Sunday, October 28, 2012


It was an interesting week at the old job for me. The president of the company came through town and I had to give a presentation and prepare and be ready for tough business questions.  And I was.  And it was a good presentation.  Because I know my business, and I care about it.  But how strange that all was.  I just thought to myself, is this the same girl that used to march around the garden in gypsy clothes?  

Where did this adulthood come from?  How did it wrap itself around me, give its brief blessing and fling me into the world?

I sure don't know how I feel about this. 

Then again, I am always teetering on the threshold of not quite knowing how I feel about any of it anyway, the real world, and I constantly just have to gently nudge myself to the one side, the side that feels ok about it, and keep going.  

As for the presentation, I was about to get overwhelmed by it and I was sitting outside when I saw about fifteen crows circling above me and somehow it looked so important, I mean, in that way that shows you quiet divinity and the soft constant breath of life and that your'e a part of it.  I remembered some things then.  

That's when I decided that I wouldn't let my presentation stress me out and that I'd just enjoy it no matter what, because, as far as I know, it's no more significant than much else in the grand scheme.  And a lot less significant than most things.  In any case, I had to make it fun.  I know that if I can't make the real world joyful, then I don't want to do it at all.  Because the actual real world reminds me of that, sometimes by way of crows.

So I just enjoyed how bizarre it all seemed, being all serious.  And I kind of laughed a lot every day about how strange growing up is.  Because even though I'm doing it, I'm never actually ready for it.  To be an adult.  It does bewilder me still.

And it makes me think of this life.  And how I have to keep adapting even though I don't know what it's about or what I'm really supposed to be doing.  But I've never known.  I mean, we never know.  How could we?  And as far as work goes, I always remember my dad saying once, when I was the most confused about those things, to just put my good heart into whatever I do.  So I do that.  And I'm not as confused anymore, for the most part.

And then I thought of my mom and can she believe that her kids are grown up now and does that make her sad?  I guess I could just ask her, but it's more interesting thinking about it.  Well, and sad, too, for me.  But I never was one to have anything against sadness about what life is.  And how shocked we are so often when we notice it, for whatever reason, just thinking about it, or being stunned into seeing that truth from time to time, like when you're giving a business presentation remembering yourself as a little girl, free and dancing in the garden, or when other things like that happen.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


I've been neglecting this writing for a while, I know, but not without good reason.  I had a visitor recently and I got the chance to give the LA tour of the century!  How many beautiful things we did!  And how incredible to feel the brilliance of so many things I love surrounding me day after day.  

A really rough sketch is this: Yamashiro Farmer's Market on its last night, the music, Hollywood below, bargaining at the food stand for the last time of the season.  L'Oteria and my griddled cheese and being so happy at that counter and open kitchen sharing food.  Birds and my bartender who always lights up when he sees me.  Cafe 101 with its perfect jukebox. Tapas and Cube and Farfalla and so many delicious meals.  The Getty and its tram up the hillside and the grounds over the ocean and being in a place that means so much to me with someone I care so much about, the art and those buildings and always being captivated and silenced and moved near to tears and finding even more meaning this time.  

And so many surprises, so many unexpected detours and discoveries.  And more beauty, almost unbearable beauty, than I can express.  That was one of the unexpected things. That there is an unabridged version that is far too magical and sacred even for me to describe. 

It felt like I got to see and share the culmination of all of the years I've put into exploring and loving this city.  And there are so many places here that have nurtured me and fed me over the years.  It is a city you have to find.  That, I have learned.  But I've learned, too, that I've found it.  At least, I've found mine.  Maybe part of the reason the trip was so special was because I got to show someone the secrets this city has spoken to me the more I've loved it, and the city decided to whisper more in gratitude for that love.  And I was sharing it with someone who understood.

Amidst the varied magnificence of the week's outings, we took a few visits to Downtown.  I always love showing people Downtown LA.  That it exists, that you can take the subway there, that there is a subway.  And, more than that, it's my old turf, so I'm comfortable navigating it.  And I've got some favorite spots I love visiting.  Pete's on Main St., Grand Central Market, the Concert Hall, The Edison.  

It's always good to go back. Because that was a significant battleground for me on my journey to loving LA.  And this time, it struck me even more.

Walking down bustling Broadway, with its string of old theatre marquees and Latino peddlers, I got to thinking about when I lived there with my friend Brooke.  Moving Downtown was part of our confused attempt to be happy, the same attempt that involved going to Disneyland, which was a flop.  We were just grasping at various ideas, and, of course, none were the solution.  You don't find happiness outside of yourself.  I guess we didn't know that then. 

We were desperate to find something that would solve our lives.  And Downtown seemed like the promised land.  I don't know why.  We had no explanation, I bet, if you'd asked us.  But for some reason, Downtown had streets paved with gold and was the answer to all of our quarter-life worries and sorrows and fears and confusion.  We'd even sing, "Downtown, things'll be great when we're Downtown!"  Though, I think it was probably a bit forced and metaphorically off-key and ended with more of a question mark trying to be an exclamation point.  And it turned out that Downtown wasn't the answer.  

But I look back fondly on those months.  Both of us working from home, writing from our beautiful loft.  Sitting in the window looking down on the soup-kitchen truck while the local lady of the night walked up and down the block.  Ending up in Skid Row by accident and clinging to each other in panic.  Which was not how we'd dreamed it would be at all. 

I do know, though, that it was what it needed to be for us.  Which is why it's always good to go back to the old neighborhood.  Though it's all cleaned up and swanky now, I can offer it a certain thank you for being what it was.  And re-trace my own sad steps, walking on ground that knew me before.  

And I get to show it that, now, I am deeply happy, even though that's no longer the right word.  And it's not in the way we were looking for back then, either, but in the real way.  In the way that knows there is exquisite, indescribable meaning in the most unexpected experiences.  In the way that knows not to take life too seriously, but knows, too, in the same breath, to take it very seriously.  

And to love this.  Because this is it.