So here’s the thing. I badger the occasional slackin’ blogger to post to this site, and I myself have been slacking lately. There’s no one to badger me, but I had to out myself.
I spent pretty much the last three weeks out of LA–first in Death Valley, CA and then in the Seattle area. Two vastly different places with a lot in common: the ubiquity of the natural world; an inexhaustible supply of delicate details of flora and fauna and land around me; clean skies stocked with epic cloud formations; and neither of them are LA.
I grew up here, and have loved this city’s vagaries, inconsistencies and chaos since before I can remember. But I have to say, after a couple weeks back in LA, I miss the immediacy of the natural world I got in both Death Valley and Seattle. I feel a little lost. When I was in the vast empty spaces of the desert or cocooned in green in the Pacific Northwest, I felt like I’d found my right size in the world around me. Here in LA, I lose my bearings, get distracted, get dissatisfied with my insignificance or arrogant in my importance.
It seemed apropos that the jacarandas would have exploded into bloom while I was away & welcomed me back with a flurry of irrepressible violet. They’ve always marked melancholic episodes in my life: the boy with the floppy hair and southern drawl who never loved me back; the inescapable job that I only wanted to flee; the years I spent living off vodka and pop-tarts. The jacarandas remind me of things I’ve lost, as if their impossible beauty stands in marked contrast to the various & sundry travails I’ve been experiencing. They don’t care if I’m down. And I don’t feel like LA does either. People complain to me often about how heartless LA is, and I defend its microcommunities and diversity and hidden gems earnestly, but sometimes I feel like I’m tired of a city that’s too vast to be personal, too ephemeral to be substantive. It seems to happen more and more lately.
I guess one of the things about chronicling a town as weird as LA is remembering to include the gray areas, the more liminal aspects of the city, and not just stick to relentless boosterism. Hence this post. I’m worried I’m falling out of love with LA.