This weekend there was an incredible sunset with clear skies and a gentle breeze that turned into a flag waving, teeth-chattering reminder that it was still February as soon as the last of the sun's rays had disappeared. I wrote the following on the way back into town:
I live in Hollywood, California, USA.
The land of a million dreams. A place built on illusion and fantasy...
Daily there are the throngs of tourists from around the globe (and who knows? Perhaps the galaxy--we've been beaming those radio waves into space for more than 80 years now) shuffling bewildered from one "attraction" to another. We are entertained by sidewalk musicians who have dreams of hitting it big one day. We are hit up for change by those who lost the faith in the dream, or came here because they saw a place on the television one night where the wind won't chill you to the bone or life will be sparkling instead of bleak.
Some of those who come here feel bitter; they'd been tricked, sold a false bill of goods. But any con man will tell you that you can't cheat somebody who doesn't want to believe in the illusion.
There are plenty of folks here who persist in that belief, when all evidence points to the contrary. Sad to say, but there are even those among us who conspire on purpose to prop us the illusion at all cost, even when it would be better for them and everyone else if they'd just let it fall.
It seems to defy all sense of reason at times for anyone to populate an arid stretch of coast fraught with faultlines prone to periodic upheaval.
Still, they persist in coming here: the dreamers, those with a hunger they presume this place will satiate. Why would they with a parched throat flock to a desert?
Even if the natural landscape has been obscured and reshaped by human hands, filled with non-indigenous plant life from the world over irrigated by water brought a staggering distance, that unique quality of place persists in revealing itself. Some come as pilgrims to see and touch and return home, others to begin life anew here, to reinvent themselves as has the land itself.
There has been no shortage of critics who have felt compelled to rip into their interpretation of what they perceive to be false and fake and full of folly. Sadly, they may be the only ones it could be said are unable to see.
Perhaps it takes a seemingly barren scene for us to view the oasis as it truly is-- not ought to be or could be made over as, but could exist in its own right.
*Click on this header for the Hermosa Beach webcam and a view of one of our better beaches in LA. Great site for seeing LA sunsets over the Pacific...