Tuesday, September 25, 2012
I walk on a fine line in this city. I walk on one that divides my emotions somewhere between enamored and frustrated. These streets can do it to you. If nowhere else in the world can do it, New York City can.
I travel home and with each step I notice the concrete sidewalk sparkling. It could have been the unique way that sunlight refracts off of the glass buildings here. I saw it shimmer like the glitter on the floor of a New Year's celebration. To my left, Bryant Park sits taking up a block of real estate and serving as a trace of nature among the crowds of 42nd street. Men, young and old, gather around the cafe in the park to learn the art of chess. They created an amateur-friendly place where even the freshest beginner can practice his growing passion. In a month or two, the green lawn, where the Thursday yoga classes just finished, will become a sheet of ice. City-dwellers and visitors will flock to the already crowded area to experience the holidays on an ice-skating rink. I am not excluded from the group of individuals that has dreamed of doing just that. I walk a bit further and the retail chain continues. Corporations, along with "mom and pops," border each block.
It is all right there; the richest CEO and the homeless man juxtaposed on the corner of the street. Normalcy prevents the homeless from even approaching the black suit and tie. I am sure that feelings of inferiority and failure surface when that moment comes. They beg. Everywhere, they ask for means to ride the subway or voice their need of food. I guess it is hard to know what is helping. Does ignoring the problem make a difference? Does appeasing and supplying an apparent need help? These are thoughts that I tend to struggle with.
Overwhelming is a good description. It is all encompassing and consuming. Sheer number alone, of people, places, sights, shows and opportunity galore covers each block. It is that time when school work is piled high and the most I get out is for riding the Subway to school or an early run to East River Park. I would recommend that run. The other morning the air was brisk and it carried me through the dimly lit streets. There will be more time. My loved ones keep telling me that it takes time. I am starting to believe them. Quite possibly, I expect too much of myself. It is one of those notions that is acknowledged but not always addressed. That too is a learning curve.
We all need grace, even if it is giving it to ourselves. My sweet love reminded me today that I have never done this before. By "this" he meant moving to another state, taking on a very rigorous school load, working in a new environment, making new friends, living with roommates, and the list continues to encompass a few other things. It is a big step.
I am pretty confident that I can do it. Maybe if someone asks me how I like the city in December I will reply with joy and a smile. I am working up to it. Don't be afraid to do big things. Don't be afraid to follow the Lord. Don't be afraid to not have it all together. That's all.
Currently Listening: "Hoquiam" by Damien Jurado
Saturday, September 8, 2012
"The good writers are the ones that take the time to write every day," she says. We were wrapped up in discussing memoirs we read for class that day and those words continued to ring in my ears. Every day. I presume that it makes no difference if it is a well thought out piece of prose, or just the observation of what is around me. Writing does not seem like the type of art that you need to practice. Most of us place it into the category of being "gifted." The more I think about the words my teacher spoke that day, the more I agree with the proposition. Life is in no way mundane. I recently moved to New York City.. My days are full of new experiences and surprises. In hopes of becoming stronger in my writing, the challenge ensues.
What was meant to be a subway ride to the end of a transitional tunnel where the trains turn around turned out to be a happenstance wandering into Little Italy. It just so happened that a festival was going on and every street and restaurant in the sector were displaying their pride. Banners were displayed across streets. Street carts full of goodies lined the avenues and perked our interest enough to purchase a cannoli. We meandered along taking in all of the decoration, excited that our venture lead us into this part of the city. It was different there. Out of all the places in the city I have been, Little Italy felt the safest. It could be attributed to the family-friendly atmosphere that most Italians carry. It also could be the fact that I am finally settling into this place. No, not yet will I say that it is home, but I will gladly concede that it is feeling more like it. Something as simple as remembering where a subway station is, or taking the right train home, builds confidence in this way of life.
Could I be a city girl? I am not sure if I can leave my Southern roots back in the peach state and I doubt Southern charm ever hurt anyone.
Currently Listening: "England" by The National