Nepenthe, Big Sur, California


I arrived at the scenic overlook just before noon. A low-hanging cloud left the view a bright emptiness, a deep pillow of infinite white, a scene of nothing. I imagined the expansive view I’d seen numerous times, but for some reason, the emptiness felt more satisfying. Nothing to view let my mind relax, nothing to appreciate, nothing to hold on to, and nothing to remember, a level of peace beyond escape from the daily grind, just the fresh smell of the ocean with a hint of coffee and bacon, the sound of steaming milk, and the slight movement of cool air drifting around my head.

“It might be one of those days,” the tourist said as she stepped up to the view, “and you’re not going to change it.” Accepting nothing is something. No one stayed long, and no one cared to sit at the coveted tables next to the view. So I sat close and ate an egg sandwich and enjoyed the nullity. I was going to write in my journal, but there wasn’t much to say. I took twenty-three photos of the view trying to get the perfect shot. And it was nice, no crowd, light jazz playing in the background, a soft mist falling, and a hint of sun working its way through to expose the view and put an end to nothing.