Total Pageviews

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Los Angeles life vs. Minnesota

Living in a dual homeland

There is a division line inside my soul and it has geographic entities.  I dually exist in two locations, Los Angeles and Duluth.  One side of my soul is fed through the woodlands and a diet of visual saturation of birds, migration, birch trees and subdued twilights.  The other side of me kicks garbage through the streets, bonds with the homeless as I make my way into the indoor swap meet where my friend, Rownak, runs an aromatherapy store.  The buyers come for the low end prices of high end products.  She has oils named Beyonce, Hillary Clinton and Kardashian.  A scent of a woman underscores the endless gypsy quality of people trapsing through the multiple stores.  The stores are lined up and open every day for the bargain hunter.  I score a leather belt for $1.00 next door and a silver studded belt with rivets my son now sports at his McDonalds job.  Even in 65 degree weather in downtown L.A., there is a human rhythm of excitement, tempo and beat the weekend before Christmas.  This is what I flew here for.  I come to find the missing fragments of my soul I left behind and to treasure a few lost pieces.  Leaving Duluth didn’t seem so bad this winter.  It was around 20 degrees when I left as opposed to last winter when it was minus 40.  I have endured two and a half years now.  I wouldn’t call it home but it is an ancient home.  It is a vestibule of my memory that taunted me from age 1 to 16 when we would visit my Aunt Fanny on West 5th Street.  Her husband, Silvio DeSanto had a telescope in the attic to view Lake Superior’s ship trafficking.  My roots are half way sealed in Duluth through a ventricular vein that routes through the emissary vein to my superficial temporal veins.  What does that mean?  My emissary vein is the diplomatic context of my circulation that shield painful parts of my past and only opens the door to the windows I want to see.   My father’s family came from a place within that circular trouble in my inner world that only surfaces with some warm memories.  He was the 9th of 9 children born on the advent of the depression.  His brother, Tommy Hammerstrom, died of rickets at age 4.  His parents were 2nd generation Swedes.  My father entered WWII three months after he turned 18.  He was a limo driver for English diplomats in England.  My father contoured his life to say it had been rough but he actually was born into a Post war generation that was the most prosperous in the last 100 years.  After graduating from UMD in 1948, he worked at 3M 32 years and became a millionaire.  He invested in stocks and bonds.   But his soul rested in WWII even in his awake adult life.  The struggle of living overshadowed him.  Duluth, the city, to me is the city of archangel steeples and a jagged, hilly landscape embraced for hardship. The sun is often foggy and luminous and the clouds can cast gloom.  The houses are often turn of the century, the brick and stone are possessions of the cityscape.  I practice endurance and overcoming through towering over and observing the constructive make up of the city as I do my driving job 2-3 days a week.  I often drive 150 miles in one day.  Northern Minnesota has that self-sustinence feel as you drive through the silent country pass Rice Lake road to Fredenberg.  People who live here in my mind reap from the silence and their connection to the forest.  The low flying hawks just above me as I drive are speaking a language without symbols.  The roads wind and bend.  I find my way back to my white colonial home which I have made my own.  When crossing the country once a year to go “back to California” I am returning to my other half where my identical twin sister lives with her 14 year old son.  A place where my son can reunite with his cousin.  I can go back to First Baptist of Beverly Hills in which I first started attending in 1987.  It’s a church of about fifty members.  Faith Ford of Murphy Brown, David Choe – a famous Korean artist who designed the Facebook walls and Chance Raspberry, a cartoonist for the Simpsons all derived from church.  I was able to connect with two of them over the Christmas break.   In California, life gives flight to my dreams.  In Minnesota, I engulfed in my heritage.  I practice responsibility caring for the disabled.  I am a better citizen.  I still don’t know fully who I am but I know that I live between two places of beauty.  The coniferous forest that breeds pines and sanctuary and the wild chaos that comes from a blended flux of mass immigrants that keep my heart in tempo to the true America.  I move 4 homeless blankets to make room for my rental car behind Rownak’s store.  It gives a feel of the transience I feel.   I hold the dirty blankets which are an element of someone’s home. As I shift them to the sidewalk, I see their owner.  The exchange in handing him the blankets is an awakening to the earth I stand on.  I can comprehend that temporary delusion that life has a sense of permanence.  All I know is I have to keep moving.

No comments:

Post a Comment