Monday, February 08, 2010

On A Mountain

On Sunday, Allison and I hiked a trail in the Santa Monica mountains. We veered off and up a side path to climb a hill that gives views of the ocean -- a magnificent, dazzling show of sparks on dusty blue water through the thin, marine gauze -- and, to the left, the spiked rise of downtown. I hike/run this trail regularly, but I don't ever get to talk about Salinger on it. I might think about Salinger, but I don't usually get to discuss him or Pema Chodron or Almodóvar out in nature, in the same discussion. I often think my verbal skills are weak compared to my writing. I mispronounced Holden Caulfield's name -- ha! I think I said Cauldwell, and Allison graciously said nothing and kept the smooth beat of what we were talking about. Feh, It didn't really bother me either. It wasn't important. I used to die inside when I did stuff like that; I was so self conscious of the cracks in my self education. I've learned to appreciate more my ability to deeply contemplate things even when my spelling sucks or I misremember shit. My grammar has come along like you don't even know. When we were at dinner with a couple of Allison's friends from Nashville, I listened, mainly, to the stories told with a beautiful southern spin -- a world that is foreign to me. And I tried to think if I even knew shit about shit. The next morning, I told my friend Page this and she said, "You know a lot of shit about a lot of shit." And I said, "I know. I just couldn't remember any of it then." Note to self: Hang out with adults more often. Wow. The rust really does build if you don't. But man, Allison's friends were charming and interestingly fun, even if one friend was laying on the charm with a thick spread (haha). I just really enjoyed being there.

I wanted to show her all the little pockets; show her the rough jewels of LA, at least from my perspective. We didn't have time to see much at all, but in that, I got all sparked up about LA myself, again. Parts are so interesting and beautiful in the most quirky ways. This whole entire, contrasting city, the highs and lows and hype and struggle, the grime and beauty -- I just feel similarly. Maybe not similarly; maybe I feel exactly this way. My connection to all of that got unearthed, again, this weekend. When I get in my parenting groove and work groove and when everything else seems impossible, my connection to what's really interesting downshifts to dormant. Man, keeping all the fires stoked - or balls in the air or whatever the fuck -- all the time is maddening, exhausting. But creatively I felt inspired this weekend. I felt deep satisfaction adding the third dimension to my friendship with Allison. She is every bit as beautiful and interesting in person. Our connection was fast and tight, easy and real. In a virtual reality, in a thoughtful fantasy, I hoped it would turn out the way it did. I don't think we're always prepared for the emotional impact when things turn out the way we want. I'm using it as inspiration though.

On the mountain, above LA, on the creamy, dirt peak lined in chaparral, Allison shared the Pema Chodron philosophy that failure and progress are the balance of practice. That the failure or the falling off of practice strengthens the muscle of it; makes it stronger, better. Holy shit, that pretty much catapulted me into thought for a good long time. I’m still intensely thinking about it. I was so thankful to be reminded of the sentiment in a way that resonated new to me.

All the experiences of the weekend made me realize that what we believe our blog circle to be, is. The deep connection to like-minded sisters who are diverse and interesting and have big love is real. It is as real as anything else.


jagosaurus said...



I welled up reading this. <3

Lauren said...

Double dog jealous. But glad it ended up being all you had hoped it would be!

Maven said...

Love love lovity love McFucking LOVE.

Marigoldie said...

Gosh, I never could've written it this well.

It is so weird to think of you with any insecurities when you so clearly rule the world. I have all the same ones, and different ones, and I also found it easy to be feh about it.

Your LA and your life are so amazing to me.

It all really did feel heavy and deep. That feels good at the time and then makes it hard to go.

Michael said...

That is SO cool. I must admit I have a secret fantasy that I would get to hang out with you, Marigoldie, Maven, and Melinda and it would be totally awesome. I'm not a blogger but I get a pass 'cos my husband is and my name starts with 'M'. You guys all inspire me. Thank you.

Melinda said...

Oh Good Lord. How am I supposed to stand here and cook my dinner now when all I want to do is weep over the awesomeness of my blog friends?

I'm stealing "McFucking LOVE," btw.

lagata said...

Every time I read one of your posts I just say "Damn"... I can only dream of writing as eloquently as you. I am in the same club as Marigoldie in that I find it so hard to imagine you being insecure because I think you are such a strong, amazing woman - and yet from your truths - I know that you are, I am glad that you can be feh about them now. It makes me strive that much harder to be the same :)

Thank you.