Adventures in Esalen Land

First paragraph of a final paper, designed as a short story of psychological exploration at the famous Esalen Institute.

The sky opened up over the Pacific Ocean as the group sped down Highway One. Cloistered into the car were four friends who’d known each other for six years. In 2004, they began taking weekend courses on psychological studies through a counseling center in San Francisco. Now, in 2010, they had banded together to travel to the Esalen Institute, a mystical place of healing and opportunity they all knew, but had never actually visited Esalen. The group mood veered between anticipation and nervousness throughout the southbound drive. Evan took the role of navigator, pointing out highlights of Monterey and the dry irrigation of the Salinas Valley. Chloe stayed in her backseat position, preferring to remain in an introspective mood. Mike stayed in the driver’s seat and chimed in with some of Evan’s points. He also found himself taken with the vistas of the road, especially in the windswept communities of Seaside and Del Mar. Finally, in the passenger side rear, there was Jim, a man of action, who had been coerced into the Esalen excursion against his best wishes. Now that the group was nearing their destination, he began to relax and feel more open to possibilities on the trip.


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