Life, Observed

Something so delightful about living inside LA is the variety of stories people will share, after the slightest urging.

A long-ish bus ride through Hollywood had one woman telling me a joke she’d learned from her now-deceased husband. The same route on a different day belongs to another woman, just happy to be opening her produce stall at the Farmer’s Market.

Winding down Sepulveda with destination Getty, an excited, glowing woman in the seat behind me. I learn why as she gently hands me her just-printed proof copy of the book she’s written. Her infant. I cupped it in my hands and marvelled at her victory. My memory of the weight of her book inspired me. I wanted that moment for myself. Some time later, I’m unpacking my own first box of pristine Advance copies, with thoughts of her.

The DASH ride to the Observatory gifted two female Danish tourists, who wanted to know what the graceful tree with the purple flowers was called. Jacaranda, & they’re right. It is an otherwordly beauty.

Other times, one’s just out and about and the opportunity to play with someone presents itself. “Wanna go ahead of me?” I asked the guy behind me at the store. I looked at his cart, identical cases of bottled water, then at mine, stuffed with stocking-up shopping we’ve re-learned during Covid. He politely declined, but I could tell he was nice. “Are you sure?” I bugged him again, gesturing to my still-loaded cart. “I’m paying in pennies….” I was rewarded with a twinkle and a grin.

The lady in front of us turned in surprise.

My friend. -Remember, when we’d just casually talk to each other? That glorious LA romp with strangers.

These inconsequential moments aren’t incosequential after all. “This moment is the perfect teacher, and it’s always with us” is borrowed beauty I first read in Pema Chödrön’s book.

We live with orange blossoms perfuming the air, magnolia blooms and jacarandas. We can bring back our world.

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