Friday, January 29, 2010

good sign

found three pennies today from 1937, 1938 and 1942 respectively within the midst of $1.05 made up entirely of old coins, though not as old as those. Haven't found this much in one day in a long time so I'm gonna take that as a good omen. More things from the past about to show up? :)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

different audience

I ran from my house, that cannot contain me...

Walked across the bridge as I had done many times before, it's spirals darting to the sky.

I ran from the noise and the silence, from the traffic on the streets..

Heard the slow whistle of the elevated train as it bounced over it's rickety track in the damp cool air.

I ran past the churches, and the crooked old mailbox, past the apple orchards and the lady that never talks...

Up into the hills, I ran to the cemetery..

Forced to exit, down the stairs, air getting colder, calm silence penetrating my mind, drowning out all thoughts.

And I saw the crumbling tombstones, of forgotten names.

Foster, Wyckoff, and Dr. Dunlop, M.D, small houses in the city of the dead, offering a quiet audience to my rambling thoughts.

I ran to the forest, I ran to the trees, I ran and I ran, I was looking for me.

Cover the paths I've walked a thousand times, though the journey is always a thousand times different.

I ran and I ran....

blockage broken, mind cleared, words flow again. well worth the trip.

italics- lyrics from Mer Girl

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I could walk 500 miles and get a new lesson each time.

I probably could walk that long. Literally. Friends and family can't keep up. I don't do it on purpose, I just simply get my mind going when my feet are strolling on the ground, not curled up on the couch. What better way to imagine what life might have been like for a research subject then standing in front of a 100 year old tenement, or a former speak or seeing the site of something that once was something else? Books and words will only reveal so much.

So I think yesterday I logged close to 10 miles or more. ( My friend did the counting close to the end of the day). From the Upper West Side to Central Harlem and back, then back and forth over twenty more blocks then, oh yeah think I need to grab something from the library, another notch on the invisible odometer. Wasn't worn out at all, then I go into this wacky vintage clothing store by accident and I hear this:

Sales woman with a real New York accent, not from a can, probably in her sixties referring to a customer:

" She's from Paris."

Another sales woman, same description as above:

" Nah, nah, she's from the Upper West Side now, it doesn't matter that she was born in Paris, she lives on the Upper West Side so that makes her apart of the UWS. We all came from somewhere else at some point in our lives."

Me: " I really like hearing that."

Sales Lady: " Well, it's true!" Looking at me: "How old are you? My, my this store has been here nearly twice as long as your age! You should visit us more often."

Just the fact that they have a giant leopard printed bag with a clock in the center of it, hanging next to cloche hats, and glittered shoes that would make Dorothy's head spin, makes me think I will..on my next 10 mile walk.

Friday, January 15, 2010

salt water taffy, steamboats and auto rides

If you are tired of bundling up and grabbing cocoa, hot toddy's or coffee, just imagine you're here...

Atlantic City Boardwalk-1904

Or if you are a lady wrapped in something like this...

Fox Furs-1911

Sorry fellas, I'll get ya next time.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Acting my Age

Here, according to the natives, my physical age is still "very young" or "your still a baby". Mind you I am roughly a year and half away from turning 30 which doesn't frighten me at all. Though much to my annoyance, whenever I venture away from home, family like to give me their worried looks. I guess for them it sucks that I didn't put on the white dress at 23 years old and pop out a couple of cute toddlers by now. But alas, that's not me, maybe one day, but that's not the brass ring I am aiming for at the moment. I never was one to act my age, half the time I forget how old I am.

I listen to music that was popular eighty years ago, I photograph faded pre-war signs on buildings, to the point where people with sharper vision than me can't see the faded outline of a letter or picture but I can. I see nothing troublesome with digging up old indictment files, mugshots, and manuscripts to name a few, the old fashioned way, meaning fighting with a microfiche machine ( you know, those archaic beasts with a roller and forward and rewind buttons to look at a photostatic image.)

I actually enjoy reading, not skimming one sentence with the conviction that I will figure out the rest of the paragraph. I've run into countless people who claim to be my age that seriously makes me wonder how did they pass high school by their endless insistence on having a limited attention span.

I hope that I never act my age, I like the number I've adopted for myself. A friend recently pointed out to me that my current age falls within the Saturn Return, which from as I understand it, you leave every vestige of childhood behind between the ages of 27 and 30 and step over a threshold into the next phase of your life as an adult. If your true self has been built on faulty layers, than your life will be filled with chaos until you become honest with yourself. So far I think I am on the right track. There has been some upheaval, but my core self has remained sound. When I think back on it, right after I turned 27, an idea was posed to me that seemed unfeasible and completely frightening at the same time. And although it has taken me awhile to admit it to myself, a year and a half later I'm doing it. Piece by piece, one step at a time. And I wouldn't trade it for all the instant gratification in the world.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Live Like You're Dying

One of these days you'll be under the covers, you'll be under the table and you'll realize...

That all of your days are numbered, all of them one to one hundred, all of them millons, all of them trillions.

So what are you gonna do with them all? Cause you cannot trade them in for more.

Live every moment, you know that you own them, it's all up to you to do whatever you choose.

Live like you're dyin, and never stop tryin, it's all up to you. Use what's been givin to you!


Friday, January 1, 2010

the ghosts of new year's

the name of the man who moved in 82 years ago is still on the front door. Telephone wiring from an era long gone still runs on the baseboards. Original moldings, furniture and pictures throughout, including a letter carrier from around 1910 showing the first Model T's. My neighbor had knocked on my door the night before asking if I would like to ring in the new year with her, her sister and uncle. I had planned to spend it curled up in my living room or working on my project, but I happily obliged.

The air was warm and inviting and people who I consider to be family warmly welcomed me. I long ago accepted ghosts as constant companions, in my field of interest they would be hard to ignore. So it came as no surprise when my neighbor said as if it were a common occurrence that the gold trimmed glasses used to ring in this new and unknown year where originally brought by her now deceased husband's mother sometime in the then unknown decade known as the Twenties. Still intact, gold trim and all and long before they were born. I had never known people to possess such tangible objects connecting the past and the present until I moved here. Maybe because in my family such things are lost, fought over by elders or hidden in secret places until people forget about their very existence.

We danced in her living room to music from the 50's, me promising to return for the big dinner scheduled for later in the day with more people, and eventually me leaving her and her ghostly companions behind and returning to mine spread out in the stacks paper where I had left them.

Happy New Year Everyone!