Diaries Magazine

Sunday in California

By Danielleabroad @danielleabroad
"At first sight, the visitor is surprised not only by the purity of the sky and the ugliness of the dispersed and ostentatious buildings, but also by the city's vaguely Mexican atmosphere, which cannot be captured in words or concepts." That's Los Angeles for ya.
sunday in california Mind you these photos are from Half Moon Bay--because I thought it to be simultaneously über romantic and incredibly creepy (Happy Halloween?), what with the pervasive fog and agricultural sprawl and imperious pines and cliffs... but I digress.
sunday in california As I write from Sacramento (where I first delighted in California's fall) and reflect on my annual visit home (to see autumn in all its glory) and contemplate the frequent "so how's L.A.?" inquiries I received there, I wish I could tell you (them) I love L.A. Not quite.
sunday in california But when my Aunt MaryAnn pressed the explanation further and I mentioned the city's very Mexican-ness (as Octavio Paz described above) makes me grateful to be there, I realized the extent to which that's probably true. From there we went on to finish two bottles of wine and discuss the hateful comments Donald Trump has made and inspired towards Mexicans. Apparently she's reminded her sons (my cousins) that he might as well be speaking about my father, me, my siblings. A fact that has not been lost on me.
sunday in california I'm sure I noticed difference as a child, but I didn't understand it; not like I was made to later. How could I have possibly known that black people live in inner cities, and black men are to be feared, and Muslims are natural terrorists, and Mexicans are to be hunted?!
sunday in california And I ask my facetious question above in agitation because I mean to acknowledge that what we need desperately need here and now, throughout this country, is neither political correctness nor meek tolerance, but respect for our shared humanity. And a vote.
sunday in california When I then told my aunt how it felt to come into my own in an Italian-American town where Central American landscapers were "Mexican" and when Latina meant gold jewelry and outspoken sex appeal, she was surprised. She hadn't realized. She couldn't relate.
sunday in california Although I believe each one of us, if we're being honest with ourselves, feels the pressure of a world that dictates "what we are and what we are not", the sentiment is obviously felt on a unique and individual basis. It can be just as likely to incite constructive ambition as resentment, and understandably so. We are simultaneously such powerfully resilient and fragile beings. And every morning, when I wake up in my L.A. home and overhear my neighbor speaking Spanish in a familiar accent, it warms my heart.
sunday in california Of course each person take special interest in issues that hit close to home. (In my case, reproductive rights, higher education, and immigration policy). We most certainly should. So please, if you're an American citizen, vote on November 8th--not just because you should, but because you can. Our experiences matter, there's an endless amount of improvements to be made.

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