steinbeck's salinas

I’ve driven through Salinas. There’s nothing there. Not to offend anyone who lives there, but it’s an unremarkable little town just like all the other unremarkable little towns off of coastal highway one. Even calling it a “town” feels like a stretch - the “town” is little more than a few connected intersections multiplexing into freeways and surrounded by farmland (aka “nothingness” to my urban trash mindset that considers “middle of nowhere” to be any place that doesn’t have a Starbucks on every corner). That the most salient part of Salinas for me is how unremarkable it seems, only speaks to my own unremarkable imagination.

From those Salinas Valley fields of “nothingness”, John Steinbeck cultivated some of the most remarkable works of American literature. He saw the worlds within the wheat and sowed stories alongside seeds. Shit, that amazes me.

Where we are and where we come from determines part of who we are, but who we are determines what we make of where we are. Timshel.