Saturday, June 10, 2006

Sunday Scribblings #11 & Anniversary Getaway

Mystery -- this was my choice of topic this week, and it's something I could go on and on about: a reader's frustration with real life, with the notion that while in fiction "all will be revealed in time," in life it's not so. There are many things we will never ever know. So, the prompt is, of all mysteries large and small, what mystery would you have unveiled for you if you could?

I've thought about it and I think honestly, if I could know any great cosmic mystery at all, it wouldn't be: is God real? It would be: Are there sentient beings on other planets, and what are they like? And have they indeed visited us on Earth, are they technologically superior to us, how many different species in how many different worlds? I had a dream a long time ago that I woke up from and started immediately to plot as a story (which I never wrote). In it, two travel-writers and their adolescent children are part of the first civilian flight to the first planet discovered with sentient life. The characters in my dream were no doubt based on my old bosses, Tony & Maureen Wheeler, the founders of Lonely Planet Travel Guides. These two started the company in the 60s by driving an old van across Central Asia, about which no travel guide yet existed. They then holed up in Australia for a time and wrote up their notes, typed and stapled them and started selling them to local bookstores. Decades later they own a company that has opened the most mysterious places in the world up to adventurers, and their children have been along for the ride. This is a complete tangent, but it seems appropriate enough. I still sort of love that idea, of being the first travel writer to an alien civilization that will soon be finding itself inundated with rich earthling adventure tourists. In the dream it turned dark and came to light that not all the sentient species on the planet were friendly.

I'm not an abduction conspiracy theorist. I'd just love to know. What's going on out there in all that vasty blackness? I'd also like to know -- in the earthly realm -- how sophisticated is whale speech really? Do they have syntax and vocabulary? Do they tell each other stories? How does their intelligence stack up to ours? I really really wish there was a way to know that!

ON ANOTHER NOTE, Jim and I just celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary!



Yay, us! It's been a wonderful though lightning-quick 5 years since that day in the forested hills above Berkeley, California, when we stood facing each other on a lawn, all teary and overwhelmed with love. We got married at the Brazil Pavillion that was salvaged from the San Francisco World's Fair, a lovely lovely spot, and everything about the day was perfect. We didn't take a honeymoon really but just drove back up the coast to Oregon, stopping along the way at the Russian River, Mendocino, and the Redwoods. To celebrate our anniversary we went out to the Oregon coast thursday, to Manzanita, a wonderful small beach town less than two hours from Portland. It's rustic and free of beachy motels and wax museums and boardwalks. There's a wine bar and a few shops and NO souvenirs anywhere! We stayed in a skinny two-story tower-cabin, walked on the beach, ate taffy, and drove to the nearby river towns of Wheeler and Nehalem for some antique shopping. On the way home we made the short hike through the woods to Oswald West beach, one of the loveliest beaches I have ever seen.

"There is a pleasure in the pathless wood/ There is a rapture on the lonely shore/ There is society where none intrude/ By the deep sea and music in its roar/ I love not man the less, but nature more." - Lord Byron.

Now, after two beautiful trips to the coast in the past month, I'm daydreaming about having a cabin there. Dream, dream!

35 comments:

Cate said...

Even your questions are full of imagination and creative speculation! If you ever solve those mysteries, let me know! Or better yet, I'll just read your writings about your travels to those other-worldly civilizations--you would be a whole new kind of anthropologist!

And many, many congrats. on your five year anniversary! Your love and support for each other are so apparent through your writing! It sounds like you had a lovely celebration! xo

Deb R said...

I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the topic of "Mystery." And I LOVE the anniversary trip photos. Congrats on a happy 5 years and here's wishing you both a lifetime more.

PS...Did you read my post about the Blogging 4 Books contest and the topic being "Magic?" I immediately thought of you. I bet you have old posts that would qualify to enter if you were interested.

melba said...

I want to know about aliens too!
When I lived in California I was friends with a guy who totally believed in aliens and would constantly freak me out about invasions and stuff he said he KNEW about. I could never sleep after hanging out with him and for years I would lay awake thinking are they out there?
I also loved that show Roswell. I have seen every episode. I thought it was the coolest! I really like shows like that. I haven't seen the 4400, but if I had some more free time I would watch it.

Congratulations on 5 years:)!

Alexandra S said...

Great post! I want to know why we always assume aliens will have bald heads and triangle shaped eyes and gooey skin. Maybe they will be bright red and white polka dotted and just maybe they will actually be super kind and hug us all the time like long lost aunties. Just maybe they will actually be peace loving unlike our own Preisdent. And happy anniversary to two true lovebirds!

Colorsonmymind said...

I like the drawing that goes with the mystery.

I must admit that I like your dream-I would probably love reading it, even though I don't ponder this mystery often.

I bet there is some great Sci Fi that would reel me in if I gave it a chance, but it doesn't pull me.

I did watch Land of the Lost when I was younger and enjoyed it.

Happy Anniversary-Beautiful photos-beautiful you-beautiful couple-beautiful love.

Hugs

paris parfait said...

Laini, fascinating post! I share your curiosity. So much we don't know.

As for the wedding anniversary, thanks for sharing the gorgeous photos and the story about your wedding. I love hearing about these happy, romantic events. Sounds as though your celebration was (is) beautiful.

NuttersNotes said...

Yes....the post was wonder-filled. I love to see wonder. Wonder has a light of it's own that is delightful to gaze upon.

Congrats on the half decade of wedded bliss!!!

Amber said...

Oh, Laini. You always make me smile! I think you must be one of the purest souls I know. I mean it. I know so many people who have become so jaded by life, and some for good reason, I know... But I just find you to be so refreshing! Your imagination is devine.

Maybe I am just a pms-y emotional girl right now, but your wedding sounded so romantic and lovely! Congratulations on five years, to you and your Artist Guy!

:)

Yolanda said...

Congraulations to you on five years with your husband. I will be married five years in 1 week. Isn't the oregon coast beautiful. I get to go in two weeks. Yay. Loved you post too.

Brandi said...

Wow, this was a very different style of artwork than what I normally find here! Great stuff but different! Anyway, congrats on your anniversary! Being married is wonderful! Brandi

Laini Taylor said...

Oops! I didn't even think to mention that that's not my art -- I just found an alien picture online to go with my scribble. Guess I should specify in the future!

AnnieElf said...

Me too Laini. God could not have made us alone in the universe. How dull that would be and He is just so interesting - mysterious but - interesting. I would love to see what else is out there.

Congratulations on five years.

GoGo said...

Congrads on five years.

I too would like to know if we are not alone in the universe, what would the others be like. With LW, I remember deciding we could not be alone because that would be too simple.

January said...

It would be neat to find other life out there, and have a few more answers to those nagging questions. I was always a big fan of the show "In Search of."

And congrats on your 5-year anniversary. My husband and I will celebrate our 5 year this September. Here's to many, many more.

krista said...

Hey, happy anniversary! That's awesome.

I share in your wonder about what is out there. My son made me laugh the other day when he said that fairy's aren't real (except the tooth faily) and I asked, well if you know the tooth fairy is real, what makes you think other fairies aren't?

He was quiet after that. Funny though, because although I KNOW the tooth fairy isn't real, I started to think about it too. I mean, if aliens could be real, why couldn't fairies?

Mysteries indeed.

andrea said...

What a lovely post: a gimpse inside your head and a glimpse at your outside life. (And on our 5th anniversary I was preganant with our first .... so get on it! Just kidding! :)

Left-handed Trees... said...

Love, maybe the greatest mystery...congratulations on your anniversary. The pictures, the post, the dreams for a cabin beautiful mysteries all...

Joy Eliz said...

Happy Anniversary!

Oh it would be so fantastic if you would write that book...
I think of 'Martian Chronicles' - Simple Sci Fi with out all the laser guns and action. Ahhhh:)

susanlavonne said...

Yay you!
So enjoyable to read....as always :-)

Letha Sandison said...

Happy Anniversary Laini!! Sounds like a wonderful getaway.

I think you should write this story!! That creative brain of yours never ceases to amaze me!

XO

kelly rae said...

i see you made it to our favorite beach spot! did you see the lucious campground on your path to the beach?

Susannah said...

Happy Anniversary! you guys look so happy together, it's wonderful to see...... and i'm with you on the alien mystery - it just seems ridiculous to think we're the only ones in the universe... Sx

Patry Francis said...

Happiness like yours is the deeper mystery. There's an inexplicable element of magic in it, don't you think?

Happy, happy anniversary!

Kim G. said...

Laini - Happy Anniversary! Hope you enjoy many more ahead!

The X-Files was one of my absolute favorite shows. Your post reminded me of that whole "The Truth is Out There" philospy of Fox Mulder. Such an interesting quesiton, "Are we really alone in the universe?"

Mardougrrl said...

A million happy anniversaries!

And, honestly, Laini, you must get tired of hearing me say it, but you are one of the most creative people I have ever "met"!

tinker said...

Congratulations on your anniversary - your celebration sounds lovely!
Even though I professed in my post to not want to know - secretly I do want to know this one...I just fear how humankind might turn it around to a negative thing rather than the most amazing news ever. I think if they are out there watching us, they probably fear that, too, and maybe that's why no one here knows for sure!

HoBess said...

Mention of whale speech always makes me think of Star Trek. That's my favorite one of those movies when the whales time travel. I'd love an answer to your question. Happy Anniversary!

M said...

Congratulations to you both! What a beautiful spot to celebrate such a special time.

lisrobbe said...

I love reading your posts, they are always so great. Lonely plant books rock! Congradulations on your anniversery.

deirdre said...

Great question. I'm never sure if the idea of life "out there" creeps or comforts me. Maybe a little of both. I like the backstory about Lonely Planet. It's fascinating and mind-boggling to me that there are people who really do just get up and go have an adventure.
And Happy Anniversary to you!

Bohemian Girl said...

oh, you are such a lovely couple...happy anniversary darling!

that cabin is glorious and so were the sites.

your mystery questions intrigue me as well...especially what is going on in the vasty blackness. perhaps that is why i enjoy science fiction so much. part of me wants it all to be so real.

did you get engaged at Tilden Park?? i lived not far away from there...

love,
boho

Jim Di Bartolo said...

Thanks for all the kind words everyone!

And Bohemian Girl, we got married at Tilden Park, but I proposed to Laini on a gondola in Venice. It was a plan of mine before we left for Europe in 2000. I had to carry the engagement ring hidden from Laini in my money belt through Bulgaria, Turkey, and other parts of Italy before we ended our trip in Venice where I sprung my surprise on her. Fun stuff! :)

Jim

liz elayne said...

i want this mystery solved as well. such a good one.

and happy anniversary! what a wonderful way to celebrate with this quick getaway! love manzanita!

(i know i repeat myself but could the two of you BE any cuter!?!)

Anonymous said...

best regards, nice info »

Anonymous said...

I have been looking for sites like this for a long time. Thank you! Ionamin diet pill ionamin diet pilk Self employed health insurance oh home mortgages California phone answering service 20 Velvet holiday dress neurontin withdrawal Lemon sucking ass http://www.bmwdealer1.info fat fat woman Klaussner leather sofa Proactiv pimples