Monday, January 2, 2017

Walking New York as Time Passes, from Garrison to Coney Island, Lower East Side to Faustus

Polar Bear afternoon.

Savitri D photos of the magic hour. Kids exploring the beach.

Few of us are excited about moving into 2017.  But I still love the rituals of our life here in New York, hiking up in Garrison after Christmas, going to Café Loup on 13th Street, or to Coney Island for the Polar Bear plunge on New Years, or just walking here.  These little moments always remind of the possibilities; the streets continue to inspire. This is a magnificent place to live, watch kids grow up, and make our way through the years.

It has been a great few days.

But everyone seems aware its a precarious calm.

Al and I talked about Jaco Pastorius, who descended into madness, like many an artist. But no one was there to catch him when he fell.

And we all hiked through the woods.

The kids read when they could.

And we hung out with Mom, making it through her 79th year.

Will and I talked about Dad. We found an old copy of Goethe's Faust dad read on the night of his father's death in 1985. His best friend Fred gave him a copy.

He underlined a passage of Faustus talking to himself.

"If we say that we have no sin
We deceive ourselves, and there is no truth in us."

Its almost as if Dad and Fred were speaking with each other there, during that fateful weekend thirty-two years ago.  Their friendship continues to inspire me year in year out.  I miss their honestly, their courage, their engagement to ask questions. 

We walked all afternoon on Friday, stopping for a bite at Café Loup on 13th Street.

New Years was quiet. We played hours of Monopoly and danced in the kitchen as the new year began, fireworks cascading across the sky.

Its scary to think what will happen this year.  The republicans seem fascinated with taking away the healthcare of 20 million people, cutting food programs, leaving the poor to starve, or become surfs.

These are our waking thoughts, so we danced late into the night.

We drifted through the night, waking late, and meandered out to holy Coney Island, where I plunged into the water for the polar bear swim.  Its was warmer than usual. But that is par for the course.  The world is changing.

Giddy bodies were everywhere, ready to celebrate being alive.

I made new friends and stumbled into old ones.

We talked and high fived each other in the water.

I can't find Caroline, I told Billy.

I'll wait for them a Rudy's. And beg for beer.  It wouldn't be the first time.

Here take a ten, he smiled.

Lost we found each other.

Talked about Savitri's dad out here.

The Wonder Wheel ascended, aching into the sky as if we were all to descend into forever.  This was it.  It was over. The wheel is going to leap out into the sky, tumbling back into the boardwalk below.

That would be a poetic ending.

Look out the horizon, Caroline advised.  So we looked past the rides into the water that will carry our souls.

And completed one loop.

Its still going, wondered number one.

I thought we were done.

Back up, around, down, and we survived.

So we made our way down the boardwalk.

We talked about activism and poetry, kids growing and rock climbing.

Off to the afternoon, exploring secret places on the beach, a lost door, below the boardwalk, off to Russian food, and a sunset to welcome a new year. Magic light was everywhere. Closings and openings.  Maybe it will be a magic year?

HOpefully, we can learn to speak with each other. I hope we can speak beyond activist speak this year, beyond language that excludes, inviting
others into the conversation, instead of excluding them. When we exclude them, they leave. They go elsewhere, to the right, away from us.  Hopefully the left can speak in more welcoming tones this year.

Hopefully the dialogue can expand.

No comments:

Post a Comment