Wednesday, June 11, 2014

pay attention to the signs

" If whispers don't get your attention, bricks will start flying your way".

They haven't been as quiet as a whisper, or as painful as a brick, but the sensation has been quite uncomfortable.

I guess the universe decided after checking off one thing on my list it would arrive at the next. And so the symptoms started to appear that first popped in a different area of my life last year:

Fatigue upon waking despite hours of sleep, dread upon arriving at my destination. The tell tale signs it is time to go. But this time it's a little easier to navigate these waters. I have more of a concrete footing of what I'm looking for. The reason why there hasn't been much activity on here, besides digesting and working in much valued feedback on the back story of the broken-nosed ghost in the fedora, (the light at the end of the tunnel is shining brighter now!), is that I've gone old school. Writing notes and rants to myself in a flesh and blood journal. Think the last time I did this with effort was in 10th grade.

In the words of Annette Hanshaw " That's All".. :)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

a tree grows in Brooklyn

A delicate tree with strong roots..

What happens when nature rips it out of the soil and the roots become exposed? Still clinging to the life force beneath it?

There were frantic messages for a safe haven online. Being withdraw from the online world at that point and time, I saw it after help had been offered. But I kept watch. Then out of nowhere a quiet request for help with packing up belongings. leaving the adult home that had been hers since she was 18. Indefinitely.

I knew this tree, our branches crossed every so often. We met at a wedding of a mutual friend six years ago and teamed up as both our trains passed through the same entry point on the other side of the Hudson. Seeing the post I noticed that no one was offering to help. Just "good lucks" and "take care".

I raised my hand.

So last Saturday, I showed up through the slush that was slowly turning into rain. She gave me a big bear hug at the door.

"So how long do I have you for?"

" As long as you need me."

" Really?! You really are a great friend."

Waiting for her parents to arrive with the Uhaul truck, bits of pieces of what happened spilled out. Roommate situation that went bad. Could tell that by the way they blocked off half the apartment and kept themselves barricaded behind closed doors.

Over the next few hours we boxed in addition to all of the basic necessities, her necessities: every piece of artwork, canvas and sculpture she had made from pieces in that borough that has been her only home for the first half of her adult life. At some point, after running down the stairs, I came back up to find her crouched in the corner. Her face trying not to show that she was tearing apart on the inside.

" Oh my's hitting me that this space is becoming empty, it's hitting." She bowed her head and wrapped her arms around her knees. " I will not cry, will not cry, will not cry..". I leaned over and whispered to her that it was temporary. She would be back.

Rooms empty. Devoid of life and memory. Outside in the snow, she stares down at the key ring in her hand. "I have no keys...this is the first time I don't have keys to a home. This is so backward. Their home.." she gestures at her parents. " is not mine. I go to visit them. Brooklyn is my home."

" It is your home and will always be your home. Sometimes you have to take a step back to go forward. And I am pretty certain it will end up here as it always has been."

She smiled " Would you help me to unload on that trip?"


She reached down, gathered a fistful of snow and placed it in a napkin to wrap around the stem of the rose she had in her hand. And probably a bit to water her own roots until she comes home.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

" A Noted Woman"

The gift bag was heavy and unexpected. I had known the woman who gave it to me since I first arrived on this island of misfit toys though we had never exchanged anything more than a hug and agreeting.
" You have to be gentle unwrapping it."
Following her advice, I gingerly pulled back the wrapping paper. I knew from the cover that it had seen its share of use, passing through who knows how many hands, sitting on who knows how many bookshelves.
The card from her gave a brief snapshot of its history, at least where it started with her:
Bought over 30 years ago for a dollar in a bookshop that no longer exists. Piqued her interest by the title and the fact that it was printed  in 1883 in her hometown of Hartford, CT.
She couldn't recall if she had actually read the book in that time span, but came across it as she was clearing her bookcase to make room for new additions. Wondered who she could give it to..
" So I am passing it on to you, an avid book lover and "noted woman'"
It was the most touching gift I had gotten in recent memory. Taking it home and gently flipping the pages, I came across the receipt she had gotten all those years ago. Now it proudly sits on my bookshelf to begin its new life with me.