change is the most fascinating of all phenomena

did a late summer cleaning.

always start with the surface. sweeping all the dust out from under my bed reminds me how dirty the air is living so close to the BQE. although, all 7 apartments where i’ve lived in NYC have gotten really dirty really quickly. the air here is dirty.

i came across an “autobiography” that i wrote in my Life Stories class senior year at Elon. my immediate reaction was, not much has changed. how could that be? so much has changed. my voice has definitely changed drastically for starters. my friends have changed, my circle has changed. in some ways nothing has changed at all. how can that be?

the most gradual change rests in the deepest depths. the karmic lessons. maybe that’s why the only lasting change must come from within. in some ways i feel like i’m still inside of the cocoon. no matter how deep i go, there’s always another layer to peel. i feel love, joy, and gratitude for the friends who have been/are present on the journey.

from a writing prompt, what i want:

what i want…i want to be happy.

i want a job i love.

i want enthusiasm and energy.

i want to never lose my mind.

i want a perfect boy.

i want to give,

to contribute,

somehow make a difference.

i want my dreams to never end.

i want to be tan

and i want to be healthy.

i want to conquer.

i want to read more books.

i want my parents to be happy.

i want to think about others.

i want to live in Spain.

i want to travel.

i want to go to South America.

i want the earth to be clean.

the craziness to end,

the suburbs to explode.

i want to make art,

and i want to make money.

i want to learn how to blow glass.

i want to use public transportation.

i want the days to be warm and sunny.

i want to see frogs fall from the sky.

i want to eat good food.

i want to not lose touch with my friends.

reality.

maybe someday kids,

a dog,

and a cat.

i want to play.

i want to feel,

want to be,

want to want.

i want to be successful,

good things for other people.

i want to see the leaves change in the fall.

i want to swim in the Mediterranean.

i want a Picasso original.

i want to meet someone i love.

i want to run through a field

of wildflowers

and tumble down

a grassy knoll.

i want others to have good thoughts of me.

i want to look at the stars

through a telescope.

may 2001.

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holy shit i totally get it moments

i had this holy shit, i totally get it moment the other night.  i had eaten nothing but brown rice for a day and a half.

i moved into a really great apartment in queens at the beginning of january after being home for a month.  after living with a crazy women for a month and a half before that.  after staying on a friend’s couch for a week before that.  after staying on the couch at friends’ apartment for two months before that.  it was the same couch i’d been sleeping on for three and a half months.  i was on the tail end of healing from severely spraining my ankle.  i spent the spring lying on the sofa and visiting the physical therapist’s and the summer learning how to walk again.  sounds pretty terrible, but it was quite amazing.  exquisite even.  overall…i did have meltdowns.  it was the most painful physical pain i’d ever experienced and the biggest physical challenge.  ever.

that’s just my second year in new york.  the first year was way more intense.  bad relationship, bad job, bad break up, bed bugs, a summer of dodging nukes.  depressed cat lady roommate and inflated rent, horrid boss.  my god.

friends said “your are persistent”.  or am i just stubborn?  they said they would have come back home.  that thought never crossed my mind.  maybe it’s a bit of both.  or maybe i have will.  maybe i’m determined and resilient.  i think new york requires resilience.  maybe life does.  it’s a survival mechanism.

sometimes i do feel like a survivor.  like i’ve earned a badge.  i don’t need a badge, added character is a badge.

the summer with the bed bugs was the most traumatic for sure.  street cred bonus points.  mostly though, i feel grateful everyday that i’m up and walking around like i never damaged my ligaments so severely.  i feel grateful that i embraced the healing process and had the good fortune to be living on 82nd street between york and east end.  not only was it close to a fantastic physical therapist and lenox hill, but probably the best neighborhood to be while healing and learning how to walk in new york.  and i’ve sampled the neighborhoods.  on crutches.  sometimes in the rain.  wide sidewalks, friendly compassionate people, carl schurz park, the east river, the M31 and M86.  raul, the driver of the M31.

none of this was my holy shit moment, but that’s where i am.  it feels good to feel grateful every day for something.  the holy shit, i get it now moment relates to feng shui and macrobiotics.  i’ve often heard my teacher say, “the only lasting change comes from within.” and “empty vessels make the most noise.”  i always got it.  i always understood what he was saying, but i hadn’t really experienced it.  now i have.  and i’m sure i will continue with greater emptiness to have more holy shit moments.  and that’s exciting.

the follow up question to “what do you do?” is always, “so you can tell me where to put my couch?”  but it has nothing to do with your couch.  it’s about what’s going on inside you that’s creating the atmosphere where you live.  breath and blood, wind and water, feng shui.

here’s this great quote that jon sandifer posted the other day:

“It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, or so to make a few objects beautiful; but it is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere through which we look – to affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of the arts.” henry david thoreau