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!

Welcome back Tina. May you carry your travels with you now that you are home.

Nothing but the very best,
Garden burgers in the freezer for 6 months and you are considering eating them ? Please throw them away. As an Indian living the US I really pity Americans for the kind of food they eat. Yucky tasteless burgers, cold salads, insipid deli sandwiches,dry crackers, highly processed foods,canned foods, produce obtained by tons of fertilisers, insectisides etc and not to mention sodas. Milk is the best source of nutrition naturally. The milk you get in the US is obtained my mistreating cows by use of hormones and feeding cows its own meat! Since you have visited India and I assume you liked the food there, I suggest you try to make your own meals.Try to eat more of "Sattvic" food.
Vegetarian doesn't mean only Salads,Tofu and Soy milk. Also vegetarian always is not always healthy. Eg French fries, oily curries, fried stuff like Pakoras,Samosas etc. Indian food when prepared as per Ayurvedic suggestions not only tastes good but also promotes good health. By the way Indian food in the US sucks big time as they are not prepared using correct methods. Most of them are either Rajasic or Tamasic. So avoid eating at Indian restaurants as well.
Still can't find your address book? 212-787-7355, allieellen@NYC.RR.COM
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