i’m learning that seeing the world – more of it, more richly – is through others eyes… in the things they love. staying in their home, their sanctuary, and using their everyday tools. sitting with their mementos and sleeping amidst their totems and treasures. studying their choices in pots, pans, pottery, mugs, and even their teas. observing the time and commitment and decision of what hangs, what rests, what stacks and what is stored beneath. wondering at the trinkets that recall celebration and milestones, endings and beginnings. discerning the multitude of gadgets and gifts and collections, jam-packed with memory and meaning, recalling family, friends, travel, connection… encapsulating stories, love, time and yesterday. discovering kinship between their walls and in the details of their nest… their life… i never tire of it, the fullness – and the mystery – of people and their adventures. the secret unknown that tells much more.
west village was as bright as snow. i peeled off layers and looked down at my ankle boots. i only brought two pairs of shoes, my birks were not one of them. our inaugeral cab ride in the city was to east village en route to our second stay. the cabbie was friendly, offered dining suggestions, and basically calmed our ‘taxi cab’ fears. we tipped him well. we feasted on ethiopian, thai and chinese food, and ate twice at Westville – a stop in both east and west. we spent a very long afternoon at The Strand. i thought i lost my phone in a stack of books (we heard it ringing nearby) – i was wrong. the one place i had not checked was my back pocket. we laughed and laughed (and laughed!). she found a book on NYC etiquette. she says, “Hey gals, we’re doing it all wrong!” we laughed some more. and on the last day, it rained. like really rained, as in two-out-of-our-three-umbrellas-broke type of rain. we really felt lucky, sloshing and noshing through it all
i took the A train uptown. i remembered the elderly women from my departure at the airport – she told me I must go to radio city music hall. her memories were tangible. her warm smile, telling.
first trip to NYC. i want to go back already. (i learned) you simply can’t do it in five days. no way. no how.
“There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.”
― Simone de Beauvoir
messages to self: sway like trees. collect moments that show up at your feet. go off trail, get lost in tangled forest… in your own stream of consciousness. lean into each step with curiosity and abandon. obey your deeply wired rhythm that yearns to be fluid, and open.
if you don’t succeed, try again.
i am trying to be bold to step into (and through) fear. i am trying to find strength, to not look back or hesitate. i am trying to lean into the present, to let go, to dangle with possibility between the here and there, between yesterday and tomorrow, smack dab between the brackets of now.
we draw the curtains. we nourish and hydrate, ourselves, the succulents and cat. we work, we play, we work some more. we chill out, then work, and repeat. the rain boots are close by, good for hosing down the litter box, but we still hope for rain.
never satisfied with letting go… never observing needs or necessity, she fuels small battles (in her mind). makes war (in her head). she begins with forced starts and ends in false beliefs. it’s a lesson she learns, again and again.
she is humbled. back at the beginning, observing the cautionary signs she did not see first time around. honoring static laws that wait patiently for her to remember. because eventually, she does.
she is fluid, open, ready. always ready. ready to dive in. because while time ticks and floats ahead, the gift of a day is always right in front of her, and light, just around the bend.
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”Do you think that I count the days? There is only one day left, always starting over: it is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk.”
― Jean-Paul Sartre