Thursday, May 3, 2007
life through the looking glass
i'm sure all of this has been said before, by somebody else, in a more smart way. but i have a need to put it down for myself. LA is a hard town for a newcomer like me to get used to. it does not suck you into itself via public transportation like other big cities (new york and paris come to mind); LA holds you at arm’s length, in a state of constant sensory overload (and low-grade anxiety, if you happen to be driving on the freeway, which i try to avoid…i guess that immediately pegs me as an outsider).
everything here looks so different, so amazing, and there is no hierarchy regarding what things should look more interesting, more attractive...everything is interesting! but i see it all, literally and figuratively, through glass (of the car window, or my inability to understand other languages, or my lack of knowledge of geography, or my amazement at the extremes of wealth and poverty, or just my inability to process it all. there is too much to look at). it is all beautiful, yet untouchable and unapproachable. i can't yet figure out how to integrate my actual physical self into this situation.
and then, yes, there is the driving. i hate the freeway! maybe that’s because i have never before had to think about a freeway as a way to get around a town instead of a way to get from one town to another. you can get on the freeway and drive for miles and miles, then get off at your destination....you could live your whole life here and never know what goes on in the part of town between that beginning and ending. and that means you never learn how the different parts of the city connect and flow together. you never find out about the cute shops or cool coffee houses or dive bars in between. so a lot of times, i just take surface streets and try not to get too distracted by the looking.
art-making-wise, things aren't easy either. i feel like moving out here hit the reset button on my imagination, and like my work could change a lot (and for the better) if i could only find the right brush, pencil, or thing to look at. i find myself over-thinking and over-analyzing everything i start to do. it is hard to remember that i don't have to justify what i am doing to anyone, that i just have to be in it and love it and love making it. i am told that this post-grad-school fog will pass....maybe it will burn off, like this city's haze does, if i sit in the sun long enough.