Thursday, May 25, 2006

thursday night musing

the quiet of morningside heights can be very appealing. walking along riverside church, making time for coffee at oren's at 112th street. tomorrow begins summer hours and it's still cool in New York City. i'm reading like crazy and just trying to take in these new possibilities. i also broke down and bought a moleskine notebook at kate's paperie on 57th street this past monday. i'm beginning to seriously write again and the ideas are all pushing their way to the front of the classroom. all the same, they're still competing with my need to read. i bought a paperback copy of 'the virgin of bennington' by kathleen norris tonight. i haven't read it since it came out -- either in late 2000 or early 2001. so much has changed in my life since i read the book last. i'm wondering how i'll respond to it upon a second reading after leaving new orleans, living in NH, Philly and now NYC. moreover, what will it be like to read about a world i'm a part of, more or less? i don't usually revisit books -- there isn't enough time for just anything -- but there's something i knew i was missing when i read it the first time. i'm curious to see if i find something in what before was a very familiar void.

the quiet of returning to a book with the experience i've gained over the past five years is worth all the air mattresses, living out of suitcase moments, packed subway rides, crying jags on various forms of transportation (not related to commuting, mind you), and the funny moment where i realized i might *just* get by on my wardrobe while working at a certain fashion mag, but --- my god --- did i not have the wrong shoes or what?

now i've been here a while and i can laugh at these kinds of things. maybe because i've bought into it a little bit, but maybe also because new york has a way of really forcing you to stand up for yourself. maybe not even new york, but you reach a point where you stop caring about how things will effect your future and you start doing what you love, working towards what you love. you end up with the haircut you want, instanteous friendships with coworkers who miraculously do not talk about sample sales, and that humming sense that you belong. that sense is something you have to drill for on days that challenge your desire to keep living here. it is a hard place; there's no denying it. yet i can't imagine a more exciting place to be a young person. maybe paris, london, buenos aires, berlin, or hong kong. i miss new orleans, but i just can't do what i love there. maybe one day, but even before katrina there were aspects of new orleans that made it a possibly even more difficult place to live than new york.

but i'm here. and so are a significant amount of the people i love. there's been so much wind this week that if you close your eyes, you can imagine yourself in cornwall, england. it's quite a stretch, but you can find yourself there. it's just that kind of town.


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