Wednesday, January 31, 2007

"I eat the air, promise-crammed"

So I know I owe you stories about the cruise, and as soon as I have all the photos loaded I shall bore you endlessly with tales of our adventures. Promise.

Til then, Hamlet and I have a lot in common. I'm doing some evaluating of my life, making some decently big decisons and feeling pretty good about potential opportunities in the future. Nothing too grand or that anyone beside me would probably really care about - but big things for myself, and hopeful exciting things I'm quite looking forward to.

Hope your air is promise-crammed as well.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Um. Ya'll I DO NOT want to be back.

Well, it was an awsome trip - and I'm already planning when we can go again.

There was sun (I'm tan for the first time in YEARS and lordy, does it feel nice), there were fruity drinks, there was much peaceful sleep on the rocking boat . . . and BEST of all, there was the company of all my "new" family.

There are not words to explain how very fun it was to spend seven whole days with these fools. Expect a full report, however, in the coming days.

For now, I can only say, BEST OUT-LAWS EVER!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Sun, here we come!

Off to spend seven days doin' nothin' but enjoying the warm warm caribbean, drinkin' only libations with umbrellas and fruit in them and re-lax-ING.

Hopefully, we'll be able to check in, but if not - see you when we get back!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Midnight Walk

I stood there with a sick feeling in my stomach. My arms were crossed in front of me as I stood at the edge of the curb, trying to look completely at ease. He would glance back from time to time and shrug helplessly as another car drove past.

I wanted to offer to do it myself, but that would just confirm to both of us what we already knew. So I stood patiently, letting him be the gentleman in the foggy light of the late night street.

When yet another car drove past, I stepped forward.

You know how I love public transportation, I'll just take the train. Or the bus. I've been a big fan of the bus lately, remember?

No. It's late and you shouldn't walk from the stop by yourself. You're taking a cab.

His voice betrayed the anger I knew he was feeling. And even though I know it wasn't directed at me I stood staring at him in shocked silence for a moment.

I'm sorry. It's just that we both know you should take a car.

Okay. So back to the curb.

I wrapped my jacket around myself and started counting people on the sidewalk. I started counting the people down the street who were hailing cabs and moments later getting in.

I started listing reasons the cars were stopping at the next corner. It was a main street. It was closer to their home. It was on the way out.

Then comparing the people who they were stopping for. They looked nicer. Richer. Older. They looked more likely to give a big tip. . .all the things but the obvious as I stood watching my friend stalwartly stand in the street, hand held high.

Unbelievable. In a city this big. With this many people and we still deal with this.

He sighed and turned toward me.

Maybe we should walk down a little farther.


We turned together and started down the sidewalk. I wanted to say something. I wanted him to know I was angry for him. That those drivers were idiots.

But I didn't want him to mistake it as pity. Or that I thought I could understand. I can't.

Let's walk, I said.

To your neighborhood? That's awfully far.

He looked pointedly at my feet in their fancy shoes.

I'd rather walk. I want to. We're already on the way. I like the company.

He smiled and slowed his pace.

We walked.

We didn't need a car to stop. Not then. Not tonight.

But I said a small prayer for him for the night he might really need one.

Damn city.

Friday, January 12, 2007

This City - My Love Affair Continues

I found this piece this morning and when I read it, knew I wanted to share it again. I remember those years ago, being scared to come here. Of feeling so very alone. And I remember this, too. The amazing feeling of home, of being able - despite the miles of concrete, to put down roots. To flourish. And that's the one that stuck. It does to this day. This city is still mine, in fact beautifully, it's now ours; something I would have never considered possible when I originally typed this out.

And,I am still hers. So very very many changes and years later--

My First Year

I reclaimed my city tonight. That's right, my city. I'll own her tonight.

Tonight, as I walk through the hordes of tourists in Times Square, past the beautifully lit Bryant Park. Past the men sleeping near the lions of the library, past the couple smoking on the corner outside the cafe. As I meander down fifth avenue and the stores I'll never shop at. Past all of it, past the good and the bad.

Pass the train steps, reeking of some unidentifiable smell. Pass the bodega, the smell of sunflowers and lavender and roses.

In the quiet emptiness of Lexington and 37th. The dark buildings, where I stop my music and watch my shadow to know if someone's behind me.

Through all of it. Through the business and the noise. Through the energy of millions of people sharing such a small place and somehow surviving, most of them at least.

Walking through all of it I remember why I'm here. I realize that this city is at once my greatest adversary and most loyal supporter. Where being alone is an amazing blessing. Being able to walk to the sounds of Ani Difranco and Ben Folds and Dar Williams, each step I take falling in line with the rythms. Having the sirens and horns as a strange accompaniment.

I can look up and see the absolute breath-taking beauty of the lights of the buildings against the purest black of the ever-starless sky. I can know that somehow I've have found my way here. I am finding my way here. I feel my feet hit the pavement and I know I am meant to live here. Meant to be a part of all this, how somehow I have been on a strange and meandering journey and at last it has brought me here; to this place.

To this new home. This horrible place. This city that makes me cry as much as it makes me fly.

But tonight I am flying. Tonight I am feeling powerful and at peace. Tonight I know I have made it through this year unscathed. And I will make it through another one, and one after that.

I will lay, exhausted every night, and dream of mountains instead of buildings, of fields instead of lots. I will hold the sound of the birds outside my window as I wake with a precious and cautious embrace, missing the sound of katydids in the summer. Imagining what it would be like to have lightening bugs to chase instead of cockroaches to step over.

But I will know I belong here. I will walk outside to join the thousands I pass everyday, I will smile at the doorman on 34th, guy a banana from the vendor on 36th. I will watch the myriad of people at the bus stops, I will be one of millions. I will be unimportant and small. No one will notice me, no one will care about my trials and tribulations - they have enough of their own.

And yet, I will still be here and I will still move forward and I will be better for it. I am better for it.

There will never be a time I do not close my eyes as the wind stretches across my face as I wait on the corner and not immediately feel the wind at home. The kind that blows across miles and brings you news of endless highways and infinite horizons. I will never not long for that.

I will carry my home in my heart as I traverse this perverse and bizarre place, and I believe that is what will keep me sane.

But I will still be here. And I will be glad of my choice. I will look up at the moon, who has not abandoned me as the fickle stars have. And I will know she shines on everyone and everywhere I love and I will be home.

I reclaim my city tonight. And all she is to me. And I will thank her for the best year of my life.


And I continue to. Thank her, that is. Because magically it seems things only get more wonderful as my time here passes.

Monday, January 08, 2007

General Jackassery

The fact I love my husband in copious amounts is pretty obvious on this blog. Also, the fact he in turn is gracious enough to love me BACK, is also pretty obvious.

I was thinking you might want to know that, in fact, sure - we're one of those couples. We hold hands under the table, I take his arm when we walk. When my feet hurt he carries me. When he's watching the game, I get him beer. Sometimes, for no reason (right flat out in public!) we kiss.

I know. I can barely stand us too.

But what really makes us work, I think, is the fact that we're both absolute jackasses sometimes.

And it makes us laugh.

People, there's A. LOT. of LAUGHING.

A lot.

Like fr'instance when we decided me pretending to lick this pole as if it were actual candy (ha! get it?!) seemed like a good idea. And I sort of "lost focus" while Sam set up the perfect shot and ACTUALLY TOUCHED THE POLE WITH MY TONGUE. You know. The pole. In New York City. With my tongue.


He still kissed me. And if that ain't true love? Well, my poppets, I just don't know what is.


We are a mere two weeks away from taking the cruise with Sam's family.

There are not words to how much I'm looking forward to this.

Mmmmmmm . . .ocean . . . . .

Friday, January 05, 2007

I hold fast.

Jeff, Melissa, Sam and I had a rousing debate our last night together at a little Italian restaurant (where I believe the waiter was somewhat nervous to interrupt us and kept our check an hour after we had finished eating).

Over our bits of pasta, remnaents of bread and sauce we solved the world's problems. Or tried, at least.

We argued the ability to change the course of this world we share. Government versus individual action. Pandemics versus hope. Class issues, race issues. Bigotry. Apathy. Selfishness.

General American attitiudes. The rest of the world. How it's not so far away anymore.

We ran the gambit from historical references and evaluating the industrial revolution on modern times to the effect of India and China's growing work forces. The world's growing forces. The inevitable shifting of power.

We debated intently. I had tears in my eyes at one point - not from hurt feelings, but from sheer passion and belief. Fists landed on tables, chairs turned inward, voices raised and lowered.

It was invigorating and wonderful and felt, well, a good way to start the new year; analyzing, figuring - not sitting quietly. If we can still sit and discuss all these things, then all these things are still negotiable. Still able to be contended with. I sat this morning listening to the news, about how the majority of congress has changed their minds about Iraq. All I can think of are all the lives lost. Over a decision people now feel was ill-founded.

But then that story is followed by the man who threw himself in front of a speeding train to save the life of a stranger. How now, though he denies what he did was anythign special - people are clamoring to recognize him. To salute that small act of courage and kindness in a city filled with strangers. Or how two men reached out for a baby falling from four stories up, catching him. Not letting him fall. Returning him safely to his family asking for nothing in return.

And I hold fast. That someday all this chaos and sadness will be overtaken by all the smaller things. I hold fast. That as humans we are truly meant for kindness and love. For peace.

As hard as it is on days that news spots on the motorcycle honor guard that arrives at all fallen soldier funerals has tears running down my face.

Broadcast me a joyful noise unto the times, lord,
Count your blessings.
We're sick of being jerked around.
We all fall down.
. . .

Broadcast me a joyful noise unto the times, lord,
Count your blessings.
Ignore the lower fear
Ugh, this means war.
. . .

It's been a bad day... - R.E.M.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

It's New Year's Eve

... and hopes are high
Dance one year in

Kiss one goodbye

Another chance
Another start
So many dreams
To tease the heart
We don't need a crowded ballroom

Everything we want is here

Let's wait and see
It may just be
The perfect year


"On the wall was a dress that I had embroidered. It said “Ich habe genug.” Which is a Bach Cantata. Which I thought meant, “I’ve had it, I can’t take any more, give me a break.” But I was wrong. It means “I have enough.” And that is utterly true. I happen to be alive. End of discussion. But I will go out and buy a hat." — Maira Kalman, The Principles of Uncertainty

With thoughts of resolutions swirling about me and a slight hangover-ey feeling lingering from this weekend - I read this quote this morning and decided it was worth sharing.

Enough. I need no more. It's really and absolutely true. My life at this moment is full - of love, of laughter, of good friends and wonderful family. We have a beautiful home, in a wonderous city. And we're already making plans of seeing more of this amazing planet we live on in the next months.

Enough. More than, actually.

But if you know me, you know I could always use another hat.