DreamMachine, USA

The sun had not yet risen by the time my second alarm went off. I opened my eyes out of a deeply vivid dream and into the flat gray of morning twilight that rendered the room visible without actually appearing to consist of any actual light. It felt like the light before a storm and made me uneasy in a way that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. 

The sun is up now, and my sense of indefinable dread seems to have evaporated with the last of the morning haze, but for a moment it was there and it felt important. 

I went out last night with the Curmudgeonly Lion and with a friend to do some night photography. A concept occurred to me about all the little dreams that people bring with them when they come to Los Angeles: it’s a city full of wandering fantasies- many of them as lost and orphaned as the humans who brought them here. It is easy to be cynical and describe Los Angeles as the place where dreams come to die when in reality it is a place where dreams are brought and then abandoned when it turns out that they require work. 

We discussed this idea at some length over dinner after the shoot: how the city changes people, how it is a strangely conservative place considering its reputation for sleaze and iniquity, how even we can feel ourselves changing, although perhaps not yet losing our hope.  I found myself wondering afterwards whether my recent sense of my own changing personality was just a recognition of this natural evolution. This city now feels like home. What’s more, it actually feels like a place where I am happy to live. I didn’t feel that before: I lived lightly on the surface, like a visitor trying to politely avoid rumpling the sheets on a guest bed. 

There is a new sense of belonging: maybe it comes from living in a house instead of an apartment and having a sense of roots to build upon. We’re making a concerted effort to find new friends, to get to know our neighborhood and neighbors, to entrench ourselves into the fabric of the city. We may always be Chicagoans at heart, but for better or worse, we’re here for good. 

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on June 19, 2017.

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