24 December 2010

17 December 2010

A Room with a View- Los Angeles-Part I

Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, November 2010

This was my first trip to Los Angeles. What struck me immediately as I was driven from LAX was the city's sheer size and number of different neighborhoods.

 Major office complexes mixed in with three story buildings as far as the eye could see--old mixed with new with palm trees lining the streets.

The reason for my visit was a business conference so I spent most of my time here---
Evidently quite the happening place, built by Conrad Hilton and later sold to Merv Griffin, the Beverly Hilton is located on almost 9 acres at the intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards and is the home of the Golden Globes. Lots of red carpet events are held here. I spent three days and while I was hoping that Antonio Banderas might show up as I was ordering my Starbucks non-fat latte at the lobby bar or a glass of merlot at the Trader Vic's bar poolside, the closest I got to Hollywood was seeing Florence Henderson aka Mrs. Brady at a charity event the night before I left. Walking about in Beverly Hills is unheard of--we drove each night to a restaurant that seemed just blocks away. From what I gather star sightings are most prevalent along Rodeo Drive.

I preferred to gaze at my surroundings and take in the vistas that are foreign to northeastern folk...
There is a light here not unlike the morning light one sees at sunrise in the east except it occurs in the evening and goes on forever, filling the sky with a gold color like nothing I have ever seen.

I know how long it lasts because on my last night, the lights went out in the hotel for about 2 hours and I was stranded on my balcony hoping the battery in my cellphone would hold up in the event I needed to call for assistance. The day before there had been a slight earthquake in Long Beach and just a couple weeks after I left, Ronni Chasen was shot as she was driving home from a premiere just blocks from my hotel.

So much for paradise. Los Angeles is complicated. Seductive yet treacherous, where the famous and the faceless co-exist in a vast area that is in places extremely beautiful and in others, devoid of humanity. It is the 2nd most populated city in the US, New York being number 1.  

As I watched the sun set and the traffic weave its way past me below my balcony, I tried to feel and hear the pulse of the city, much different from Manhattan, and find a connection to this city, Los Angeles.

12 December 2010

Magpie Tales-Flying Lessons

red golashes
race up the hill
footprints
in the fresh snow
frosty breaths
hang in the air
like runners on a sled 
suspended on the edge
of the world
holding on
then
letting go
flying
without fear
rushing headlong
into the arms
of life

C.M. Jackson 2010

This is a Magpie Tale----fly here for more!

06 December 2010

The Art of Story

It was a dark and stormy night and all the Indians were gathered around the campfire. The Chief stood up and said, "Neewah, tell us a story." And this is the story that Neewah told, "It was a dark and stormy night and all the Indians were gathered around the campfire. The Chief stood up and said..."

And so it goes. That was a story Mr. Jackson's Dad told him, his sisters and their friends as they sat in their dark backyard wide eyed waiting for the next move Neewah would make...the older kids knowing the punchline watching for the younger kids' reaction. The elder Jackson setting the mood and telling the story to deliver the delight that resulted. Laughter and the joy of sharing is one of the components for a good story.

I love stories. I remember the first time I was able to string together a plot more complex than "See Jane run after Spot." I was hooked and wouldn't put the book down until the last page was turned. My breath exhaling as I finally knew the end, how it all worked out and my mind whirling at the possibilities.

Despite having a bit of the Irish in me, I never could tell a story without first writing it and even then, it's best if the reader or someone else takes over in the telling. No matter how hard I've tried, the telling, the punchline always gets lost because in the telling I am experiencing simultaneously the story and the possibilities of what might be. I laugh, cry and get angry all the while wondering where it is all going. 

So for me, the telling must be done by filling the blank page and giving my voice to the characters in the story and ultimately, the reader.

And so it goes...it was a dark and stormy night....

05 December 2010

Magpie Tales-Morning's Symphony

The sun waits center stage
As the moon sings a final aria
Silver notes
On a freshly fallen snow
Clouds float westward
Swaying like a gospel choir
Evergreens hum softly
Maple and oak branches
Drum beats in the cold air
A doe lifts her head
As the sun sings
Gold notes
A crescendo of life
Soaring ever higher
Mixing with silver
On a freshly fallen snow

C.M. Jackson 2010


For more thoughts of snow and winter wonder---visit Magpie Tales!

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