Saturday, September 25, 2004

Missing Mysore 

Well, it's begun. The processing and wondering and reminiscing that I had no time for in Greece are taking hold. After a very necessary time for rest and adjusting and getting back into my practice and figuring out retail versus restaurant (restaurant won for now- the money should be better and we'll see what that does to practice), am now looking for work and enjoying fall in the city.

Not enough opportunities to proclaim and exclaim "wheee!" like I would in India and Greece (albeit not outloud, at least most of the time). Want to create a few as I embark on a new schedule and lifestyle, bring some of the excitement and cultivate the fresh wide eyes I had abroad in this day-to-dayness. To be brave enough to wear flowers in my hair sometimes, as I often did in India.

There is a newstand vendor I see sometimes from Mumbai. His family is there, and he has a piece of paper on which he counts down the days he has left, until he can return to India and move to Bangalore with his wife and kids. I popped by last week: "how many?". "Three hundred and sixty-seven. Thank you for asking." His eyes were shining with tears unshed as he spoke. My countdown to Greece has not yet begun. There is a lot I need to learn and live here, still.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

This Place 

So good to be back. Never suspected as I sobbed goodbyes and whispered solongs how damn happy I’d be to return to my narrow little ancientplace in this crazy city. New York gets under your skin and in your blood and is still relentless on the hold she has over me. I love her, too. Adore her, damn her. Allowing for the first week for cleaning and reorganizing and rediscovering and reestablishing patterns and rhythms in life and mind and practice, polishing the slate until the faint marks of what was are barely visible, some only if approached from an angle or if you go looking for them. Hoping the scar tissue has been restructured and rebuilt and proves stronger than ever.

After leaving post-Olympiad suddenly-empty Athens, arrived on a long holiday weekend to a city eerily quiet at the end of summer's end. People fleeing the Republican Convention and humid heat for one last fling with beach houses and surf and sand between the toes and flipflops and roadside fruitsellers and Long Island highway traffic and sunrosied cheeks. Or, as someone I once knew once put it, "I like holiday weekends cuz all the a**holes leave town". Reeling with happy incredulity as my capacity to adore the City surpasses anything I could have hoped for. Like with my first days in India, these first days here have seen hints if not whispers of a smile touching lips and eyes continuously. Here, too, I can go flower picking if I want to. And I have.

First few days back at Eddie’s in the sumptuous newly reconfigured space with beloved fellow-students and teachers. Completely blown away by both warmth and breadth with which I was greeted. “Welcome home.” This space of blood and sweat and tears and bellylaughs and simplicity and heart and sunlight and shadow and perfect moments indissolubly fused within these yellow walls on Broome Street. I smile. Physical practice has not really regressed during all the alonetime, not nearly as much as I’d feared- like the lessons and memories of and from India, it’s all still there bubbling barely under the surface shifts.

Yesterday after practice saw me going to what was once my favorite place in the City. If you enter Central park at West 72nd Street and head down the hill on the left you will hit a greenwater pond teeming with oversized flame-eared terrapins and orange-winged brown-bellied dragonflies. As you face east, you can se a cluster of rocks that make for spectacular climbing for the under-five crowds and all-season sitting for some. My first few years in NY I would make the pilgrimage there at first daily, then weekly and monthly as I got busy and older. I’d sit at the tip of the triangle of rocks closest to the water, writing and thinking and missing the sea and relishing the fact that if I squinted I would feel surrounded by water on three sides. I’d watch the wind chase the light on the water, tossing it every which way. At dusk, the building lights would create mosaics of shimmering color on the darkening waters.

Yesterday, I sat at the same spot, only a little further up. No longer needed to pretend this is a larger body of water than it is, that I was somewhere else. No longer sought the absence of others around or complete silence to be accepting of what was, to be content. The soft autumn light still lazily caresses the lake, the leaves of the trees hugging the periphery have not yet turned the myriad shades of flame like they do in the fall- there is summer yet, to be had and enjoyed. Relishing this, now, a little space and alonetime after the journeys in India and rollercoasters in Greece. To just be and process and absorb and find my feet and create new rhythms and get grounded in my practice in this place I love, so damn much.

Question of the week: are Garden Burgers still ok to eat if they've been in your freezer for 6 months or more?

PS to all of you I've not contacted, which is basically all of you, please give me a coupla days to unearth my address book!

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