Monthly Archives: March 2011

Sharing is Caring

8:30 pm

Life knows how to have her way with me.

I started a writing class yesterday.  It is called “Diamond Cutters.”  I followed serendipity, wanting to run the other way.  I met with my friend Megan for dinner.  She told me I should take a writing class.  The next day, I was on Harper Green’s blog and it said that she is taking a writing class.    It was a sign and I had to submit to it.  I asked her about it and it seemed perfect.  It is on skype and I loved what the teacher wrote about it on her blog.  Six weeks without leaving the comfort of my own home and on a Tuesday.  Tuesday has been my day that my husband lets me have to myself.  I tried to take an improv class but there were none on a Tuesday, so that was another sign.

The first thing I found out in my class is that we will be writing a 10-20 page anything to be critiqued by the others.  Six weeks, six people.  I got nervous.  10-15 pages of what?  What do I have to say in 10-20 pages.  When I flip through my archives, I am noticing that there have been at least a 100 pages written already over the span of my 133 posts.  No counting.  I just strap myself into my chair and go on into my mind, counting is not the point.  I am used to counting everything but this time, I want to be bad at math.

I started looking at my comrades.  The other five souls in my class.  I have read a couple of their blogs and became more enchanted with this path I am choosing.  We are all fighting for the same cause.  The cause is to open up all the secret doors, to let it breathe inside.  To show the covered, to reveal secrets.  To open up the soul for all to see.  As a jewelry designer, I learned to work alone.  Jewelry designers thrive on trade secrets.  It has taken me years to find the “good” stuff.  I learned that quickly.   In the beginning, at a trade show, I was told to leave a designer’s booth when she found out that I was just another designer and not a store owner.  In that world, competition is king.  I crave to be in a world where sharing is caring.

9:21 pm

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It is

12:13 pm

Floating with the stream.

What if I fail, a voice asked?  What if I sit here and I do nothing, will anything change.

Try it, another voice answered.  You do not have to do anything.  Have you ever failed at anything?

Yes, I’ve failed at everything.  I can’t do it.  I can’t risk it all.

Risk what? The calm voice answered.

Risk my life.

The calm voice smiled.

But the nervous voice continued, I do not want to be here.

Where?

Here, there, anywhere.  I do not want to hear it.  If there is truth, why do I see lies.  I want truth, why do I lie all day.

The calm voice smiled again.

There is war and politics and pain everywhere I look inside.  I do not want to look anymore, I do not want to see it.  I want it ideal.

It is.

 

New York

8:53 pm

We recently bought a house in Brooklyn and thus committed ourselves to New York City.  I can finally proudly say that I am a New Yorker and my son will be born and raised a New Yorker.  I struggled with this idea for a while.  I thought of all that we need to give up to live in New York.  The comfort of having a garage, the back yard for playing and running, the quiet peace of nature.  I do miss those things but when I think back on my suburban life, I did not appreciate the wide open roads with farms for miles until I moved far away from them.

I enjoy my travels to wild places where nature is not so bound by humans.  I imagine myself living in places like that.  Places where I would rise with the sun and harvest a papaya from my back yard for breakfast (like I used to in Hawaii).  Go for an evening swim in the sea.  I know that one day, I will live in a place like that.  My husband and I are not ones for any permanent roots.

When we land at the airport in NY, we are assaulted by the grayness of this place.  The sky that reflects the concrete all year-long.  What are we doing here, suckling from the grid.  But then we drive up to our street.  I see the people walking on the street by our house.  Their faces.  Their partners and children.  I see myself in them.  I see the eyes of New Yorkers and I realize I am home.  No one lives in New York for the luxury of it, or the Broadway shows, or Times Square or the weather.  No one lives in New York for the convenient life.  We live in New York for the people.  New Yorkers.

I look around on the street and I see the New York eyes.  They come in all shapes and sizes but they have the same depth.  I enjoyed my travels but no place has those eyes.  I look at them and feel the kinship only known to me here.   The eyes have a story to tell.  They have stayed in New York to live that story.

Last night was another reason.  In the short ten years that I have been here, I have seen neighborhoods evolve.  The rise of the Bushwick artist that I experienced last night was just one example.  I am constantly discovering new places that are alive and breathing in the newness of our time.  New York does not take the “New” in its name for granted.  It is a breeding nest for the ‘new’ to hatch and incubate.

After five months of Miami last year, I came back to New York and breathed again.  I walked with a bounce in my step with Isaiah in the stroller singing the “Empire State of Mind” all day long.  Now I do not walk around singing it, I walk around feeling it.

 

Bushwick

10:59

Tonight I went out with my friend Megan for her birthday in Bushwick.  We walked into a restaurant with a faint sign and a small window.  The window was blocked so you could not see inside.  When we walked in, a whole world opened up.  This quiet industrial street, seemingly dead was alive inside.  All the tables were full with, most likely, artists.  All talking and eating the most deliciously creative and inexpensive foods.  The feeling was the same as Williamsburg when I fist moved there in 2003.

I first started coming to Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 2002.  I came to visit my friend Ryan and Josh, who lived there.  When I got off the Bedford L for the fist time, I realized how few people were there.  It was not bustling with crowds like Manhattan where I lived at the time.  The air was quiet but I could feel there was another kind of life brewing.  At the time, I did not know what “hipster” was, I don’t think that word came to me until few years later.  When I first moved to Williamsburg, there were no hipsters, there were artists.

Musicians, painters, designers, writers all hanging out by day at coffee shops, keeping wrong hours and dressing in crazy clothes.  I smelled the freedom in the air.  It was contagious.  It was painful to walk to my Wall St. job through Williamsburg at 8 am every morning, when my little artist town was sound asleep.  It was not the sleep that I was after, it was the art.

Williamsburg has changed since then.  It changed fast.  The restaurants went from a handful eatable ones when I first moved to 100s.  There is not one open store front on Bedford ave. that is not occupied by a coffee shop, restaurant or a trendy boutique.  It did not take long for the Williamsburg invasion.  I am not an old lady recollecting the past, this took place in less than 10 years.  It was building before that, but in the last five years it boomed.   I still love Williasburg there are still good vibes but it is not the same.

Today, when I went to Bushwick, I felt it again.  I got out of my car, and I could smell it in the air.  Only a few people on otherwise desolate streets but I felt it.  I saw something in their faces.  It was the look of people who have found a haven away from it all.  Yes, Bushwick is just few more stops on the L train but for the rest of the world, it is lifetimes away.  The artists have found their new Williamsburg and it is nice to see it emerging from the dust.

11:57 pm

Grace

1:38 pm

Today I met Grace by the pool again.  Grace is a sexy Italian mom from Toronto.  This lady is hot as hot can get.  Dark, with olive skin, a little hour-glass with full Sofia Loren breasts.  Even I could not take my eyes off of her cleavage and got scared that I would get caught starring.  Grace wanted to open up to me this afternoon, I could feel it, so I floated by her to listen to her story.

I noticed Grace few days ago.  She was fascinated with Isaiah’s swimming skills.  I was also fascinated with Grace but I could not tell her why.  Today, she spotted us in the pool, telling her family about Isaiah so they gathered around watching as he swam and swam until he was drunk on chlorine.

I noticed that Grace had two daughters.  She looked so young and these kids were about nine years old.  One was dark and olive like her beautiful mom and one was fair and bloated with an apparent mental disorder.  Grace told me that afternoon that her older daughter, Madison was born with down syndrome.  She told me that she had her kids, when she was 34 and had them one after another.  I listened amazed not daring to ask how she decided to have another child after having one with down syndrome.

She told me that her younger daughter, was jealous of Madison, the daughter with the down syndrome.  I found this ironic.  She said that Madison is so friendly and everybody loves her so much.  As I watched Madison, I could tell that this girl did not have a bad bone in her body.  It was like her down syndrome took away any maliciousness that a ‘normal’ human may have.  Madison watched Isaiah swimming, she was giggling every time he went under.  She was enjoying him as if she was a relative, never taking her eyes from him.

As we talked more, she told me that her husband and her were separated.  He decided ten years into their marriage that he could not do the ‘family and kids thing’.  He started dating a thirty year old who was Russian and Jewish, much to his mother’s approval.  The Russian threw him out and he tried to come back to Grace.  While she was talking, all I could think was her name is perfect for her, she was Grace embodied.  This seemingly tragic story she told with nothing but grace.  There was not a trace of gossip or ill feelings.  Her head was high and there was strength in her character.  Her kids looked up at her with admiration.

The older girl with the down syndrome was fully adjusted.  The only thing that separated her from the world was her appearance.  Grace was happy at how well her older daughter was doing with having down syndrome and I could tell she worked hard for that too.  She told me about the heart surgery that Madison had to have when she was eighteen months old.  I have a frame of reference now.  It would be like Isaiah having a heart surgery four months ago.  I was in disbelief but Grace said it all as a matter of fact.  There was no ‘poor me’ in her voice.

Grace started dating recently.  A doctor whose wife died and left him with three kids.  She said that she is not in love with him but he was a good man and a family man.  That is all she wanted out of a man at this point.  Her husband could not give her that.  She just wanted someone who would be good to her children.

I watched her as if she was a hero this afternoon.  Having a down syndrome daughter, than another, than having her husband leave her while they were still so young and to do it all with … Grace.