Stories From California

Sometimes I want to write more than just journalistically about my experiences as a reporter. That is why I started to write down my thoughts, observations and emotions beyond scripts for radio, print and TV. This experiment is a lot of fun and scary at the same time. But, as they say, you have to get out of your comfort zone.

Socks. Tree. Love. - Los Angeles, CA

"How about holding?!!!!" the husband shouts at the TV.

I guess, the team that just scored a touchdown is not the one he marked as winning in his office pool. He leans back into the sofa. His feet rest on the couch table. Black socks between a plate of self made cookies, two tea mugs, a box of matches I wrapped in shiny paper, a stack of books and Sunday paper clutter. It's mostly advertising for last minute shoppers. Toys. Cameras. Sweaters. Diamond rings and necklaces. Washer/dryer combinations. My mind plays videos of people covering washers and driers in humongeous Christmas wrapping and the faces of those who receive the bulky gifts, a red mega-bow on top.

Next to the TV, our funky Christmas tree stands tall and twinkles.

We did not want to buy a tree this year and opted for branches from the front yard juniper. I thought, we were going to cut two, three big old limbs from the bottom. I thought, we would put them into our biggest vase. I thought, we would decorate those with a few ornaments and place the whole ensemble in front of our fire place, right in the middle, so you can see it when you walk down the hallway towards our living room.

That was not what the husband thought.

Stretching For The Rain - del Rey, CA

It rains. It rains, It rains. it RAINS!

I turn the lights on. I turn the heating on. I put my sweater on and the comfy pants.

I step outside. I feel the rain on my face. I'm getting wet. I love it.

I look towards the sky. I see clouds moving. Shades of grey drift into each other, separate, then rejoin and create new formations.

Water in my eyes. I go inside. I start to write.

I hear rain on the window now. I hear a klicke-ti-klack. It is the little wooden Christmas bear I hung on the nail in the middle of our front door. His feet are dangling in the wind.

On my desk in front of me is a small plastic bag with black and white pictures of my Mom when she was young. A set of six dice in rainbow colors. Pens. Scotch tape and glue. Lip balm. A notebook for the novel I just started to write.

Weeping Resin - Santa Monica Mountains, CA

This week I have been driving through burnt areas close to Los Angeles and interviewed people for radio stories I already produced or will produce in the coming days.

This is a new way for me to express thoughts and feelings about what I see and hear

Fire LakeBW

The peaceful lake

Indian summer colors, small boats on the shore

Sun rays on water ripples like fireflies

Dancing on reflections of burnt soil

No birds. No bees. No butterflies. A rabbit

On fireshaved hills looking for cover

Fires and Butterflies - Culver City, CA

For the first time in more than a week I am sitting in the backyard. For the first time in more than a week I tell myself I have nothing to do. For the first time in more than a week I decide I have nowhere to go. 

I did not turn on the radio. I did not check my phone. I did not read the news. 

I did morning yoga stretches again. I lit a candle again. I burnt sage again. I meditated again. I made breakfast with oatmeal, apple slices, cinnamon, toasted almond slivers and sunflower seeds. 

I am watching hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. The sun is warm on my bare feet. I rest my back against the chair. I look at oranges on our tree. I look at purple flowers on bushes in the back and red ones in hedges next to me. I look at rosemary in the shade and pink bougainvillea blossoms covering the fence. 

I am finally calm again, finally at ease again, finally me again.

A squirrel darts down the orange tree, hops towards me like a rabbit, stands on its hind feet and stares right into my eyes.

Caravan - Los Angeles, CA

I am getting back into the creative writing thing, something I enjoyed a lot as a child and teenager.

I put it aside for journalism. These days, I return to my first writing love, and one morning I wrote this text.

It is a poem of thoughts and images that came up when I was watching the news and remembered interviews I made.

 

"Caravan"

Our weeping skies and calloused earths we leave behind

Our midnight serenades and drunkard beatings 

Our first breaths, first steps, first melodies of words 

First funerals of marigolds, bread, candles and tequila

First mango kisses

Behind we leave them in the mud of heavens and hells