Tonight it will be a week since I got home from LA, and I am only now just starting to feel remotely caught-up or in the swing of things. I had a wonderful trip, in more ways than I had anticipated, and yet by the end I was aching to come home. I didn’t do a whole lot of planning before I left and so it was important to just kind of go with the flow while I was there and do the next right thing in front of me. (Oddly enough, the next right thing frequently happened to be taking a nap, which was lovely!) I saw old friends and new friends, visited family and old haunts. I took long walks, read three books and even made the time to do some visual journaling:

I’ve always wanted to use my boarding pass/luggage tags somehow. I have piles and piles of them in my boxes of memorabilia, and yet I never get around to doing anything with them. I decided that it was now or never with these ones, and so I finally dove in.

I got to have dinner with the lovely Laurel of Rue’s Daftique and fellow charmer Kara, whom I had not yet met. I am so glad I put Laurel up to having us over, as we had a really nice time together, and I got to have one of those amazing, small world experiences which I love so much. Actually, I got to have two of these experiences in one day, as earlier I had gone to a meeting and sitting across the table from me was a woman I had gone to intensive, in-patient treatment with when I was a senior in high school 18 years ago! I could hardly believe my eyes, let alone the fact that we both recognized each other and remembered all sorts of obscure details from each other’s lives. That was pretty darn cool.

Something that surprised me about this trip was that I felt almost no emotional attachment to the city anymore. Driving past certain landmarks provoked nostalgia, but nothing like the feeling of home that I used to experience whenever I was back in LA. It had been something like 8 years since I was there last, and I’ve done a lot of home-making and root-sending here in Dallas in those years. It was great fun to walk around Kelli’s neighborhood, though, both into the city and up to Griffith Park (she lives in a great part of town). All sorts of memories came flooding back, especially memories of running around South Hollywood with my friend Michelle Galindo and a boy I knew from church, Patrick. It seems unthinkable to me now that I was allowed to run so free in the streets of inner-city Hollywood, but I am so grateful for that freedom we had and those memories. Truth be told, I was probably safer in South Hollywood than I was around our house in N. Hollywood. Seeing the LAPD helicopters shining their floodlights down into Eagle Rock as we drove home from the desert, I was reminded of so many nights when those familiar lights would shine into my barred bedroom window, the nights when I would turn onto our street only to find the entire block cordoned off with yellow tape. It scares the crap out of me to think that by the time I was 13, I was sneaking out of the house with my friends at night, walking down to the local elementary school and smoking cigarettes and drinking wine coolers (Bartles & James!) until dawn. Ah, the memories…

This page is for Kelli. Thank you for a lovely visit! I feel certain that our hearts are in the same unexpected and yet infinitely capable hands.


~ by jenzai on June 16, 2008.

5 Responses to “Californication”

  1. I’m so glad that you had a nice trip. It’s interesting to hear of you letting go of LA as home. I still romanticize SF and wonder what life would be like if I lived there (which I’m pretty sure includes the words awful and alienating). I’m still waiting for the release of nostalgia. I can’t believe you read three books and napped lots. That sort of answers the question of whether baby 3 was with you…I bet you were really missed. Oh no, now I’m having comment anxiety. And also sadness. I want you guys to come visit me and we can walk around and I’ll let you take naps while I load the kids up on dj…

  2. oh, oops, I meant I would load the kids up on DQ…

  3. I love your visual journaling about LA. I can relate to the concept of letting go of LA. I am still very attached but much less than when I first moved to Tucson. Tucson has seeped into my skin!

  4. i just discovered your blog via the unreliable narrator. i’m from l.a., and heading out there for a brief visit tomorrow — i LOVE your collages!!!


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