“We write to taste life twice, in the moment, and in retrospection.”
– Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 5 (1947-1955)
writing these days feels terrifying to me, because i have so many beginnings with no ends to pair with them.
says a lot about what happens to me in relationships? maybe?
i ran along the hudson river on the first appropriately warm day since i got here.
i wrote a bunch of notes about being here,
but they felt so melancholic.
i’ll leave them here anyway.
february, the beginning, 2014
The cold was impolite, and all the brutal thoughts I’ve had about New York City were realized. It was not made for love.
I came to see why only the best flourish-
Only the bravest dreams survive this city. perhaps only the strongest love.
They did not lie about the sleeping. Lying awake here well after you should be asleep throbs with aching normality. No one seems to sleep, yet the everything seems to nod off with the hum of a well-oiled machine. All the people in their black, weary coats, carrying shopping bags at all hours. Briskly, briskly.
The smells of various hot foods wafting through the air, chasing you as you walk the sidewalks.
Anonymity becomes a strange duality, when you can look into your neighbor’s windows and not know a thing about them. When you are practically sitting on strangers’ laps on the subway without knowing their names.
We gingerly climb along the edges of snow, which really is no longer snow.
The ridges of ice rim this city, and wall out most warmth. As a result, we look for warmth desperately. Almost unable to find it because we are looking so hard.
There are unfamiliar sounds for me:
the hiss of the radiators,
the birds too loud in the morning singing on the fire escape.
the sunsets and sunrises dictated (defined?) by the valleys between skyscrapers
walking in the cold becomes meditation, because it has to be.
Do people come here because it becomes ok to yearn to escape?
Some people have said that there is no other city for them
What do they create here, that makes them feel this way?
It would seem that the debt the winter demands is somehow repaid- rather, perhaps I’m paying for the times that I found freedom here in the aloneness.
I thought, fleetingly, that perhaps my entire life has been lived in the temporary, rather, impermanence.
fleeing from? something. or setting down my bag in a hotel room with the thought that this would not last.
I meet a lot of extremely religious people here
You can feel lost in this city of dreams
you can feel like you are not dreaming big enough
that your faith is not big enough
that you don’t believe in anything real enough.
the city slaps you in the face with real. this is real. show me real. here i am.