After walking by an auto accident scene while traveling in California, he writes:
- You imagine the woman's plan for her day, maybe lunch in Malibu and a meeting at her kids' school and supper and a movie afterward, a simple day in sunny L.A., and you abandon your own plan to work and instead you walk around looking at the shining world on behalf of Alma who died on the highway.
You buy a mango/papaya smoothie and a cafe mocha and in the face of death they are spectacular. You sit at a table in the brilliant sunshine, the light splashing off the stone facades and aluminum moldings.
She was standing by her car waiting for help to arrive when she was struck by another vehicle and killed, and 30 minutes later men were standing at attention around her. It would be intolerable not to know the name of the woman. Attention must be paid.
She trails alongside you as you walk into a bookstore full of art books and you pick up one with pictures of California beach houses, all whites and yellows and pale blues, sun-drenched rooms, bowls of flowers, cotton curtains, the sea beyond. A beautiful world, Alma, and every day is a gift. I'm sorry you had to leave early.
Life is short, and we don't know when it ends. Appreciate the beauty that is.