I thought I was really fancy the other night walking home. And by real fancy I mean “I had a few glasses of wine and thought I was some sort of night shooting art pro.” I dodged between lamp posts, crouched near wrought iron garbage gates throwing long shadows. I barked at rats to get out of my shot. Needless to say, once I sobered up, I only kept about… well, these two shots.
On The Road
One good thing — remember when I was going to do that? Gotta get back into it. There’s too much awesome happening around me to get bogged down by the boogers. So! One REALLY good thing about taking the train up to CT is the furry feathery nature all over the damn place. I was a passenger in the car weaving through the woods when we sped past two fat hawk looking things just chilling in the light snow at Blue Jay Orchards.
“HOLY SHIT BAGS!” I yelled to my dad from the back seat. “STOP! PULL OVER! I HAVE TO SHOOT THEM!”
As I sidled up, trying to appear as if I wanted nothing to do with the couple, one flew away, wings beating in arcs of brown, orange and yellow. The other sat on the post, his head fluffed up, his eyes blinking as if I’d caught him in a deep nap. He swiveled and cocked his head. He ruffled his feathers just a bit, but he stayed. He regarded me sleepily from his fence post nap. He let me shoot him from below, from far, and then close. And then he shrugged a little, lifted the weight of his wings, and swooped off the fence – heading first low over a frozen pond and then up, to end his flight on a craggy old tree a few winter stripped branches below his buddy. Click on the photos to see his face – he’s really cute.
Lots of good things today. Lots of heaviness and good. On the lighter side: I got to play with a sweet, lovable Brussels Griffon – the grandpa-y-est of dogs:
I’ve said before how much I love my walk. It’s sort of a micro blurp of what makes NYC such an incredible place to live: it’s always changing, there is always something new to discover. For example, on my walk home tonight I took a street I nearly always take. This time, there was a little surprise under the scaffolding.
Anyone know what this fellow is up to? Usually when I think graffiti is cute, it stands for something nefarious. From far away, I thought “oh, scruffy bunny with a raw heart.” Upon closer inspection, dude has electrical tape over his eyes. Either way, today’s One Good Thing.
My hometown in Ohio is tiny. It’s a village, actually. And, when I really get my heart around it, I’ll give it the proper thanks it deserves for making me who I am today. I wanted nothing more than to get away from it when I was younger. Now, when I come back, it surprises me and reveals beautiful pieces of itself that it either wouldn’t let me see before because maybe I would have gotten stuck, or maybe I was just too muffled by my fog of self absorption. When I was out in August, Ohio gave me a little sun shower…
As I prepared to leave for Christmas vacation in Ohio, I got to enjoy my anticipation double style in the reactions of my friends and coworkers to the following:
- I was calling Ohio a Christmas Vacation location
- I was DRIVING (GASP!)
- I was DRIVING 8 HOURS
- I was DRIVING 8 HOURS ALONE
A couple of facts for you:
- renting a car for a week + the gas for travel = less than a flight + the headache of not being able to drive anywhere.
- I LOVE DRIVING. I love it. I miss it. The thought of being on the road for 8 hours was like a gift from the gods of infrastructure themselves.
- I WANTED TO BE ALONE. Me. The car. The radio (the what now?). The road. My Pandora stations. Did I mention the road? If you haven’t driven I-80 (and a bit of 81) you don’t know oh beautiful for spacious skies and purple (well, dusky green grey) mountains majesty. The solitude of whipping through the rolling mountainous hills of Pennsylvania was the free therapy I was looking for.
I drove. I looked forward to the nights where the only sounds would be the crickle crackle of the woodburner, the bare, naked trees clacking and groaning against each other, and silence – the beautiful, pure, cool silence that you can only experience in a sweet little house tucked into the woods off of a tiny road in the middle of a village in Ohio.
This trip gave me more gifts than can be numbered, but the feeling was “I want my mommy, I want to go home,” and I listened. And I got what I needed.
More to come in posts and photos.
You’ve been warned: I’m very self aware and at times I will probably dump out my feelings with nothing but honesty. So… it’s coming.
Every day is another revelation. Whether it’s that I definitely slobber too much on my pillow to realizing SERIOUSLY KIDS the TV being off has freed my mind to actually do other things I love – I’m discovering, willingly or not, things about myself that are either pleasantly surprising or disappointing, but with “well, here’s how to change that” pimple tops. One is that I’ve been isolated for the past two years, maybe more. And there is no one to blame but me. In the past month that began with a sadness lower and deeper and darker than can be described without a medical journal, I experienced girlfriends. You’re right, I’ve always had those other vagina carriers, but I’m not sure I really experienced them. And I’m sorry, girlfriends, if you’re reading this now, because I have to be honest, and I know how totally pathetic this sounds, but whenever I was without the other (I guess we’ll call him that), I was waiting for when I’d be back with him. It was like every other experience was the waiting room, I was half there. Oh fuck it, I was maybe 10% there.
And that’s not healthy.
It’s also not being a very good friend. OR even a shitty friend. Or… a friend. I wonder what I looked like from the outside. I probably looked like someone in a relationship.
And now, and really starting when this shitsplosion of my life happened, I’ve been surrounded by the love of friends. People who will just meet up with me, incredible friends who will lift me up by the back of my neck when they’ve noticed I’ve stared at my monitor unmoving for two hours at work. Friends who will hold my hand across the table while I scare the waitress away at Mark (oh sliders and fries, you are so good) with my fearless public crying (It’s kind of my thing) and cry with me, but then smile and laugh with me when I pull it together. It’s shocking to me that I know so many good humans. It hurts me that these people have been here the whole time and I just sort of lived around them. Yet I’m hurting (not in an unmanageable way currently), and they are taking care of me as if it’s been in the plan all along. The warmth of that, and that love, that’s what makes me cry these days, not the hurt. It’s the overwhemling feeling of people caring for me.
And I’m taking notes. Because I’ve been a pretty detached friend for a long stretch of time. Every kindness that is given to me, every hug, every watchful observance, every scrapped plan for burgers, every movie, every problem solving moment, everything – I’m noting it all and I’m programming it in so that if god forbid any of my friends hurt, I want to be that person for them. I want to be selfless the way people I’ve met less than 9 months ago have been to me.
It’s so cliche, I know it is, but I feel like this shit, this horrible stupid exhausting shit, is burning away some of my insulation. I’ve been muffling everything around me except for one person, and every day I feel like I’m unearthing that little critter that I used to be or had the potential of being. It’s surreal and it blows. And it’s awesome all at once.
And I guess I just had to share that with you tonight.
… the tough go to Ohio.
Of course my heart would get blown to bits a little over a month before my sister’s wedding. A wedding in which I was the Maid of Honor. So, you know, I’d have to give a speech about love, and love, and then some love. I was looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time. But that’s not the point of this post! The point of this post is that when I got to Ohio I was ITCHING to touch my camera. I was avoiding the poor guy for so long and I felt bad, but it was one of those things that even picking it up and feeling the weight of it in my hands held a little too much pain. It’s hard to describe, that feeling of not wanting to enjoy the things you used to because they were/are a part of something else. It’s weird. Barf.
Anyway, I WAS SAYING. I couldn’t wait to pick my Canon up as soon as my mom’s van wheels growled against the gravel driveway. These were some of the first shots of the weekend. And while NYC was buttoning up for Irene, I was letting go a little and opening up to the wide open loud silence and grassy smells of my hometown.
Mantua, Ohio: “It’s Good For What Ails Ya,” as my Grumpy would say.
I love that this dragonfly dude is smiling:
It felt so good to perch on weird rocks and scoot through bushes to capture my little photo victims. It was like eating again after one of those useless cleanses without all the explosive diarrhea. It felt nourishing, that’s the word.
On the way to Buffalo, NY, where I spent a good amount of my summer visiting my dying Grandma. How’s that for an uplifting first post? Welcome!