July 19, 2009
Saddleback Church (Rick Warren):
Tom Holladay is preaching this morning, about prayer. It is confirmation that I’m praying as I should for the people and circumstances in my life. An awakening, in a sense, that the devil wants me to quit. But I will not. I will continue.
We drive into L.A. Smog, a collage of stars, people trying to make a living dressed as well-known characters, map and tour-salesmen (“come see where the celebrities live”). We walk the “Walk of Fame” and breathe in the thick air. Some of the lives seem so sad, people’s names on stars that we walk all over. Still, it is cool. I mail my “picture postcards from L.A.” like in the song, my song. J There is a movie premiere for G-Force. I half-wish I had been here for the Public Enemies premier. On the other side of the street, Grumman’s Theatre is showing Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. It is far too crowded to even think about trying to get in to see it. We drink a smoothie at Ce Fiore and mention Joe Nance, an acquaintance from home who moved out here to be an actor. We take pictures of buildings and billboards. We search for Audrey’s star until our legs are wobbly. We drive through Beverly Hills and muse about the people living here. I want to come back to L.A. at night!
We get turned around on our way home, trying to get back to San Diego—but I am sure there is a reason—as with everything else.
Truly I am an observer. The people I saw today intrigued me—their culture spread on the streets of this city; their living earned on this civilizations need to belong and still be singularly unique for something. I think that is why so many people throng toward celebrity—if we are near it, we feel we somehow “belong” to something grand, and thus, to something unique and eternal. Others make their living from this need, selling parking spaces, maps to celebrities homes, dressing head-to-toe in funny spandex costumes in hopes of a tip for a picture. It is a different version of that story, walking in a wilderness, looking for the Eternal. No one is handing out maps for that though, not that they should. I have come to realize that the map is imprinted in us, we simply have to follow the directions of our Tour Guide.
Several people had placed notes and gifts on (one of two) Michael Jackson’s star on Hollywood Boulevard—a collection of grief and loss and love.
The thing about really loving someone is, no matter how enticing another person may be, you cannot bring yourself to give any of yourself to them—your heart belongs to someone else. Which makes me wonder, what is there to do if the person you are meant to be with has chosen to be with someone else?
Tonight I feel old, like I have lived a thousand live and could share my oldest memories only with the trees and wind, ocean and sun, the ancient earth and its Creator.