what are your places not of this world?

A Moorish-style fountain inside Mission San Ju...Image via Wikipedia

I helped out in my daughter’s writing class the other day. Their assignment was to write about their favorite place after listening to the teacher read Grandfather’s Journey. My favorite place is of course my hometown of Kenosha, WI but I made a list of my favorite places I visited for a brief while.

These places are where I felt cool energies, a sense of belonging, and supernatural communication:

Beale Street, Memphis,TN: I was there on a summer night in 1985 with my cousins. I took a pic wearing a blank tank top dress, a bad perm and wayfarers by the statue of Elvis. We ate ice cream by BB King‘s blues bar. I was seventeen so I wasn’t old enough to go in. We sat on a bench by a cobblestone road watching a raspy-voiced blues woman and a lanky dude with mirrored sunglasses who stepped in and played acoustic guitar. I felt like Elvis as a young kid watching them.

Forest Lawn Memorial, Los Angeles, CA: I loved this place in my twenties when I needed poetic inspiration. An inscription there reads not to consider this place a cemetery but a living memorial to those who passed. It’s a place for artists to write, paint or just think. There is a replica here of the old Boston church where Paul Revere warned of the coming British. I also sat by Stan Laurel‘s grave many times. You think a star of old-time comedy would have something elaborate but it’s just a gravestone with a bench next to it. Stan and I had lots of conversations there.

Laguna Beach, CA: I drove the PCH here on August 27, 1998. An amazing sunset showed itself of orange, red and purple clouds. I remember the cliffs and waves while listening to “Frozen” by Madonna. Another day I got a toe ring and thought I saw Andy Warhol walking on the beach. I also spent the afternoon of New Years Eve 1999 with my best high school friend Tammy. We ate crab cakes at a seaside restaurant where she took a pic of the last sunset of the millennium. It was cold but she, also a Wisconsin native, refused to wear a jacket determined to spend New Years Eve in a tank top and sandals.

Mission San Juan Capistrano, CA: The swallows return there each year on my birthday March 19 and the city celebrates. Cowboys stand in the street and shoot toy guns in the air. I’m not sure why but I’m sure it’s historic. I visited there on my 31st birthday when I was 3 months pregnant. A friend and I walked through the little chapel with votive candles burning. There is something about Catholic churches with their stained glass and burning candles that create such a supernatural atmosphere. You can sense the priests that founded the mission in that chapel and understand their purpose.

What are your favorite places are and why?  Are they supernatural or sentimental, places not of this world?


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