Birds singing at night

The Los Angeles of dreams is gone. Too many lives imposing themselves on a soil that is, after all, limited. With mountains to the east and an ocean to the west LA has natural boundaries, as do most of our lives. But we can’t reign in our wishes, no matter how often we’re told, “Be careful what you wish for.”

Los Angeles is not all of California but it is a vital part of it. Gritty though LA may be, one doesn’t like the thought of being without it. What would California be without Los Angeles? Still beautiful – perhaps more beautiful – but with no haven for all that is lusty and wild and cruel and hard and needy and persistent within us. For that within us which craves density in population while retaining a relative independence of the soul.

There is a certain freedom in being utterly alone while surrounded by one’s fellow creatures. It is perhaps the most endurable of isolated states – for we are surrounded by humanity while not obliged to participate except as we choose, or as our daily lives and work oblige us to participate.

How, then, do we make our way in the Los Angeles of reality? How do we work and love and have our being in a land that is no longer a dreamscape but only the memory of a dream that man has had for as long as he has dreamed – for beauty and perfection, sunshine and warmth, bountiful harvest and perpetual blossoming?

Like the mockingbird longing for his mate, we sing our hearts out, night after night, when the day sounds are softened and recede. Trying out songs and sounds with tireless tenacity. Building our repertoire of calls. So perhaps we can be heard at last.

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