I think perhaps Los Angeles has been my most significant relationship.
Wait, says my Dear Reader. You take months to write and THAT'S your opening line?
Yes, say Sable Crow. Hear me out.
So I was thinking today. (Picture it: top down in the car, headed west into a sunset on Sunset Boulevard, headed to a random party. Mercury is retrograde, and if I've learned anything from Mercury retrogrades, it's to go with the chaos--accept random invitations to house-parties held by record producers where their artists will sing a-cappella in a cavernous mansion. Go with it; let the world unfold.)
I've been in this city for 15 years. When I was young(er?), I used to have such a sense of possibility in this city. I looked at the hills above me and wondered what they contained. I imagined the different parts of the city, the apartments I would live in, the people I would meet, the things I would see and be asked to see. My imagination came to life in this city, filling its streets and alleys with possible futures and wonders and terrors. The city was magnificent in those days.
But as time has gone on, the possibilities I once saw have narrowed. Fantasy has been replaced with reality. And I wouldn't trade it for the world! I love the reality I've found, and the reality of this great city has woven itself into my heart. We are one.
And so I think this experience is analagous to falling in love: that in the beginning we fall in love with the potential--with the way our love object reflects our own desires back at us in pleasing form. But as time wears on--if we're lucky--we learn to love the reality behind that projection. Be it city or lover, we see beyond our fantasy, and we learn to love.
At the party I mentioned, I said this to a handsome photographer I met (his equally handsome boyfriend stood nearby). He loved it.
"You should write it," he said. "Do you have a blog?"
My Dear Readers will know...they always say that. "I did once," I replied with a smile. Busted! "It's been a while since I wrote anything."
"Well then, that's your next entry."
Later, I was standing with an angel in a long white dress and gold sandals, and the singer/songwriter who performed. His voice was ferociously good, and soulful. He sang about Los Angeles.
We were talking about cities with souls. We were talking about New York.
"New York," said the beautiful angel, "now that's a city with soul." The three of us stood huddled around a metal table, they smoking and I talking.
"What if," I asked, "What if that's the key to loving LA? That New York is a city with a soul and Los Angeles is a city always looking for its soul?"
"I love that!" exclaimed the angel. "Soul-searching is the soul of LA. It's perfect."
And so I think, more and more, that my most significant love has been LA. That it has taught me the most about loving authentically: without judgement; celebrating the good while working on the bad; seeing beyond the projections and fantasies. I may not be so good at that with guys, but I'm very good at it with my great city. My great Los Angeles. My home.
This morning, I was awakened from my sleep when all of the people in my dreams stopped what they were doing and began to sing. I was talking to my lover in the dream at that moment. He was making eye contact and I remember he had brown eyes in the dream. His face surprised me, but I knew in that dream-way that I loved him, and that he loved me back. And when everyone stopped suddenly, imagine my surprise when they began singing, in a great and loud chorus. It was a very strange way to wake: Have you ever, Dear Reader, been awakened because the singing in your dreams was so loud?
What did they sing? Well, I wouldn't let you miss it.