Je Flâne

Sand dunes near Glamis California.
Most deserts are not all sand. This stretch, in southern California near the Arizona border, is a few miles wide and only a few dozen long. In the overall scope of the Mojave and Sonoran deserts, it is a very small feature.

After several intense days in front of customers, I treasure a day of flâner. That’s French for wandering with no particular aim.

(I have no facility with French. Please feel free to correct my usage.)

In the past, I thought of them as my rudderless days. I would rise, read the news and look out the window. After what I thought would be a quick shower which often turned otherwise, I’d dress.

Casual. Very casual.

The french captures it perfectly.

Breakfast? Perhaps but not a long one.

Time to be somewhere else, but where?

The Salton Sea in southern Califonia, formed by a two year full content flow from the Colorado River. When the flow was stopped, it was then cut off from all drainage other than evaporation. It has been in that condition for more than a hundred years. The only inflow is cropland overflow fouled with fertilizers and pesticides.
No plants grow within 50 feet of the water but apparently the birds find enough for survival and, with little other wildlife in the area, they are safe from predators.
Human contact with the water, whether by swimming or otherwise, is strongly discouraged and, considering the cropland runoff, extremely unhealthy.
The only fish that live in the water are Tilapia which, until a few years ago, were considered “junk” and thrown back. And after smelling the lake, Tilapia is on my “Never Again” list as is, now, The Salton Sea.

Outside, for sure. I’ve been inside with flourescent lights, a white board, ten computers and twenty geeks for a week. I need nature, grass, trees, dirt, water where it happens not where it is forced.

Parks are good, forests better. Green, yellow, red, brown, even black with white snow is good. Fog is wonderful. Heavy rain is cleansing. New falling snow a delight.

Streets are fine provided they are small streets, not avenues. Little shops, no chains, a touch on the worn side is good.

Which way is the wind blowing?

Follow it.

Hungry? What’s there? A sandwich shop run by Mom and Pop or a four star wallet buster – “I’ll just have an appetizer, please. Nothing more.” Whatever is at hand will do.

Now, the wind. Which way?

No plan. No direction.

The wind blows my hair.

Je flâne.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *