The good news is that I am in New York City with my Dad.Bustling, busy, artistic, diverse, cultural, Broadway, Times Square, Greenwich Village, Bleaker Street, Hells Kitchen, East side, West Side, Central Park…there is no place like New York.We walked over 150 blocks today. I might have a few regrets about my leopard print flat shoe choice, but I looked good…even if my feet hurt.
What’s funny is that you can be in one of the best places in the world and still nothing will distract you, no matter how busy or fabulous, from pains that at times dive in and swim the seas of your heart.
They say bad things come in threes. For me it was first my sweet Dog and his enlarged heart, kidney failure, and the “it might be cancer” diagnosis. Then the Mum in the hospital who you are so very grateful is on the mend, but can’t help but worry that if an infection takes her down this easily, what might the future hold.
And last it is the “can we talk when I return request?” followed by the “I need space, sorry, take care of yourself” message that comes when you’re on vacation. Even though you might have seen this coming for awhile you can’t help but sadly laugh at life’s on vacation timing and the marvels of technology which keep us from having respectful face to face communication where we can look each other in the eyes and speak the hard stuff.
Somehow I doubt if Bronte, Austin, or Hemingway lived in this day and time, that there great works would be quite the same. Lingering love and stormy romance would have slowly died off, killed by the callous convenience of text.
You do wonder sometimes how we are so utterly careless with each others hearts, then you realize the hurts in our relationships are indicative of the bigger problems in this world…our tiny microcosm reflecting a global macrocosm of epidemic proportions.
We are utterly careless with one another’s hearts.
No wonder the world doesn’t need any more control, power, achievement, structure, ration, money, materials or cold logical thinking to heal.
It needs more Love.
And yet how cold we can be to one another these days as humanity takes a back seat to modern technology, consumerism, and the individual getting lost in the collective. Ironically I am in one of the biggest cities in the world overrun with people and technology and famous for its lack of friendliness. Yet I have not found it so.
Most of the people here are very nice…if you simply look up and take the time to be nice to them. I’ve talked to waiters, shop owners, the person at the table inches from me. I smile at the people I catch staring at me. Mostly they smile back. Their smiles and words tell me a story of kindness and humanity.
Even in such a busy place as this I find that we are more similar than different.
So here I am in New York with a bit of a tattered heart in a year that I have dedicated to a peaceful heart. I am trying to take the beautiful advice of my beloved Rilke and simply live the questions and find that my answers might not be as I wished but, they are there all the same.
Not one to compartmentalize feelings nor one to stay stuck in the bad stuff, I am doing my best to simply embrace the whole of the last two weeks and let the sights and sounds and energy of this space bring me peace. To make sure I keep looking up and see this huge world that surrounds me and reassures me, by the miracle of blue skies, the kiss of sunshine on my face, the love I see exchanged everywhere by the people I see, that all will be well.
I’m sitting here on the 37th floor of my hotel seeing a skyline of scrapers outside my window as I write this and reflect on a promise I made to myself about telling my truth. A very simple one that said I would write it all and be fearlessly transparent. Not just because I believe in living life from the inside out which requires brave transparency.
Not just because writing gives us a voice and I know that writing it all will honor my voice. But really because I want to change the world. Big scale, small scale, it matters not. Change is change is change is change. And the good changes we make can’t help but ripple out into the spaces that surround our space.
We live in a world where people like to do good acts and speak big words, yet whose utter lack of transparency in their own life renders those acts almost meaningless, because they lack the ability to change themselves. And real change starts within. Inside the heart. It flows naturally from there.
The world doesn’t need any more fake people with big words trying to change everyone around them. The world needs more real people simply willing to change their self.
I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes by Audre Lourde.
“I was going to die, sooner or later, whether or not I had even spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you…. I began to ask each time: ‘What’s the worst that could happen to me if I tell this truth?’ Next time, ask: ‘What’s the worst that will happen?’ Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it’s personal. And the world won’t end.
And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don’t miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, ‘If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.’ And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.”
I spoke my truth and it rendered change. I choose to take comfort in the speaking and choose to believe this too is a lesson this peaceful heart needs to learn. I choose to believe that Life is smiling down at me as I do my best to smile at those in this big appled city.
In the meantime the world spins on in this bustling metropolis with so much to see and do. So many sites to take in. So many people to smile at. So many lessons of love interwoven into the lives of those who live here if one only has the eyes to see.
So my heart eyes stay open, my peaceful heart opens wide for it is in need of a bit of extra oxygen right now, and I will keep smiling for you never know who needs it and who might just smile back.