overlooking an endless landscape of the vast Aussie bush. Flat farmlands to the left graced with white cockatoos flying overhead. A magpie perched on the balcony ledge, warbling a high-pitch whistle to earn its morning food. The clearest blue skies, unmarred by smog, and low, silver-lined clouds coasting toward the open sea, which lingers beyond my view.
Ghost trees, their ashy bark pale and smooth, waving to the cockatoos, their tall and spindly limbs bending to a breeze’s whim. Rustling dainty leaves like a fanned paintbrush pointed toward the sky. Crisp crystal air, slightly damp from morning dew, kissing my cheek as I take the first sip of milky espresso and think, this is a life.
Is it a life I could have every day? Away from the movie screens and TV shows, Gucci people, and fellow creatives, who breathe and sleep our industry – the industry that courses through my blood and gives me new life when a new project or the updated draft pings my inbox, sealed with hopeful greetings from a writer in search of his next job. Could I give that up to sit here on this deck every day? Give everything I’ve worked for an opportunity to blow away, far across the ocean in a much different world with unparalleled priorities? I have clawed against, begrudgingly succumbed to, and drifted aimlessly with change for a seamless number of days. I have learned it’s useless to swim against the currents. I fall in line with the tides and wait for the waves to pass or calm, using the breaks to wade toward unexplored channels and climb on drier lands.
Though this deck calls me home, I’m not ready to swim from the nocturnal glow of streetlights, blocks of ethnic clusters, and hustling city avenues. The tides bring me to the serenity of now to merely escape awhile, appreciate what exists, and reinvigorate a weary, burnt-out soul before it takes another plunge into the choppy waves and explores deeper sands in the next phase of life.