” Into water wind has come, into water wind will go”
The Los Angeles River’s official beginning is at the confluence of two channelized streams – Bell Creek and Arroyo Calabasas – in the Canoga Park section of the city of Los Angeles, just east of California State Route 27, at 34.1952°N 118.601838°W (the east side of Canoga Park High School). Bell Creek flows east from the Simi Hills, and Arroyo Calabasas flows north from the Santa Monica Mountains. From there the river flows east through a concrete flood control channel and very soon receives Browns Canyon Wash, which flows south from the Santa Susana Mountains. The river then bends slightly south and receives Aliso Canyon Wash, whose watershed adjoins that of Browns Canyon. The river then flows through the district of Winnetka, then Reseda and enters the Sepulveda Basin, a flood-control reservoir formed by the Sepulveda Dam.
The Los Angles river flows along concrete. I live near it on Vanowen Blvd. and I travel by and over the river everyday; from Calabasas to home again. A water flow that is older than the congested city that grew up around it and now controls it. I still hear its watery whisper and know wild animals still transverse the pure and dirty waters.
The flowing hill waters still carry a harmony of wilderness. It resonates in the glowing eyes of the wild raccoon, skunks and coyotes that I have viewed at night. Taking me back to my wild days of roaming the same hills and dipping my feet in the same streams that flow into this river.
Once I had a dream. I was playing on a golf course near Canoga Ave. One of the places my friends and I played. A mound formed from the grass. Slowly a grayish woman came forward our of the grass. A full aboriginal woman. It was not so much of what I witnessed there but how she made me feel.
A pure wild freedom of earth and sky projected out towards me.
Quickly she turned to run south up Canoga Blvd. Running and galloping with her were many wild animals. They also came up and ran as a strong wind forward. My heart and mind wanted to go with her. I still wonder where she went and who she was; from a Jungian perspective parts of my unconscious self most likely.
Circulating the San Fernando Valley, my home town and where I was born, and where I most likely will die. Here is where I will have my body cremated, and at the base of Bell Creek and Arroyo Calabasa, my ashes freely thrown. How confronting this seems to me.
“I hope it is true that a man can die and yet not only live in others but give them life, and not only life, but that great consciousness of life.”
~ Jack Kerouac
Last night while leaning on a city tree that hums from food from the good Los Angeles earth mother. I think about my home and the Los Angeles river. The pushy Saturn has fallen and the Pleiades now greets me. The cool grass on my bare feet feels great and my soul is listening to an epiphany of a whispering river.
Sometimes a calling late at night; to comfort and wildness.
I heard it as a child and now I have come back to hearing it again. Sounding like a shrill, scratching, glass chimes circulating in the wind. A place beyond finding.
Westfield Village Westfield-topanga-public-art-display- About the Los Angeles River