Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, California, USA

September 22, 2008

This essay, Santa Barbara, is the fifth in a group of sixteen about my daughter Alexandra:
  1. Alexandra
  2. Babe On The Freeway
  3. Light In The Night
  4. Alexandra II
  5. Santa Barbara
  6. True Gold
  7. Goleta Beach
  8. Getting Into Your World
  9. Fly Baby Bird!
  10. Celebration At Essaouira
  11. The Woman She Creates Herself To Be
  12. City Girl
  13. Vocal Prowess
  14. Lost And Found: A Tale Of Ownership, Loss, And Triumph
  15. Girly Girl
  16. My Baby Girl, Now A Bride
in that order.

It is also the first in a group of twenty written in Santa Barbara:
  1. Santa Barbara
  2. Unbelievable
  3. Give Me Money (That's What I Want?)
  4. True Gold
  5. Getting Into Your World
  6. You Say Stop: About Resisting Transformation
  7. The Cavalry's Not Coming
  8. On This Team Everyone's The Leader
  9. Fireside Chat
  10. The Next Best Thing
  11. Full Circle, Full Spiral
  12. Truth, And What's True
  13. Snowflakes In A Furnace
  14. Something In The Air
  15. Vocal Prowess
  16. Flames In My Rearview Mirror
  17. Back Nine
  18. Chess II
  19. But And And II
  20. My Baby Girl, Now A Bride
in that order.

I am indebted to my daughter Alexandra Lindsey Platt who inspired this conversation, and to Palmer Kelly for his coaching.

Any place with a name like Santa Barbara  has gotta be amazing.

Sound it out. San  ... ta  ... Bar  ... ba  ... ra. Embedded in that almost iambic pentameter  straight out of a Shakespearian sonnet canonized to sainthood are all those "Aaah!"s  each invoking and re-invoking "Agni" ... "Aaah‑g‑nee"  ... the first word of the Vedas, the holy Hindu scriptures. And that's just its name. That's just for starters. Naming is a class act. Santa Barbara's very name is a tough act to follow.

That, at least according to the Vedas, is how it all started: with an exhale, with a satisfied "Aaah!": Aaah! San  ... ta  ... Bar  ... ba  ... ra  ...

After three beautifully intense days and two nights with my daughter Alexandra assisting her settle in to her new residence on the University of California's Santa Barbara campus, we're standing in the parking lot, she and I, arms around each other, embracing for what will be the last time in eighteen years before we part company and start our lives anew: she as an adult, no longer a child, a college freshman no longer living in the home I built for her, me as a father living for the first time without my precious baby girl who's now grown up to become one of my closest confidants  and friends.

Exhale. "Aaah!". It's time for me to leave. It's time for me to leave my darling Girly Girl  here, and go. "I Love You Daddy" she says, her lips an inch away from my ear. I can feel her long auburn hair caressing my neck. "I Love You Girly" I say, and although I'd anticipated this would be a difficult  moment (for both of us, for her, for me, especially  for me), it's not. It's a moment of victory, a moment of triumph. This is what she prepared for. This is what I worked for. This is what she studied hard for. This is what I flew away from her on all those business trips for. This is what she chose. This is what I intended to provide for her.

Now it's here. The moment has finally come. It's a rich, full moment. Rich in poignancy. Full of love. It actually surprises me there's no tears. I thought there'd be tears. But there aren't. We exchange smiles, mine coming from the warmest place I can ever possibly come from, hers coming from a place so deep it's as if the tips of her toes are smiling all the way up her body gathering all her celestial energy along its path, amplifying it out through her radiant face at me.

After the briefest pause, she turns and walks away. I slowly drive out of the parking lot, turning around looking back for her one last time. She doesn't turn around, and after that, neither do I.

"Aaah! Santa Barbara. San ... ta ... Bar ... ba ... ra ...".

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