Monthly Archives: January 2015
By Krista Schwimmer
Ever since Michael & I moved to Los Angeles, we have felt a bond to Hollywood Boulevard. We like the feel of the Boulevard itself — the mix of old, historic buildings & the bustle of strangeness that is kin to Venice Boardwalk. It is also a nice escape for us, an easy day vacation, as we hardly know anyone in that area. In Venice, however, just a walk along the Boardwalk means we most likely will see someone we know. And now and then, it is nice to ramble amongst strangers.
On Thursday, January 8th, we made our escape. First, however, we stopped at MOCA in West Hollywood. There, we went to see “Songs for the Witch Woman,” the first museum exhibit of Marjorie Cameron’s work.
Through the brochure written by Yael Lipshutz, guest curator of the exhibit, I learned much about this fascinating woman. Cameron was an influential artist & occult practitioner in Los Angeles during the mid-1940’s. She was also Jack Parson’s “scarlet woman”, or so he believed when he met her not long after performing the magical operation he called “the Babalon Working.” They soon married; but their life together was cut short when Jack Parsons accidentally dropped a vial of mercury fulminate in his garage, killing himself in the explosion. (Some, however, his death was not accidental — either a suicide or a murder.)
I found Cameron’s work at times sexually evocative, surrealistic, & abstract. I particularly enjoyed one of a bird head walking, & one called, “Fossil of a Raven”. Although I liked her concept for “Pluto through the 12th House,” I do wish she had done more with her very abstract, lined drawings of this event.
After the exhibit, we stopped at our favorite, West Hollywood restaurant, the Fresh Corn Grill. Michael has type 2 diabetes. At this point, he can control his blood sugar through diet & exercise. So, eating out can be challenging. The Fresh Corn Grill has lots of healthy proteins & side vegetables that he can eat without a problem — all very tasty, I might add! We also enjoy both their home brewed tea infused with mint & their fresh lemonades.
After lunch, we walked the 4 miles over to Hollywood Boulevard. We are always a bit baffled why more people do not walk in Los Angeles, considering the great weather & the interesting terrain. By walking, we discover new places, interesting events, & intriguing omens.
On this particularly day, we passed a theater showing, “The Penis Chronicles”. Is this some kind of male response, I wondered, to the “Vagina Monologue?”
There were also quite a few sidewalk messages. Perhaps because I am a poet, the world talks to me through sidewalks. Or, at least I think it does! There were four messages that struck me. The first two were animals: fox and wolf. Fox is one of my animal totems, connecting me to the Above. Fox is an animal of wit, shape shifting, & sexuality. Because of the shape shifting nature of fox, I really appreciate it when fox comes in so directly!
Wolf, noticed by Michael, has a hunting relationship with raven, our business totem. Both fox & wolf are monogamous animals, with wolf being also very family oriented. Wolves send scouts into new territory, reflecting to us a need to do that for our own business. Interestingly enough, this year we plan on starting readings in that vicinity. Our friend, Heather, has repeatedly offered her home to us so that we can reconnect with some of our old, West Hollywood clients. Was the universe reminding us to start doing that soon? After all, both fox & wolf are part of the canine family. Our friend, Heather, rescues & takes care of many dogs.
The next two messages were quite sweet, like kisses & hugs from the world herself. One was, “UR Beautiful,”; another was simply our names shortened: “Kris N Mike.” The only person in my family that ever called me “Kris” was my deceased mom. There was another time I felt a dead relative talk to me through a sidewalk in Hollywood — but that’s another story, for another day.
As usual, while we walked, a raven flew over us. Almost every time we “escape to Hollywood” for a day, a raven greets us. I am not sure how it works, but it seems like if you make friends with the corvid family, a member of this spectacular group finds you, wherever you are. Sometimes, a single raven will greet you; sometimes a whole murder of crows. Michael & I feel completely accepted by these birds, as well as protected by them.
We reached Hollywood Boulevard with plenty of time for Michael to help our friend, Dennis, fix his guitar. I visited with Dennis for a bit — then did my usual roaming about, seeing what was happening on the Boulevard.
There were the usual costumed characters, ranging from Sponge Bob to two variations of Johnny Depp. No fights, however, broke amongst them that afternoon. Elvis Presley’s star had flowers on them; and people were bustling around at the Chinese Theater preparing for the premiere of “Black Hat.”
Close to the end of our visit to Hollywood, I once more saw either crows or ravens playing high in the sky. They seemed relaxed, gliding as they soared above the tall building where I watched below.
As night approached & the lights for the premiere were lit, Michael & I left the boulevard, choosing once again to walk back to the Fresh Corn Grill for a delicious, chicken caesar salad.
There, in a moment of poetry, after we ordered, the server gave us the number 40 for our food order — the exact same one we had earlier that day.
“What do you think that means?” Michael asked.
“Four — that’s your life path number. And in the Thoth tarot deck, 4 is the Emperor & 0, the Fool,” I replied. Or, maybe it was simply a nice way to end another pleasurable escape to Hollywood Boulevard!
For my third bird, in my series, “Bird Totems of Venice,” I chose the cormorant. A fascinating fellow! Here is the link to the article in the December issue of the Free Venice Beachhead:
Here is the link to the November bird totem article in the Free Venice Beachhead:
I have been writing a series on bird totems for the local, underground paper, the Free Venice Beachhead. Here is the link to the first one, the Snowy Egret