Friday, 18 September 2009

Venice Beach

Venice Beach
Venice Beach reminds me a little of the scene from the film Apocalypse Now were Martin Sheen makes it to the top of the river and finds all the solders that have just dropped out of the war. Here it seems like all sorts of people who have dropped out of life alongside the beautiful people of course. I want to throw something into the sea as a marker of the furthest point of my journey but not sure what, I seem to need everything I have. Advice, always on a journey pack something to throw into the sea as a symbolic action of leaving something of you self behind and moving on. (Not the laptop). A middle age man passes me on a child’s bike holding a sign saying ‘for sale for weed’. As I walk I take a photo of another somebody but now a nobody on a bench wrapped in a sleeping bag and it must be a 100 degrees something today . Out the corner of my eye I notice an orange dress pushing a bike there are so many bikes here. I kneel, take the shot and move on. The nobody is completely unaware of my presence; I know nothing of its story under the sleeping bag I know not if it’s male or female. Who is this forgotten nobody, someone’s child? Did they make it through school, fail a marriage, loos its job? Does this nobody under the sleeping bag have children? What drives someone to say I am giving up this air conditioned car dollar centred life for a sleeping bag in Santa Monica?
The orange dress begins to tell me off. Is this how Californian women pick up handsome Englishmen? She discovers I am English and she we walk and talk for a while. The orange dress is a writer actor and yoga teacher, me just a priest with no work to do but listen. She is highly vexed why so many people who are not cared for here in this dreamland of Los Angeles. For me here I have seen more people with their heads in the street bins or pushing a shopping trolley that carries all their life. Or perhaps the numbers are not that different maybe the difference is that it is here. The place of dreams. Many years ago I went to India for a short time I have no wisdom on the place but both Mumbi (Bombay as knew it) and LA feel very similar to me. Both are places of dreams in both places you can be somebody or nobody.
Sorry to end on a downer

4 comments:

  1. Hi Nigel I sugest you buy a bottle of pop drink it then put a message & address throw it in the sea & wait and see what happens.It sounds a very sad place,but is it because that is what you are doing just looking,if you were at home you would not have time to just look,you would sadly be to busy.We dont always see what is under our nose.
    Lot of Love Mom

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  2. Many people go to LA to see celebs and sun and bikini clad roller skating beauties. although i am sure that is what you've gone to see as well, you have also seen what others miss while they drive by in their mustang rentals, looking at where the rich and famous lived and lives. keep looking for the invisible and you'll see them.

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  3. It made me think , we are all a nobody, to somebody, somewhere.........Just a thought Love Gail

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  4. That is a powerful connection between Venice Beach/CA and Apocolypse Now. I could feel what you were trying to say there.

    By the way, Ian is reading Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and did not know the movie Apocolypse Now was based on it. The English teacher in me was outraged, but perhaps the point is not who has read what but who has thought about the ideas the book is trying to convey. You thought of them just looking out on Venice Beach. And my thought was, we all need God's love; God doesn't care if we are wrapped up in a sleeping bag on a beach or living the high life. I think He cares if we see each other and extend compassion to one another.

    We miss you, by the way.

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