We are sitting by the pool at the Sunset Marquis in West Hollywood. Nat brought cupcakes for Owen’s b’day. Brunch in the sun. There are a few people around the pool. Dipping their toes, walking around in towels. It’s a warm but not hot end of June. Just arrived a week ago. Three people walk out of their suites poolside. Two rockers and the girlfriend of one of them. She’s wearing a white lace over-shirt with a bikini under, sunglasses and blond hair. Everyone stares - at least everyone I’m with. Everyone wants to spot a celebrity. Well, if they are, I don’t know them. The staring is very concentrated. She is with a guy with long brown hair and a very old, worn face. Old from too much rockin’ and boozin’, I would guess. It doesn’t look like age - graceful or otherwise. Another guy, rocker, looks the same. Again the long stringy brown hair, old looking. Both of them skinny and long. Tight jeans and t-shirts. He says, “hey, girl good to see you.” He’s British - I guess that makes sense. And so is her boyfriend. She’s not. She says hello and continues with whatever she was saying. I can’t make it out, besides, I’m here with my friends. People who are near and dear to me and I’m doing a kind of card/reading thing with them because everyone’s going through some kind of transition right now. My friend shuffles the cards and picks three. I glance toward the pool. Between the rockers and the tanned and perfect hair, I see the people at the pool in various states of dress. I say “I’m glad to see that there are some white people around the pool.” I get a stunned look and a gasp from my friend. “What!?” I say. “What did I say?” “Oh no!” I say, “I mean un-tanned people - you know… whiter than me.” - because I live most of my life in the cold north. We laugh because there’s that uncomfortable strange feeling you get when you think you might have offended someone. Political correctness - what a strange idea. It’s funny how blindingly white people look in the blazing sun.
Sitting in the pool in January was one of the best times I had during my month or so in LA this year. I gave myself the opportunity to linger in a city I love after having been the owner and director of a yoga studio in suburban ontario - a small annex to the big TO for over 5 years. Worked 7 days a week, by myself - because I have a relentlessly high standard for teachers. I know - I can be my own worst enemy. But I digress. I live a life that is full of heart and spirit - a good balance of sincere practice and good fun. I like to balance my life through an expression of everything that appeals to me and compels me to live it, breathe it, eat it…I am a very down-to-earth, rebellious, material, spirit girl. I don’t follow the rule that a yogini has to live without the aspects of life that make us all human and the expression of that.
One of my other favorite activities during my stay in LA is of course, shopping, and sitting in the sun - but not for too long! After more or less a lifetime of living in the cold north, I always dreamed of being able to live in LA. Not only because of the sun but because of the people. Yes - I said it - people. They are the most bright and cheerful people on the planet. But you’re talking about Hollywood, you say to me. Where the people are shallow, aren’t they. Where there’s no culture, you say. Where all they care about is who they know, right, oh and…being discovered - you say. Well, I tell you, my experience of the whole world is that. Shallow is everywhere. You can bump into shallow by walking out the door, by turning on the tv, by listening to some of the people you know, right? It is of course, my preference that I am here. I prefer the Pacific to the Atlantic. I prefer the LA cottages to Victorian homes. I prefer the smiles and dismissive uh-huhs of LA to the growls and groans of NYC. That’s just me. And although I am an urban girl, I prefer the built landscape that has a little bit of breath than the intense congestion of the east coast/central areas of Canada and the USA. LA has great art too. It’s all around. Art, people, sun, ocean. This is the place for me.