On Walking

There is something distinct in me that approves of walking. It feels as if the world is in its proper place and I could not imagine to be someone other than who I am if I am walking somewhere. It seems sometimes the only time I calm down or think things through. 

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In Los Angeles the jacaranda bloom in late spring and everything smells of either exhaust or jasmine depending on the neighborhood you walk in. But in the hills in Los Feliz tucked into the mammoth like stone houses where the thin roads wind in circles there is a different kind of Los Angeles. It’s the one I imagine you were in love with when you were in love with Los Angeles. And I think of you here. More than I think of anyone anywhere. 

You told me recently I was becoming exactly the woman you always imagined I might become. And I am not sure if you meant this as something good or not, but I thought I am becoming the only woman I know how to become. And I wish now I would have thought to tell you this in that moment. But the light changed and you were driving again and not looking at me. 

Tonight from our house we can see the city, perched high above it in a home that a Polish man built when he came to Los Angeles in 1890. And I am sure, the city has never looked as lovely to me as it does right now. You have to get away from something to see it properly. But, this is not something new I am learning. This I know too well. I came here to write for the week, because the woman I am becoming, this is precisely something she might do. 

From the house I take a staircase down the hill. It is built into the neighborhood, old and lovely and relatively unused, because no one walks here. People forget Los Angeles has so much history, if you just go looking for it. I am thinking a lot about what I want to have in this life. 

If you squint your eyes the entire thing looks like a Christmas tree. 

Sometimes I think everything wrong with me could be solved if I walked more. If I found secret staircases and dipped beneath the bougainvilleas, and made it home just after the sun went down. There is something happening to me right now, but I do not know what it is, because it is happening. I am in it. You only get to see it when you get out, perched up high on your hill. And if you squint, the whole thing will glitter.