Posted by: MaraPurl | June 28, 2011

Love Coastal Flights

Flying is fantastic. I’ve been traveling by air since early childhood, and still mostly love it. An ideal flight is a high-altitude half day in the office. Above it all—literally and figuratively—I put on my headphones, start an inspiring playlist, open my laptop and start writing.

That’s how I wrote this blog, in fact. Outside my window the high blue cross-faded to a blend of clouds at a soft horizon. The sun glinted off the edge of my screen, and Pat Metheny serenaded.

For the first part of the flight, I did nothing but stare out the window grinning, because that day I got to fly my very favorite route: the California coast. Flying north, my plane arced over the San Fernando Valley, then flew parallel to the coastline. By the time we were flying over my fictitious town of Milford-Haven—located in the real region of the Central Coast—I was fully entranced by the beautiful continental edge winding its way north.

Why, I wondered yet again, do I love it so much? Why do I find the coastline endlessly fascinating? Today the metaphor that came was—no surprise here—head and heart. Here was the land that seemed a perfect representation of the head. It had structure and organization, history and ownership, planning and relationships between neighbors.

By contrast, the water appeared flat, vague, and nondescript. Isn’t that how heart-information sometimes seems? It might be trying to tell us something—but what? The water was moody—one moment shining with promise, one moment gray and misty. It stretched away as far as the eye could see toward an infinite horizon. And, of course, it’s deep.

Its depth swims with creatures on their own paths, like emotional streamers beyond the control of logic. It has currents that carry great distances with engines of their own. And the currents shape the terrain, and mold the creatures whose very shell-housings become architectures to reflect the journeys of the creatures they house.

And here was the coastline where these two meet. In your own life, what do you make of the border between head and heart? Maybe what fascinates me is that I could see it clearly, that edge of foam—a lacy border formed as the heart splashes its dreams onto the shores of logic, a trail of endless possibility that tracks right alongside Milford-Haven.

For more information on the changes that are taking place with The Milford Haven Novels, please read my newsletter. If you have not subscribed, visit to have my newsletter sent to your mailbox every month.


  1. Mara, you are such a wonderful writer, so full of beautiful description and the power of metaphor. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: