Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Discovering self and Downtown LA
I have waited a long time to do this. A very long time.
I started blogging on September 25,2007, the day I moved into the Marshall House. It took se veral attempts to complete a blog as the computer kept going on the blink. I had to get used to its personality. I blogged on the computer many times. Many times it took more than a few attempts to complete the blog. I could not upload pictures, I could only do text. Many times I would run over to the Transition House to upload a photo and finish with the text at the Marshall House orthe library.
My daily attempts to post my blog where like running an obstacle course, only I never knew from one day to the next if the obstacles were moved like they move the hole every day of a golf tournament. Don't get to comfortable with the environment you are playing in today because it will change tomorrow. If not then, then the day after that.
I wondered what it would feel like to blog in the middle of the night when I could hear my heart beat and nothing would distract me;No person arguing with another at the Central Library for the use of a computer; no rap music blasting from another terminal as the listener not only wanted to hear the music but the attention that he never received from whatever source that he deemed should have given it; no time deadline that would cut short the flow of creativity.
Editing my blog, are you kidding? I was happy just to get it posted. Many times I did not complete the title before the time deadlines at the library and it vanished in front of my eyes. Even if another computer was available, I had used the time alloted for each cardholder. I could not use it again to operate another computer until the next day.
Over the last few months, it became a contest. Determined to not let the time remaining impact greatly the detail of my writing, I focused harder to maintain the flow that at times was created.
I am not a writer of accomplishment but there are times when I felt that there was a certain fluidity that was coming effortessly. Those were precious times and times that needed to be absorbed for future duplication.
I walked marathon miles to do my blogs, at times feeling that I was not penetrating the surface of expression because I could not penetrate the depths of my soul and bring to the surface a well spring of descriptive presentation.
Due to changes in my circumstances, I am able to write at home. It has created many efficiencies and I am not yet accustomed to them though I shall work diligently to that end.
I have been so much on the go that I have not had the time to read other blogs. For the last few months I have kept my head down and just plunged away, trying to get to certain places, certain plateaus. Having accomplished a few things, I have a chance to learn how to manage my new situation.
It was great to see other blogs and hear the voices of people that I have met over the last few months, people that encouraged me to keep writing. It was also nice to see new names and read what their voices had to say.
In short, I felt a part of a community and as I said in the previous posting, feeling a part of something is a healthy and anchoring thing. I felt that warm feeling tonight and I could not rush home fast enough to capture the feeling.
I rode my bike down the street in a leisurely mode passing people who nodded to me along the way. I talked to the building manager outside of my building like a neighbor would talk to another in a small country town-not what you would expect on a Skid Row street.
I ran up the stairs with my bicycle, put down my bag,grabbed my camera and made my way to the roof where I took these shots.
I came back downstairs, uploaded the pictures and my fingers starting walking across the keys in a monologue to the people of downtown. Yes, to the people of Downtown Los Angeles. It is what I felt tonight- the community in its diversity and complexity. A beautiful tapestry of people, indeed.
I imagined myself sitting in a huge loft with a view of the city skyline and writing about them, telling stories about people, interesting people that live and work in the core of the city. I imagined being on the radio with a microphone, talking to people and wondering who, in the glitter of lights, would be listening to me as I spoke with love of my native city.
It is a nice feeling to feel what I feel now. The lights are off. I only hear the whir of the fan as it keeps me cool. People are on the streets walking to the bars. People are walking to their apartments after a night of gaity. Some are standing on street corners with nothing to do but alot that needs to be accomplished before they can rest their heads for the night. Each intersection of downtown is like a sibling with a different personality. Sometimes they get along wonderfully and sometimes they fight like worst enemies.
But we are family and I feel that tonight. This is where my journey has taken me.
I am peaceful tonight. It has come from a great deal of work and a great deal of help from other people. I am humbled by their many expressions of confidence in me, their trust in me.
It encourages me to trust myself and my future. Those words do not sound like they are coming from the same man who started talking to the world a few months ago.
But it is. The same man who is different and feels so different and sees things in different ways. There is much to discover in oneself I have learned. There is much to discover in downtown LA. It is a community that shines bright in its beautiful darkness at night like an outpost in unexplored land. There is much to discover and no doubt I will discover more each day. I worked hard to do so.
This is Scribeskidrow saying good night downtown Los Angeles. I love you.