SHANGRI-LA NOT AT ALL WHAT SEEKER EXPECTED
April 5, 2006
58 year old Tim "Pippy" Kirkpatrick finally found Shangri-La last month after a 35 year search. What he found, however, was not at all what he had expected. The supposed utopia first described in the fictional book, "Lost Horizon", has long escaped the grasp of hippies who believe the place actually exists. Pippy, who still exudes an enormous amount of energy for a 58 year old burnout, made it his life goal to discover the elusive paradise.
"I was at the beach with a bunch of friends and we got to talking about our idea of the perfect place to live. Somebody, I think it was Bootsy, started talking about Shangri-La. We were all just floored, man. Imagine Heaven here on earth actually exists. I just had to find it," Pippy explained.
His 35 year journey has taken him to Egypt, India, Vermont, and the greater Topanga Canyon area. He has slept in dumpsters, graveyards, doghouses, and in Jerry Garcia's garage. He kept getting leads but they would always turn up empty or he would forget what he was doing. Just when he was about to give up he finally found the clue he had been waiting for.
"I woke up on a park bench up in Santa Monica and there it was. I had prayed and mediated all night for a sign, anything at all that would point me in the right direction. It was a desperate plea to the universe, I told it I was giving up unless I finally got a reason to keep on. I woke up and it was staring me in the face. Shangri-La is on Main Street in Santa Monica."
Following the directions provided to him in great detail by the bench advertisement, Pippy hiked the 14 blocks to Main Street where what he found confused him.
"Shangri-La is just a store, man," he explained.
The store, open for the past 2 months, prides itself on its selection of candles, costume jewelry, and knick-knacks. Shop owner, Kim Davis, tried to explain to Pippy that this was not the "real" Shangri-La, but he would not have it. The universe gave him the sign and this was it. After three hours of arguing with him about the reality of utopia and about not letting him live in her shop, Pippy reluctantly returned to the beach spot in Venice he left 35 years earlier.
"Yeah, I found Shangri-La and it has a lovely assortment of jewelry, but it's not Heaven on Earth. For one, Heaven doesn't play Enya, and two, Heaven should smell like roses not incense. But it does exist, just like I have been telling people for all these years, even if it's not exactly like I have described it. It's there man, about 2 miles north of right where you are standing. That's all I can say 'cause you have to find it for yourself. Here's to your safe journey, may the universe always point you in the right direction."
Pippy is now a content man telling his story to all that will listen on the Venice boardwalk. His tales have made him quite the local celebrity and his pilgrimage is now being considered for a major motion picture starring Sean Connery.