Mar 242012
 

22 June 2011

Dusk: the Soul of the City
It’s over.

I could weep.

And I did last night, soft sudden sobs in the privacy of the Beacon Theatre, surrounded by kd lang and a few thousand New Yorkers.

Probably because being with kd was like hangin’ out with an old friend. We’ve traveled together for years . . . I was there right at the start for her.

She was wonderful.

She knows she’s wonderful. And she knows she’s loved for being exactly who she is and she reflects that back to us, so we’re all laughing with each other because who we are is funny.

She was light. She was skippy. She offered a rendition of Hallelujah that was nothing less than what anyone expected yet brought us all to our knees and then onto our stamping feet.

She gave New York her best because New York will accept nothing less than her best, hers or anyone else’s.

That voice. Her and Sinead O’Connor, along with Annie Lennox, were the voices of my time. I always thought kd and Sinead were the voices unparalleled at the end of the last century. I still do. Not just because of the strength and beauty and power, but this and more: conscience, passion, inspiration and Love.

The voices of my time.

Yesterday I did a victory lap on the Staten Island ferry, a Liberty sail-by, a soft wind blowing on a gentle sea. We saluted each other, the journey and the road ahead.

People ask about the highlight of my journey.

Washington DC was a stand out day. Seeing a bear in Pennsylvania was a stand out moment.

But what about New York, they ask. What about New York?

I think back on this or that moment or event or incident . . . there is none.

New York is the whole.

A whole month of being absorbed into a city that requires nothing more from us than who we are, and allows breathing room for all of us to be anyone we want to be. No-one stands out here, not even the rich and famous. We are all absorbed into New York City beyond the dizzying boundaries of insecurity and self; we are not just part of the whole – we are the whole.

For one month I have experienced not a single bored moment, not a single loose end. Rarely did I make it to bed before midnight. Rarely did I sleep beyond dawn.

So there it is. I have a ticket out that flies at dusk. This morning, hand on the fridge door reaching for yoghurt, I understood the title of historian Geoffrey Blainey’s most famous book: The Tyranny of Distance.

And through those words I understood why Australians of inspiration and talent raise their heads above the horizon and look beyond the equator to reach for creative excellence.

Driving home through dense Sunday traffic from Pennsylvania on Sunday night, Alicia Keys was singing on the radio about New York. American culture, in the United States of America, has time and place on its side.

Outside the US, it is a wannabe import.

It’s like walking through olive groves in Spain – suddenly olive oil makes cultural sense; at least to me, a 6th generation Antipodean who has inherited just about everything cultural from somewhere else.

So too America.

Now it all makes sense.

New York, New York.

Love of our lives.

We cannot stay.

Or we can, for a while.

Or we can, for a long long time.

New York:  your soul is expressed in the courtesy of your people, in the motivational wind in your streets.

It was you who taught me to swallow my self-consciousness in a world that no longer surrenders privilege, and stand for those less able to stand, to offer my seat unequivocally on the subway, on the bus.

Returned to my world, this translates into stepping off my own path to carry the fishing rod for the old man with the walking stick, down the dunes to the shore.

New York:  Montmarte of our Age, where all an artist need do is stand on a street corner long enough to absorb all the inspiration she needs to begin work right there, right there on the street.

New York you are ordinary in your appearance, yet boast the extraordinary; you are chaotic yet impressively functional.

New York:  we won’t find the soul of this city in all of the people all of the time, nor in its physical manifestation – yet the soul of the city is reflected in her high flyers and her huddled masses.

New York expects nothing more from me than who I am – who we are – and she demands I – we – bring to this world all the talents with which I – we – were born, joyfully and unapologetically!

Creativity is not mine – or yours – to judge. It is ours to express.

This is her gift and her glory.

I’ll let Alicia have the final word, for now. Just click on the picture.
 

 


 

Mar 242012
 

18 June 2011

A toast
Here’s Keira, the woman from Katoomba in the Blue Mountains who said she was going to New York to find a partner for her brilliant digital publishing idea – and it is a brilliant digital publishing idea – prompting me to say ‘fantastic, I’m coming to New York too!’

Here we are, toasting the journey.

‘I have a present for you,’ she said.

‘Oooo,’ I said, ‘I have one for you too!’

So we closed our eyes and traded presents – and laughed the way we do.

Liberty.

A small statue for me.

A fridge magnet for her.

Liberty, our victory salute to the forces of life that impel us forward into the risky and unknowable unknown; our yes to the universal impulses that tapped two antipodean dreamers on the shoulder and whispered ‘New York, now!’

Keira found her publishing partner, a man of such ambition, motivation and enthusiasm for her project that she is talking to lawyers.

She’s gone now, her journey over, her mission complete. The photo above was taken by the shaky waiter in the cafe where we met before she left for the airpot.

I caught the train out with her. And on my return home, I received the phone call I came here to answer – from a publisher who is over the moon about the possibility of publishing my book.

I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, I’m off to Pennsylvania for the weekend with my friend Veronica. Her dad is in Russia, we’re going to colonise his house and do our washing.

They have great words in the US, long flowy words, big words, loaded words:

Vanderbilt
Rockefeller
Philadelphia
Washington
Pennsylvania
Delaware
Baltimore
Poughkeepsie (not so loaded, but I didn’t know was a real word until I saw it on a sign post)
Manhattan
America.

Not that the last belongs to the citizens of the United States. But we have collectively allowed them to claim it.

America.

It is a beautiful word.

And it encircles so very, very much.

Cheers!

Mar 242012
 

17 June 2011

 

Wild life

 

Here are the bears in Central Park.

It was a jolt, a reminder to one who is perpetually imagining places before, before us. There would have been bears in these woods.

When these were woods.

It’s been quite a surprise to me how little animal life there is in New York City, right from the start.

One day, early in the visit, I heard a warble soaring above the traffic in downtown Manhattan. I looked up, searching for the culprit and there was the tiniest little bird sitting on a street sign, singing for the world.

Pigeons there are some, even almost many in certain places, such as Washington Park. And of course there was Fluffy the squirrel and I’m sure Fluffy is not alone.

There are the rats. Apparently the rats in NYC are the size of dogs. The woman who warned me of this also warned me of eating in NYC restaurants.

Here’s a lionised rat I saw on the back of a ute yesterday.

Scary, huh.AND THEN. I was sitting in Central Park, again surprised by the absence of animals, waiting for Gabrielle. And I saw something I have never seen in my life. Something I would never, ever expect to see in a city.A hawk.The hawk that shot from the sky and pinned a black and white feathered bird to the bare ground.Best I show you.

The hawk flattened every breath the bird had yet to take until it was limp and still. Then flew off, its prey floppy in its claws.

Today was a walking walking walking kinda day. The only sitting I did was with Gabrielle, who met me in the park.

She told me that this building, which we could see from our Central Park bench, was the famous building in Ghostbusters.

And that this building is where John Lennon was shot.

There were a few things I planned to do today, like small visits to Bloomingdales and the Walforf Astoria, iconic New York things to do if I have time, but I’d walked so far to meet Gabrielle in Central Park I decided to ditch them and head home.

As I strolled down Lexington looking for the subway, I got into my head that I’d walk to Grand Central Station. Even though I’ve caught the subway to Grand Central, I always figured I was missing something . . . well . . . grand! And I figured that to find it I’d have to enter from the street.

So I walked 40 city blocks.

And on the way I spied the wonderful strings of shopping that have eluded me, I walked past the Waldorf Astoria, I ducked into Bloomingdales and had a sulky girl put makeup on me, mainly because I couldn’t think of anything else to do when I got in there.

I walked past a human art installation in an empty shop window stopping the rush hour commuters in their tracks.

They were rolling down the wall, very, very slowly.

And then I found Grand Central Station, which is called Grand Central Terminal according to the words carved into the stone on the building’s facade. What a building! This is the kind of building you build when you want people arriving in your city – remembering that rail was the only prestige way to travel – and you want them to know they Have Arrived somewhere.

40 city blocks. I couldn’t have done that when I arrived in this wild and wonderful Somewhere.

Mar 242012
 

16 June 2011

 

Acts of love

 

Coney Island.

Iconic Coney Island.

We’ve all been there in our imaginations, via the books and movies and creative expressions of others.

nd it’s exactly like you’d expect. Only smaller. I stopped and asked a souvenir man for a map. He looked at me incredulous.

‘Wha’dya need a map foi?’

‘Everythun yoi need is he-ere.’

And he waved his hand in a general direction and I followed.

And indeed the-ere it was.

New York accents – the classic version – ride seasonal currents, jostling with the squeals and peels of laughter of summer ghosts, long past.

Here’s an observation from a stranger about New York City, from a visitor who knows not very much at all: the city is a time warp. Everything built in the 50s still looks like the 50s, and so on. It’s like I imagine Cuba to be, only with the exception that in New York the cars are new.

At the time of my visit to Coney Island, there were only 18 days, 28 minutes and 51.7 seconds to go until Nathan’s International Hot Dog Eating Contest. It’s how they celebrate July 4 on Coney Island. Sonya Thomas won it last year for the women with 41 hot dogs. Joey Chestnut won it for the blokes with 68 hotdogs.

Interestingly, only blokes get to make it to the Wall of Fame. Why am I not surprised?

It was hot on Coney Island. I thought it was to be another rainy day in NYC. But no, the sunshine was out in splendour and I was roasting in jeans.

And so I wandered along the boardwalk, humming a certain tune and sweating it off.

I am ashamed to admit that yesterday that certain song finally made sense to me . . . under the boardwalk, down by the sea . . . now I know what the boardwalk is :)

See?

It’s very long, you walk on it and it has lots of boards.

On my way back I forewent a famous Nathan’s hotdog (since 1916) for a fresh grapefruit juice and a peeled mango on a stick. Sitting in the shade on a plastic chair beneath a plastic umbrella, I tuned into the conversation beside me. Three old blokes sitting at their own plastic table, a fourth in a pineapple shirt stopping to yak as he walked on by.

Clearly they all had a long long past at Coney Island. They were classic working New Yorkers. One of the men seated was wearing a leather vest with a patch, not unlike the Hell’s Angels insignia – only his said Coney Island Dancers, with a scary picture in the middle.

And so they talked about the past.

Said the man in the pineapple shirt: ‘You seen the new food joint opened up on 3rd?

‘It’s a joke (joik)!!!

‘Dey sell sushi – who comes to Coney Island to eat sushi?’

Much as I appreciated my fresh grapefruit juice, I thought he had a point.

Maybe things are moivin’ at Coney Island after all.

But there’s something precious about ghosts.

As I sat on the white plastic chair in the shade listening and chuckling along with the old boys beside me, there was a sudden crash and ensuing fracas and a whole new scene played out before me.

Crash! I turned just in time for the second crash! A small Mexican man with a twisted spine and a heavy black pack on his back kicked over the hotdog man’s tin signs. Crash. One down. Crash, two down. Crash, three down.

The hotdog man, lord of his patch, runs over wavin’ his arms  ‘hey! hey! watcha doin’!!!’

Kick, crash, over goes another tin sign.

The hot dog lord shoos him over and he starts on the rubbish bins, crash! Crash!

A muscly young man in a white t-shirt races over bringing the language of the ages with him ‘motherfucker get outa here’. He stands over him with his rippling chest.

The Mexican takes a breath. Then decides he’s up for the fight. He puts up his fists. It’s comical. He looks like the Wizard of Oz’s cowardly lion, ‘c’mon, put ya dukes up, put ‘em uuup put ‘em uuup’ as he shuffles on his feet.

It was like watching a lame duck threaten a mighty wolf.

The wolf leaves it alone. The Mexican starts roaring and kicking over more garbage bins.

It’s fascinating watching this scene play out. A woman in uniform comes with a broom and pan to pick up the rubbish. She’s not sure whether to start work or not. The Mexican leaves and returns, roars leaves and returns. He shuffles off down the boardwalk and sits beside people who are clearly uncomfortable with his roaring angry way.

And as I watch I realise that every human being who was part of this show was acting from love. Every single human being did what they could – some stepped forward, others stayed still – everyone wanted it to end well.

Even the humans who shuffled uncomfortably when he sat beside them acted with love – they did their best not to reject him, they did their best to protect themselves without causing further pain to him.

He is among the unloved and the unlovable. We did our collective best, to protect ourselves and cause him no harm.

About 10 minutes later the police cruise by, the ones charged with the unenviable job of protecting us all. It will not end well for the Mexican. But then I wonder if he is looking for someone to stop him. To pay attention. I wonder if his roar, interpreted, is not a human being crying out ‘LOVE ME’.

Please, love me. The humans on the boardwalk did their best, to love him and themselves.

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Mar 242012
 

15 June 2011

Natural state

It’s cold in New York City today.

I was going to walk the Brooklyn Bridge a week ago, but it was too hot in the bare sun. Today, quite spontaneously, after posting off my last press pack to a publisher at the Fedex office, I decided to walk to Manhattan.

And half way across the bridge it started to rain.

Walking. I was walking. I crossed the bridge and just walked, my old self, still limping but walking as if walking is no obstacle.

I wandered along the streets of an old city, a parade of cobbled stones and magnificent buildings from another time.

It’s the fire station!

I walked and I walked, the neighbourhoods changing like countries without border crossings.

The steady rain. The big traffic. Walking the streets. No idea where I am. I must be on pilgrimage!

I think it’s my natural state.

I am on the home run in New York City. Today is my last Wednesday. I think I will spend it, like pennies on the run, at Coney Island. I will catch the subway to the beach.

In the rain.

Posting off my last press pack – a collection of clippings and promotional materials that demonstrate my publishing worth – was a milestone. My mission is complete. I have sown all the seeds I have to sow.

So far the following have sprouted:

1 x small publisher in Georgia

1 x small-medium publisher in Massachussets

1 x medium publisher in Illinois

1 x big agent in NYC who retrieved me from her spam folder and let me know she’ll be in touch, probably July.

I’m nodding. Not a bad effort. And there are several seeds that might yet surprise.

I have done all I can do with the resources I have. It’s time to smile and start pulling myself together, rein in the longings and the spirits, and make ready for the southbound run.

Although the other day I did see a rock shaped like an arrow that seemed to be pointing me north.

North.

Alaska.

Pilgrimage.

My natural state.

 

 

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Mar 242012
 

11 June 2011

 

Guess!

 

Guess, guess, guess who lives at the top of those steps?

Guess who used to live at the top of those steps, I should say.

C’moooooooonnnnn, Sex and the City fans :)

It’s Carrie Bradshaw’s house!

Can you imagine. I felt a bit stupid having my photo taken outside. I was with Gemma, an acquaintance of my sister’s. She lives in the neighbourhood. She insisted :)

Here’s the window through which we used to watch Carrie typing.

True story :)

And a block over, looking exactly the same, guess who lives there?

Sarah Jessica herself!

I didn’t photograph it :)

Here’s Veronica. She’s my other new friend. She scooped me up this morning and took me over to the Palisades, a great big quiet patch of Earth filled with trees that can never be developed because a Rockefeller bought it so his mum could retreat into cloisters – an old church he shipped from Europe – and have the view of the trees across the water. He donated it to the state on the proviso it never be developed.

Good lord – they say that a lot in New York, being Americanised Christians n’all. And Bless You! Everyone’s sneezing at the moment as the summer blossoms surrender their pollen to the wind, so ‘bless you’ echoes like a chorus round the streets and subways.

I digress.

What I meant to say was Good Lord! Yesterday it was raining in New York City. So instead of roaming along the High Line, a disused railway line they’ve turned into a park, I strolled through my own neighbourhood to the local flea market.

OMG, the food.

I have been looking for Maine lobster roll since a) a woman called Terri I met on the plane over told me about it and b) since I tasted it with my other new friend Gabrielle two weeks ago!

And there it was at the flea market. Toasted sesame seed roll dripping with warm butter and fresh lobster. Oh my Toto, it was delicious.

AND THEN I found fresh mozzarella slapped between fresh crusty sourdough slices dripping in olive oil and pepper.

Toto, the day just got better and better.

I sold a book! To my friend Kiera’s friend John the Oil Baron.

And I gave two away to a waitress who loved loved loved reading so much we traded favourite book lists. She didn’t know I was a writer and I returned the next day with my books – an American readership testing ground. She was delighted in the way Americans are. She hugged me. Yay book movement is about all I can say.

Here’s a funny thing. The women in Brooklyn go shopping with their dogs. No it’s funny. They gooooo shooooopping with their dogs. Into the boutiques. Into the dressing rooms. It’s sooooo cooooool. I can’t imagine how they stop them peeing on the clothes racks!

Which reminds me of a picture I saw the other day.

I’m off to Washington tomorrow, into the subway at the crack of dawn and ride on down to the capitol.

I’ve been watching West Wing in preparation :)

Mar 242012
 

11 June 2011

How to post a letter

Here, friends, is the scene one might expect to find in New York City.

Strolling through Washington Park last night in the cooling summer breeze, after a disappointingly small and bland but conceptually elaborate poached prawn gnocchi, voila!

A man with a baby grand tinkling the ivories like he is Son of Gershwin and an old, old woman standing crooked and watching, mesmerised.

It was a beautiful evening. People sitting around the idle waters of the fountain, spread out on rugs and deck chairs, chatting, watchingthe French movie beamed onto the screen installed below the Washington Arch, built to commemorate George’s twin career peaks – general and president.

Or perhaps that ought to be capitalised: General and President.

I am in the greatest city on earth, among 8 million people who drive the modern world, elevate its ideals and dictate its fancies.

Yet I am among the ground dwellers and yesterday in Brooklyn, looking for a post office, I had the fleeting thought that this country, at least as I’ve experienced it in New York City, is dangerously close to third world.

That is an exaggeration, of course. But it is a long way from the sophisticated first world society I imagined it to be. Down here on the ground.

It all started in the Fedex office, where I was printing some documents and sending the book to a publisher in Georgia. What would take me 10 minutes at home takes me two hours and so much money I may as well buy a printer. That is a small part of this story. Because after all that, and standing in line, I forgot Fedex doesn’t do post boxes.

So I go looking for a post office.

No one knows where it is.

Then I see a man with parcels.

‘There’s a man who knows where the post office is,’ I grin as he realises that yes, I am talking to him.

The building is big and grey and beautifully old and, trussed up like a Christmas chicken, is a long way from its halcyon days.

I’m standing in line when I hear the following conversation.

Woman in 20s to post office assistant who is patrolling the queue to make sure we have what we need before we get to the counter:  ‘How many stamps do I put on this parcel?’

Patrol woman:  ‘How many did you buy?’

Woman in 20s:  ‘I’m not sure.’

Patrol woman starts to add up her stamps.

Confusion.

Woman in 20s:  ‘I’m sorry, I’ve just never had to do this before.’

Patrol woman, suddenly empathetic: ‘Oh that’s okay, I have a daughter your age and . . . ‘.

Women in their 20s who have never had reason to buy stamps? Or post a letter?

There are two things a parent has a responsibility to teach, a child’s basic survival kit if you like: how to read, write and add up – literacy – and how to swim. I’m adding ‘how to post a letter’.

I’ve heard this said before – Americans are kind, simple folk. Here on the ground, they most certainly are.

Hey! I’m off to Washington DC.

I have a train ticket for Monday, down and back in a day.

I feel like Lisa Simpson off to visit the Lincoln Memorial. Apparently a few older kids got arrested the other day for dancing there.

Memo to Self:  No Dancing At the Lincoln Memorial.

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Mar 242012
 

11 June, 2011

 

Mist

 

Beauty, as we know they say, is in the eye of the beholder.

The other day I was standing on the streets of Manhattan looking up at a sky swirled white. And I declared to the stranger beside me ‘look at the mist draping the tips of the buildings – it’s so beautiful’.

And the stranger looked at me sideways and said ‘it’s pollution’.

Oh.

Beauty.

There was not a heart in the crowd not uplifted by the Cirque du Soleil performance last night.

Nor by the extraordinary, stunning, overwhelming majesty of Radio City Music Hall.

What a theatre!

It was worth the price of the ticket just to ascend the staircase, to glimpse the stage, to go to the toilets for that matter.

What a tribute to glories past.

Zarkana, the new Cirque du Soleil show, was wonderful.

This we’ve come to expect, of course.

It is utterly extraordinary what can be done with light and fabric; the miracle complete with limitless imaginations and plentiful pockets.

It was an honour to chip in my 85 bucks to support the show. We need artists to illuminate our hearts, enliven our spirits! To deliver us beyond the mundane, and then lower us gently back to Earth.

Trust was on show for us last night.

Trust in self. Trust in the human beings sharing the stage. Trust in the engineers who designed and built the gear.

So too the senses – sound, sight, touch and beyond!

Sigh, it was beautiful.

These artists are lovers. They make love to the air around them, from the inside out. They surrender to the forces uplifting them and share the bounty with us all.

Catch the show in Australia if you can . . . you’ll pay twice as much for a ticket and you won’t be in Radio City Music Hall, but it’ll worth every penny, I promise.

Hey, I drank Sangria the other day. Reminded me of Lou Reed ‘ . . . it’s such a perfect day, drink Sangria in the park . . .’ Only I wasn’t in a park, I was in a Spanish bar on Second Ave with my new friend Veronica, snacking on warm marinated olives while a small band floated rumbas quietly into the night.

And I have two publishing moments of interest to report.

I had a ‘heck yeah! send it on down’  response from a publisher in Georgia – of all places!  And I’m hounding an agent who is yet to say boo to me, but whose gift is that by continuing to fire pebbles at her window from my little slingshot, I am raising the quality of my presentation to meet her impossible performing seal demands. Torturous as it is – it’s very, very good exercise.

Ha!

Have I mentioned I love New York?

Spilling out of Radio City Music Hall onto the streets with thousands of happy New Yorkers in the middle of the night, the buildings masked with their nightlights, truly, there was magic in the air.

Beauty, as they say . . .

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Mar 242012
 

10 June, 2011

She’s back!
It’s hot.

Very hot.

The sidewalks are steaming and the city is sticky and slow.

Strangely, I don’t mind it. It’s easy being hot when all you have to think about is your own well being.

Today, in my case, that meant icecream and watermelon.

I’m just about to head into the city to another iconic landmark, Radio City Music Hall.

Zarkana! Cirque du Soleil’s new show. In the heart of New York City. Just 85 bucks a ticket for opening night. Coooooool.

The city is beginning to make real sense to me. I have been exploring round and about, here and there, ad hoc forays into myriad neighbourhoods. And finally they’re adding up!

Today, I was looking for Montague Street in Brooklyn. Or, to be precise, looking for the bus to take me to Montague Street. I was there last week and I wanna give the waitress in the little Italian joint my books to read, for no other reason than we had a big long discussion about favourite books and we traded lists and I didn’t tell her I was a writer.

She’s a perfect American guinea pig for my books.

So there I was, wanting to catch the bus to Montague Street. And I glanced up and there was Montague Street, right beside me. I had no idea that downtown  Brooklyn and Montague Street were the same thing! Haha.

Finally on Tuesday I found some summer clothes. Dresses with suitable hemlines. I couldn’t bear another sweltering day in jeans and t-shirts! I found them on Montague Street.

Here’s the view from the end of Montague Street.

Thanks to those of you who have missed me on the blog. I’ve been resting, brewing actually, diving deeper than the surface offerings the blog demands.

Let’s leave today with one clear bell of a statement. It’s on t-shirts all over the world

I love New York City.

And here’s why: in New York, at ground level, you can be anyone you wanna be. Just relax and get on with it.

Oh, and the photo at the top? I went to the UN the other day. Not much there but a surprisingly large number of people paying their respects to the flags of many nations.

Like just about everything human, it represents a beautiful ideal and visionary hard work and devotion to the actualisation of a common dream.

The reality will always disappoint. Which is why we must forgive ourselves our humanness and fall in love with what is noble and true. In this way we will save ourselves – and nurturing the Earth our home will be a given.

Salaam.

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Mar 242012
 

 

3 June, 2011
Something funny

 

Hey, wanna know something funny?

The school buses here are exactly like those in The Simpsons. Whenever I see one, I see ‘my name is Otto and I love to get blotto’ at the wheel.

Hahaha.

New Yorkers are so kind.

It is humbling to be among them. Men young and old stand for women on the bus, without hesitation. Entering the supermarket, for example, they stand back to let you pass – stepping back to hold the door even if they’re ahead of you.

‘‘Scuse me, ma’am.’

Common courtesy is alive and well and it’s beautiful to behold. It makes me nicer too.

I am again among the hobbled on the street. Limping and slow, the pinched nerve in my sciatica not helping today.

And as I waddle along like an old old lady, surrendering to the limp, I am amazed over and over how many of us there are in this world who are hobbled.

There are a lot of foot and leg and probably hip injuries getting around, no doubt many of them permanent.

Sometimes I wonder if mine is permanent . . . and I am strangely accepting. There’s something easy and gentle about going slowly because you have no choice, about being among the vulnerable and the varyingly dysfunctional.

But of course I love to walk, so this is not an option.

I’m going away for the weekend, to Saugerties. I don’t know what Saugerties is, but everyone ooos and ahhs when I tell them. Apparently it’s in the Catskills, another iconic name that is about to get meaning.

It’s actually 4.30 in the morning and I’m writing this as a way of filling in time before I have to leave. I’m heading into Adirondack country – don’t you love that word?

Adirondack.

I’m off to spend the weekend with two women who were among the leaders of the revolution: Susun Weed, healer and plant ally, and Z Budapest, reclaimer/renewer of women’s spirituality.

Americans of spirit and passion at the forefront of a revolution that ultimately, seemingly and collectively, went nowhere. I am going to pay my respects on behalf of a younger generation for whom they lit the way. It’s all a bit of a hoot really. A weekend workshop called Priestess Training :)  They could have been running a knitting group and I’d be up at dawn to catch the subway to catch the bus to catch the cab to Saugerties. Apparently it’s down the road from Woodstock. I hope I get to see it.

So my darlings, I’ll be back on Monday.

Have a great weekend one and all.

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