This was taken on January 27 along the coastline on the way to Monterey, California. You will notice that I have a bit of a horizontal tilt going on which surprised me because I usually take quite level pictures. Part of the problem was that due to the bright sun, I had to squint through the viewfinder instead of looking at the screen and anytime you get really close to a subject (in this case the camera), you tend to get subjective instead of objective and things can get off kilter.
It is interesting to see the California culture again after so many years: yesterday I went to a movie while my friends had another event they were attending, and the conversations I heard in the theater before the show were very telling. The theatre was in Palo Alto, which is the home of Stanford University and one of the more upscale neighbourhoods in the area, and it was evident in the language. Life is good in California but for all that ease and wealth, they do not seem to have anything profound to talk about. Shopping, filling your schedule, and what your friends are doing seemed to be the most popular topics around. I walked past the Church of Self-Realization yesterday and realized that ease has its own problems: it very seldom points us to the deeper and more valuable things in life. I often say that getting out of my own culture and country helps me see the blind spots in my life and broadens my worldview. Where there is no challenge, no pain, no lack, no suffering, no apparent need, there is usually very little motivation to look beyond ourselves. Let me never desire the life of ease for the cost is too great.