I drove around my little home town this afternoon, listening to the fuzzy Mexican big-band station and to Keith Urban, in our old family van. This van, I realized today, loves me. Any other person would be, and should be, embarrased to be in that metal contraption, solid red, passenger door broken, ceiling falling down and the inside looking like a college boys room. It is in this van that I feel at home. This vehicle is linked to my high school years, the van that carted about my entire volleyball team, that Meghan had to hold the door closed of the night it broke, the van that I hated because it was entirely red and that I came to love for the same reason.
So I am home, sitting on the green couches my mother recently purchased off of Craigs List and watching the sunlight as it fluctuates. The colors in this room, the red wood of my grandmothers sugar chest, the Christmas decorations and our ancient oriental rug, roar as the sun comes from behind a cloud; my eyes feel as though they would explode. Another cloud comes and the colors desaturate, as if someone has their hand on the toggle of Photoshop and is goofing around at the expense of my retinas. This, above many other things, is what I love about this town. That Southern Californian sunlight often spoken about in relation to the painters this state produces. I, for one, believe it. How could an artist, or any person for that matter, not be influenced by such a show? I remember one day in Baja, MX when the light on one side of the valley was brilliant, heavenly and pouring down between the mountains and across the sea in golden, silken strands. The other side looked like the creepy eye from the Lord of the Rings; a fiery red splitting open blackened clouds like a wound, a blow torch. Our student filled vans, feeling very insignificant amongst such celestial happenings, crept along the road, caught between the two attitudes.
All of this thinking about and being physically present at home gets me thinking about "home." We all live within incredible proximity to one another, functioning daily within our little cubes...its rather humorous. Real estate, the buying and selling of things, of homes, of commodities. We have jobs so that we can support others jobs. We purchase things to gift give, yes, but to also further the jobs of others, to provide for an empty space on the shelf that can be filled once again and what? We have shifted the economic chart, the supply and demand. This all makes me sound rather depressing and I do not mean it to be, for I am not. Perhaps my writing a paper about the ebb and flow of the urban Los Angeles landscape has increased my sensitivity to the irony of it all. And perhaps by living in it, by admitting its humor and its unstoppable surge we can truly live in it without sounding and seeming so machine-like, vapid and, heaven forbid, postmodern.