|LOS ANGELES CENTRAL LIBRARY|
Recently I made a real find. I was gazing out a third-floor window of the downtown Central library when I spotted a narrow, patio-like area sandwiched in between two towering buildings to the south. I could make out an alienating modern steel sculpture, a metal waste receptacle and, best of all, but a single person, staring into space in an abstracted posture I knew well. I flew downstairs, checked out my books, grabbed a grande drip and ran across to investigate. Heaven, heaven, I chanted to myself as I settled in on an aluminum bench, took a sip, and opened Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground.
(1644 (?)-1694), JAPANESE HAIKU POET
The next week, I drove up to the thousands of acres of urban wilderness known as Griffith Park and hiked to another of my hideouts. Hunkered beneath a patch of fennel, I opened a volume of Japanese haiku. “When in Kyoto…I long for Kyoto,” Bāsho had written. I put down my book, inhaled the smell of eucalyptus, and gazed off into the middle distance, thinking how I am always longing to be some place I’m not, for things to be different than the way I myself make them: to both live in a major city and enjoy the quiet of the country, to drink coffee and yet be calm, to be by myself and yet connect with other people.
|DANTE'S VIEW, GRIFFITH PARK|
PHOTO DAWN MEREDITH, VIA DONNABARSTOW.COM
|INTERIOR ST. BASIL'S|