An Island can be a refuge. For eleven years, I lived and worked on San Juan Island, a seven mile stretch of land in the Salish Sea. In creation myths, islands portray the beginnings of consciousness. On San Juan Island the native tribe, the Salish Indians, believed that Mitchell Bay, located in the northwest part of the island, was their Garden of Eden. It is a thin place - a Celtic description of a place where the veil between heaven and earth seems thinner.
Last summer Jennie and her family were working in her yard when my mother became disoriented. Her family spent the next four hours together at the hospital repeating the same conversation again and again. During that time she was unable to make new memories. Today she has no recollection of the experience, only false memories relayed to her by family.
New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington, DC, Hollywood and Santa Barbara all have shopping districts that cater to affluent Americans. Fifth Avenue, Newbury Street, Michigan Avenue, M Street, Rodeo Drive and State Street contain the same high-end designer labels.