lonely lovely city

lonely lovely city

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I just want to take this time to remember the lost, but not forgotten of 9/11. Even though I didn't lose anyone I loved or knew, it is still a loss. I am incredibly humble for those that died, how their lives were surrendered, senselessly from cowards. They are a fabric of our identities and should be cherished and embraced.

This first photo was taken in the Notre Dame when I visited Paris almost two years ago. I think this woman signifies the goodness in all as we all search for peace. There was a such a feeling of calm in that space. Time stood still with all my problems fading, listening for a needle to drop. My heart poured open.

The second were parishioners, praying. As I took it, I wondered what was going on through their minds and if they were remembering about someone or something they lost. Whatever it was, the images still move and allow me to see the beauty in our vulnerabilities. For someone that is not religious, I can't help but to use and show them for how we are all interconnected, finding ways in the world and how resilient we are as creatures.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Being Grateful

A couple of weeks ago, I heard sad news. One of my childhood friends from Nevada died. She was only 30.

Apparently, she went in for her first operation, a routine knee procedure. Everything was fine, but a day later, she apparently experienced a blood clot and passed on. Totally unexpected and completely unfair. As I processed the news, my stomach dropped. The weird thing is that we spoke in May after a twenty-year absence. Somehow, she managed to retrieve my phone number from a relative, wanting to reconnect. At first, I was apprehensive, almost annoyed that after two decades, this person from my tortured past was contacting me to chat.

Our conversation seemed strained considering we were virtual strangers. But, as I opened up, I remembered the little girl who I played tetherball with and ate ice cream sundaes while watching the Disney Channel. Those are the memories I had. During our recent conversation, we discussed our families and commiserated about our internal struggles and familial disappointments. For the rest of the conversation, she said nothing but nice things, congratulating me that I made it in NYC and how far I had come. While I reciprocated with kind sentiments, I realized she was such a different individual from the playful girl I grew up with. She was educated, mature, and quite wise for someone her age. I also sensed how incredibly optimistic she was, ensuring that her recent hardship with locating work would get better and how much she loved her husband and wanted children of her own. After an hour of catching up wrapped down, I insisted we have a dinner here in the city whenever and if ever she came to Manhattan. She seemed up for the challenge and both of us agreed to stay in contact.

I never knew that would be the last time we would communicate. Her voice was bright and young and hopeful. And, her scope of the world was innocent and trusting. I wish I could've have reached out to her one more time before her passing. I am not sure it was a sign, but this experience shifted my collection of the past and how quickly it resurfaces.

To my knowledge, she was never sick a day in her short existence. And, just like that, gone.

It is vital, absolutely necessary to do the things we love, surround ourselves with the people we love, striving for the infinite elements in life that truly matter before it is too late. None of us are indispensable. Just because some of us are young and seemingly healthy, doesn't guarantee a span of longevity. As I have stated before, I am not a religious person of any affiliation, disbelieving in organized religion all together. I don't know what happens after we die or where we go. That is the scary, almost beautiful thing about it. Nobody knows. Hopefully, it is somewhere tranquil and lovely. The trick is to be glad that you're alive. That even sometimes when you wake up and think that your life sucks, just remember you have power, air in your lungs, breathing, with the chance for happiness.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Loneliness/Part 1

Very recently, I was asked a pertinent question.

"Hmm...that is an interesting name for a blog. Are you lonely?"

Immediately, I wanted to say yes. But, I was embarrassed, almost put on the spot. If I admitted to it, then I would be considered weird, abnormal, or even, undesirable.

"I think everyone is lonely".

When I chose a title for this blog, I thought long and hard, waiting for the words to sing and make some sort of sense. Two words that come to mind when thinking of this amazing city were loneliness and loveliness. I don't know what it is, but these these feelings work in tandem because that is how I experience Manhattan to be.

Often, I will sit on a park bench before an appointment or a class and people watch. For any real New Yorker, it is one of those rare, costless actions that fulfill one's own curiosities about others, dispensing a certain amount of entertainment while enjoying your own moment of forsaken privacy. I love to see other couples talk and bicker about what bills should be paid and why the other isn't listening to them. Also, I just find it utterly fascinating how fellow humans engage through a ongoing dialogue. I don't necessarily eavesdrop, but you can't help hear and see what is going on around you.

Yes. I look at myself and acknowledge why a large part of me has chosen to remain single. Only, I know the answers. Sometimes, I wish I was one of those pairs in the parks or the streets who mismanage funds and attack each other's ideals and values. For reasons I am unable to articulate, I will say that my predicament for singledom is valid. If I could, I would say more about it. For now, I plead the fifth.

A lot of people have deemed me weird because I don't follow the grain or the path others have comfortably chosen, hence the relationship factor that many blissfully fall into in this urban jungle. But, a majority of my close friends, who are in fact, attached to somebody, assure me that even when you are partnered with another, loneliness seeps in, making you feel like the rest of us who have felt left behind or overlooked.

Is loneliness universal? Does it occur over time or over night? Is it just a notion in our minds? And, if so, how do we remove it from our heads?

To be continued.....