Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. It's so full of promise, encapsulating the past, present and future so well. Fall was driving over the hills of Alabama and Mississippi, listening to Iron & Wine until the CD scratched, and eating candy corn. Fall is walking around Central Park with hot hot coffee and peeking out from under your scarf to pose for a photo in front of Lady Bethesda, and college football. Fall will be when we fall in love again.
On the 1st avenue M15, an old woman who spoke no English turned to me and pointed to a piece of paper that said simply, "To 59th street." She had the sweetest eyes, and they asked me silently where the bus would stop, when and how she would make it to 59th street. We were only at 23rd street. I spoke to her but she acted like she didn't understand my words. She would make murmuring sounds with her voice, but she wasn't speaking another language, so I got the impression that she just couldn't speak at all, but that maybe at one time she could. I tried to communicate to her, with my eyes and my hands and my smile, that I would let her know when we got to 59th street so she could get off the bus. Her eyes were so sweet, they smiled in return even though her mouth never really moved that much. We got to about 54th street and I tried to let her know to get off at the next stop, which was 57th street. She looked confused and pointed to the paper, handing it to me and motioning for me to write down what I was saying. So I took her pen and wrote "get off the bus and walk two blocks up to 59th street." When the bus stopped at 57th street, I escorted her off, walked back to my seat and watched through the bus window as she walked to the stop and fished her umbrella from her bag. It was raining pretty good. I motioned to her through the window which direction to walk to get to 59th, but I don't think she saw me.
I hope she made it to where she was headed. 59th street is long.
It's been raining in New York City for three days, and it's chilly. When it feels like fall, whether it's really fall or not, I fall in love everyday with a person who's not there. I listen to a lot of Ryan Adams and I close my eyes and see the fire treetops and write so many poems in my head that never make it down to paper.
The universe is awe-some. A poet named Laura Gilpin wrote my favorite poem, and I just learned today that she died the day after Valentine's Day in 2007 in Fairhope, Alabama. She studied at Columbia University, so she lived in NYC for a while. So the circles keep opening and closing, and my life has become this beautiful work of art being created in each moment by something that is not me and I sit idly by and watch, sometimes laughing and sometimes smiling and sometimes crying, but always joyous.
life after death by Laura Gilpin
These things I know:
How the living go on living
and how the dead go on living with them
so that in a forest
even a dead tree casts a shadow
and the leaves fall one by one
and the branches break in the wind
and the bark peels off slowly
and the trunk cracks
and the rain seeps in through the cracks
and the trunk falls to the ground
and the moss covers it
and in the spring, the rabbits find it
and build their nest
inside the dead tree
so that nothing is wasted in nature
or in love.
It's been a while since I blogged. Life has been amazingly hectic but mostly hectically amazing. I'm in training to become a yoga teacher. It's a 200-hour program stretched out over 10 weeks, six of which I have completed. I started in late June and will complete at the end of August, if all goes as planned. I'm training at Yoga to the People in the East Village. It truly has been a life-affirming, inspiring and altering experience. I feel like I am on my way to finding the truest expression of myself - which maybe sounds crazy considering that I only started practicing yoga in May - but when I found yoga it really did feel like I was coming home and unfurling at the same time, both coming back to my true self after so much searching and simultaneously branching out into the unknown parts of myself that also comprise my core. To have even an opportunity, as a future teacher, to help others also find this amazing gift - is an honor and a privilege.
Remember that short film Love Sand I wrote last summer and filmed with Zac? The leading lady, Haley Strode, just booked a film with Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling. I am so happy for her and honored to have participated in her journey - what an incredible thing. I knew when I met her last summer that she had something special and significant inside her. I wanted to re-post the film here so you can watch how wickedly talented and beautiful she is. She's gonna be huge.
Thinking about being the girl who wrote (and, at least partially, lived) the sad story of Love Sand is a weird thing. I opened this blog post hours ago and watched the cursor blink at me for a while - I felt an unexpected inauthenticity as I thought about what I would say here about my life over the past few months. So much has happened, so much has blossomed for me, and I am more my Self now than ever before. I am so happy. I experience sadness but I have finally learned that the sort of destruction I experienced before resulted from my own hand. I am coming into my power as a woman. I am teaching myself never to say I'm sorry unless I truly mean it and to love myself unconditionally. As women we are conditioned to apologize at every turn - for raising our voices, for extending our bodies in space, simply for being ourselves - and I am undoing years of that. I am not sorry. I have a voice, I have a body, I have a mind - and I have a power inside of me. As a child in Alabama, I dreamed of living in New York City, creating a space for myself and living a free life where I could dance and write and use my heart. I'm on my way to that very life - one might say I'm one foot in, or maybe just a toe or two - and what a gift. What a power lies inside me! I don't say this to selfishly lift myself up, but rather to shine a light on the Source of this power, which is something I'm only beginning to become intimate with.
I saw this written in a bathroom stall. It's important.
Because, beautiful as you are, you hide so much of what you are, which of course is part of what you are: the hidden and the hiding.