Saturday, December 31, 2011

New York City in 4 Nights

I arrived on Canal Street in NYC after 10 hours sitting on a bus from Bangor, Maine. I was tired. But as soon as I met my friend, Debbie and her friend, Charlie, at a bar near Union Square, a second wave of energy from the city itself arrived. Afterwards, we went back to Debbie's Brooklyn Apt. near Prospect Park and talked and talked and she gave us Tarrot card readings. Uncannily, even after shuffling, Charlie and I were delt nearly an identical hand, but all my cards were upside down and his were rightside up. Whatever that means.

Tuesday, it rained. I worked on some contract graphic design work and took it easy, processing, writing, meditating, reading. When Debbie got home, she, Charlie and I went to a really neat Slavic Soul music show at a venue called Barbe in Brooklyn. So many young, artsy people. The place was packed and the music was great. We walked home through Prospect Park.

Wednesday dawned sunny and I took the free ferry to Staten Island to see what that was like. Beautiful views, good to be on the ocean. When Debbie got home that night, I read her a poem I'd written and she said she had to read me something. She read Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass.  I need to keep reading that book. I fell asleep feeling truly blessed.

Thursday, I walked and walked and loved every minute of it. Through Central Park, along Lexington Ave, to Columbus Circle and concluded in a cafe waiting for my friend Katie. When she arrived, we braved the insane crowds to catch a glimpse of Rockefeller Center and Times Square. The line for Madeleine's famous bakery where we ate last time I saw her here, was just too long. So we went to a donut plant instead and then on to Pho Grand for delicious pho and spring rolls. Such a nice, cozy atmosphere. It was so good catching up with Katie!

My last morning in NYC this time around, I got to see the matinee showing of Hansel & Gretal at the MET Opera for free because Katie had a ticket and couldn't go. The set design alone was steller and so was the show. I sat outside in the sun watching the pigeons and the people, soaking up the sun and the atmosphere for an hour afterwards before making my way to the airport.

I arrived back in NM at 11pm and spent the night at a friends so I wouldn't have to drive back to Santa Fe so late. The book beside my friends bed, where I slept, was called Writing Down Your Soul. Interesting, I thought. So I opened it up. The quote on the page I opened to read:

"Things are not happening to you, they are happening for you. If you want to ask, 'Why is this happening to me?' ask instead: 'Why did my soul call this forth?'"

An incredibly meaningful and fitting note to go to sleep with. And to begin the New Year with!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Who am I? I am that place of stillness and love at the center. I am not the careless comments. I am not the expectations and images placed on me. I am not the chatter in my head. I am not the negative feelings or the positive feelings that sway back and forth like seaweed with the high and low tides of the day. I am not the books I have read, the tests I have taken, the degrees I have undertaken. I am not the good poem I wrote or the bad poem I wrote. I am not the stylish clothes people may notice me for sometimes and I am not the reserved, self-absorbed bad-hair-day person people may judge me for at other times. I am not any of those things although I can identify and be identified by them. I am deeper than all of those projections and reflections, as are we all. We are the stillness, presence and love simply being underneath, always, steady, grounding.

NYC is not the hustle and bustle,
The Honking horns and clamor,
Raised voices across street corners,
Glitz and glamor, skyline, poverty,
New York is not even
The statue of liberty,
The big apple, the place to be,
Although we identify New York
As all of these things.
What is New York then?
New York, like you and me,
is the serene presence,
steady love, simple stillness,
Underneath that surface-sense.