Flickers Glinting through the L.A. Brume

I was “completely love struck.”

As my eyes briefly flutter over the prose that was written by a most smitten soul in A Rare Soul Indeed, a slight chuckle escapes from my lips.

Oh, Laurita. What a romantic you are!

And proudly so. This fairytale romance has come to an end. Much quicker than I had hoped. Yet the fruit of it was sweet, but for an ever so slightly bitter bite to its aftertaste. As always, I have learned and I have grown… and I am grateful for yet another magical experience.

Here I am in L.A: the city of illusion, the slum of smoke and mirrors. Three months with him. Three months without him.

Admittedly, I still haven’t recovered from the “culture shock.” Everyday the waves of nostalgia for foreign lands wash over my heart. I long to leave this “labyrinth of madness” and return to the journey. But, a small voice inside me insists not yet.

Why not? my heart forlornly whispers back. The answer remains hidden in the smoggy haze that envelopes this city. Not many understand my silent mourning as I search for the straggling gems in a land stripped of its natural beauty. Stripped for a manufactured glamour that, in reality, hardly even exists.

I, the hopeless romantic and the eternally smitten, feel less than charmed by this famed Hollywood seductress.

Yet, something unknown is keeping me here. And, just now, thanks to TweetDeck… a hint flashes in the bottom left corner of my screen:

Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. ~Proverb (@AinBelton)

And again, with an ever so slight smile, I admit that I do spy soft flickers of light, glinting through the brume that permeates the city of angles…

Evening soirees. Waterslide waterfalls. Mystic lairs of enchantment. Eclectic expression. Scraps of nature stolidly resisting concrete vanity.

Below the kindling I’ve begun gathering for the great bonfire:

Girls Night In Art Experience

Flying from LA to Camarillo

6 Replies to “Flickers Glinting through the L.A. Brume”

  1. Lovely writing, Laura. I can relate, because I also find myself in a place where natural beauty is all but gone, and I have to look harder to find its little glimmers. But that almost makes it all the more special when it reveals itself. I also wonder why I’m lingering here rather than continuing on, but you’re right, that little voice tells me I’m where I should be at this point in time. May you hear with perfect clarity that little voice, and find purpose in each place you happen to be.

  2. Ah, the mystique of life. No hint whatsoever when you were
    taking me through Salsa steps that evening at the pre-New Years potluck that your life was in such flux — what the Greeks call Anagnorisis. I did know you were a romantic — that was apparent immediately. You mentioned being a bit of a chronicler, but I had the impression that it was strictly in the aperture trade — I didn’t know you dealt in the word sphere as well. Cool to
    see you’re multifaceted.

    Reading “Flickers Glinting through the L.A. Brume”, I would only caution a couple of notes regarding the whole ‘LA scene’, especially the ‘city of illusion’ and ‘manufactured glamour’.

    As someone who works in the Hollywood scribe trade, I can relate to this perspective, dealing with it daily, however it’s facial at best. What you should know is that LA has been overexposed — from high art to dumpster demi-monde — by ‘transplants’ who’ve
    glutted the media with these interpretations. It’s as if
    Hollywood broadcast a ‘version’ of outsiders by outsiders to
    the world that everyone’s bought into the big myth. This
    cultural amnesia started around 1910 when the studios came;
    before then, collectively, no one seems to know anything
    about the place. LA doesn’t, well…exist.

    But in fact, there was an authentic culture here, a Latino one, that people like Truman Capote keenly observed, only to have it lost in the footnotes. Having perused some of your other posts, with your travels to Latin America, I think that would be of interest to you.

    The truth is that LA is a fractal city, a global organism, that embodies and recalls the opening lines of William Blake’s ‘Auguries of Innocence’:

    To see a world in a grain of sand
    And a heaven in a wild flower
    Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
    And eternity in an hour

    Nearly every country in the world is here, if not in LA County, then in So Cal proper. El Salvador, Brazil, Argentina, Nigeria, Guatemala, Korea, China, Japan, Chechnya, Turkey, the Philippines — I can think of a neighborhood where these cultures are thriving, living, breathing, within invisible borders.

    Just some stuff to keep in mind as you continue your LA forays, how brief they may turn out to be.

    Oh one more thing; call it my Vertigo-inspired conundrum of the afternoon: is Laura Rico a pseudonym for Laura McNamara or is Laura McNamara a pseudonym for Laura Rico?

  3. Your insight is spot on and valuable. What I’m feeling is the ‘illusion’ and ‘manufactured glamour’ are being thrown in my face… as you say. But also as you point out, I’m confident there is more. I am most determined to discover the ‘more.’ It’s heartening to know people like you care so much for this city and what it does offer. I’ve been very blessed in meeting others who feel the same. It is for them that I am given opportunities to dig past the outsider interpretations.

    It’s not very often that I feel this way. Each day my feelings surprise me. Despite the weaknesses of any place, I have a habit of falling in love with everywhere I end up. I’m trying to observe my feelings and transform them. That quote from my blog couldn’t have manifested itself at a better time:

    “Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” ~Proverb

    Beautiful excerpt from Blake, btw. I spy the truth in his words everywhere I look here, given… if I truly look.

    Part of all my feelings probably stem from the habit of humankind to view our roots and our deepest connections/relations most critically, since we want but the best of the best for them…

    I love the cornucopia of culture here. As always though, when I stumble upon transplanted culture in the U.S. it makes me long to visit the corner of the world where it came from. The Americanized “happy meal” version we have here doesn’t satisfy my hunger…

    Finally, good question. Can’t say I’m too sure of the answer myself. (wink wink)

    Btw, thank you so much for your feedback. It truly is much appreciated.

  4. Thank you for your compassion and support Janna. Your words offer me comfort. Enjoy your blog… you have a unique eye for the world. Keep sharing!!

  5. That’s interesting — the Americanized “happy meal” version.
    No doubt both are here in LA, sometimes side-by-side or interchangeable. It takes time to sort it out.

    Though when you’re abroad, don’t you often find that said ‘happy meal’ version has somehow wormed its way into their culture? Or that they have their own distilled version that’s readily produced and peddled to tourists at a premium? A cottage industry you might say. Tokyo with the manga paraphernalia, Giza with the pyramids, the La Boca neighborhood in Argentina with the tango and the painted houses? It’s perfectly imaginable that one could be a about the globe and see nothing at all. So like the proverb you selected, and the Blake quote, perhaps its’ all about having new eyes, open eyes to discover a dearth of hidden things. I should tell you the M.C. Escher story sometime.

    But maybe I’m just busting your chops, Rico —

    I like that…sounds like a 30s gangster flick — which it would be —

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