Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Step Into Liquid

In a beautiful essay for Los Angeles Magazine, Anne Taylor Fleming writes about L.A.'s poolside climate, and the delight of autumn days. Speed, stress, and air-conditioned lives may have distracted Angelenos from the pleasures of the nearby ocean and poolside culture, but it doesn't take much to reconnect. Extracts:

In recent decades, instead of seeking respite in sea or pool, I have -- like so many- - huddled inside, increasingly disconnected from the outside world. Everything is air conditioned now, to a chilly fault. In general, we have become a much more indoor city, one that turns its back to the coastline. I know of no other metropolis that is so detached from its water -- not just a river or lake but a whole luminous ocean, with all the corny existential, meditative possibilities that looking at such a horizonless spill of water allows."

Yet, it only took getting a swim-loving Labrador puppy and putting a swimming pool in her backyard for Fleming to remember where she lived: "As soon as the pool was filled, he was in it and so was I [...] My happiest swims are late of an evening, when the midnight air is sometimes still thick with heat. I rise from bed and, shedding my nightgown as I head outside, slip naked into the cool, dark water, a voluptuous last dip, the dog, of course, beside me. I watch the stars, hear a siren, feel the city trying to settle down around me. The pool has drawn me back outside, into the elements. It has returned me to those Indian summers of my Los Angeles childhood, when my nerve endings were so acute and my joy was so intense." A lovely read.
illustrration Ondines by Cayetana Conrad


The Daily Connoisseur said...

This is so true... I've lived in Santa Monica for the past 6 years and can count on both hands the times I have visited the beach. I really take it for granted. People that come to visit me think I'm mad for not going every day!

LA Frog said...

We live by the beach, and I walk, swim, and beam at the sunset every day. My Californian husband no longer sees the big deal of it, and thinks I'm just a Euro-groupie. We live in paradise, for frog's sake! The irony is that, should he be taken away from it, he'd be the most miserable surfer on the planet. We're spoiled.