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Slouching Towards Los Angeles to be Born: A Lost Angel’s Journey to Finding the Others

Written by Kimberly May, a guest contributor.

The smog has returned to Los Angeles. We receive a brief reprieve now and then, especially when the Santa Ana winds are at play. It is not hyperbole when they say the Santa Anas brings magic. But it is the recent rains that make the Burbank mountains look like another world, brushed with dew, full of life for a change, and I feel a tug ton my heart that is as ancient as the earth itself. The afternoon sunlight cuts sideways through the smog above the Los Angeles River. For a brief moment, I imagine it is the misty highlands of my heart's home - where the veil between us and what we used to know is not so thick - and not the murky waters of the Los Angeles basin that I find myself still. The daylight smog shields the land from vision now, just as the nighttime light pollution blocks the stars, and so the only place left for me to escape is inward.

I've never lived anywhere outside of Los Angles, but my heart remembers a place and time where things weren't so complicated and painful. Los Angeles: the city of Angels, they say. Frankly, I've been looking for them my whole life. And it is my quest to find them here amidst the smog, superficiality, ego, false enlightenment, and illusion. I know this. It is the mission. And I have taken many blows in the process. I am weary. I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed. So how should I presume?

It is strange to grow up in a town as isolating and lonely as this one. Especially when you are one of its lost angels. I am a lost angel, living in The City of Angels, looking for the others. Sometimes I think I find them. Sometimes I recognize them, but they do not recognize me. Sometimes there are brief moments where our hearts connect. There is a clarity in their eyes, an ease and eloquence to our speech, and a unification of purpose. We have remembered. We have found each other like we said we would. But the glamour and the illusion of this city is as thick as its smog, and inevitably I see my friends slip backwards into the mists. The allure of cheap beauty, the kind that can be bought, filtered, faked, and painted, reigns supreme, and there are many times when I feel the gyre widening and can no longer hear the falconer. I live in a pantheon of Greek gods and goddesses. After all, this is where the beautiful ones fall. But I have a different perception of beauty than most. And those greek gods and goddesses? Well, most of the time, it's nothing more than a Hollywood light show.