Since writing a recent blog post about making Faces in Other Places, I have been reflecting on how perfect my neighborhood is for this particular activity. Before this analysis I had sort of been patting myself on the back thinking I can do this anywhere. But I must now acknowledge I am blessed to live in a locale that consistently provides the perfect ratio of man made detritus to organic detritus.
It’s very hard to create these faces without trash. How can I make an orange smoke a cigarette if I can’t find a cigarette butt? It’s also hard to make trash attractive. But combine a little crap with a little flora and bingo bango you just might have a new friend. The weather here doesn’t dip below 60 degrees, it never snows and rarely rains. The neighborhood is teeming with a diversity of plant life most of it flowering all year long. Come on! Why isn’t everyone turning roses into faces? To put another cherry on top of this environmental sundae of possibility, I live in a neighborhood full of Spanish style fourplexes from the 1930s. Why is that helpful? Because everyone is renting and no one likely to be around owns or cares about the stuff in their yard. How nice to have orange trees dropping their rotting fruit in apartment complex driveways so I can jam cigarette butts in them without feeling like I am stealing produce. And that red stuff on the end of the cigarette that hopefully makes it look lit up is the droppings of a bottle brush tree. There is so much stuff to choose from. It’s like shopping at a Walmart Supercenter that has a special junkyard section as well as a Botanical Garden in the back. I am free to pluck leaves and seeds and petals without feeling like the petty fauna thief that that I am. Would I have done this to a rose in some well tended rose garden? No! Not only embarrassing but also wrong. This rose was the single flower growing amongst weeds in front of our local post office.
The final thing that works really well here is the anonimity. Of course there are people around, I’m hardly the only dog walker in the hood. But people in Los Angeles DO NOT CARE. If I was wearing a purple flashing spiderman costume (what? why?!) nobody would pay attention. They would assume, if they even bothered assuming, that I was on my way to Grauman’s Chinese Theater to pose with tourists. I like this because when I am arranging trash in the dirt I don’t want to converse with anyone. I don’t want to explain myself and most importantly I don’t want to stop. I want to get the photo.
So all in all I am pretty darn lucky to live here. Praise Be.
Wormhole to previous blog post: Faces in Other Places