Maybe it was the warmth of the chocolate chip cookies from Starbucks, and the taste of the green tea, no sugar or water added, that kept me alive, on those evenings I spent alone in my car or parked at the shoreline of San Onofre or at the top of Dana Point Harbor, contemplating life, and all the meanings that I could never put together. I can remember the color of the late evening and how it made me feel with my windows down, just passing time. Solitude mixed with vast array of silence. The pacific was a harsh teacher. She spoke so loudly and she was cruel to me at times. But she always took the time to listen to my thoughts, and for that, I'm thankful to her. I didn't say goodbye, I just drove away, like I always do, and for that…I'm sorry to her. I believe she knew why I had to do it this way, this time. I think she understood my tears and she accepted them kindly. I always wonder when I will return to her, to see her beauty stretch out aimlessly, with the sailboats rocking in her waters and the seabirds kissing her lightly. I can see the orange and reds fading into pinks and blues and disappearing into the depth so gracefully. The people I would wonder about, strangers in their every day lives, going home, leaving home for the evening, wondering about them and what they wonder about. Who they go home to, if they go home to anyone. The pain they have experienced and the happiness that keeps them moving. I used to be envious of the mere fact that they had a bedroom, a place to put their watch as they took it off for the evening before they would dream, but that feeling passed. I think the nights that I walked the harbor alone, saved me in may ways. The clanking of the boats, the gull of the birds, the water, glassy and clam, reflecting the ending of the day, and the seals saying goodnight to one another. That was my home. That loneliness became my refuge from a world that has been so unforgiving of me. I became accustom to the void and it was my strength in ways I still don't understand, and perhaps that fact scars me more than I care to admit, because in my loneliness I found shelter and comfort. Ortega highway…how I miss the miles I'd drive alone, to my favorite pull off,where I'd park my jeep and hike all day to my favorite set of boulders. And the feel of the rocks on my finger tips made me feel something more…and looking up through the trees let me feel God…right there…And when he smiled at me in those moments, I understood forgiveness. I think he wanted me to know it's real, And it's then that I realize that we all must forgive each other, no matter what. No matter how others scar us and how they seem to not even care when they destroy a piece of our hearts and world, but still…forgive. I can feel a part of my California leaving me, and honestly, I'm terrified. I don't know how to say goodbye, maybe thats why I've never said goodbye to anyone, but I think this time it's different. There is a pull in my atmosphere and It's a strange new feeling. Let go of me, i'm letting go of you. This forgiveness is goodbye, and thats how we must end. Have I lost my California? And if so, when life lets me do down again, how will I ever find the loneliness that I grew so well to know. I guess what I fear most is the past, and perhaps it repeating itself, because it has done so…and thats the question I'd love to ask my past, face to face…something in that affect, but I still don't know how to put the question into words…If i could try, it might go something like this…If i was the best part of everything you were, like you used to say, then why did I become a tomb, why was my flesh so meaningless to you, and the heart created, why could you not hear it? I felt it in my bones, the life given to us, the chance to get it right, the chance, the blessing put in our hands…and you just shook your head no, no, no…I never want to feel that no again. Never again. Because right now, I'm not strong enough to survive again. If I even did survive before, because at times…I feel the past complete and feed off of the emptiness inside.