Saturday, June 30, 2012

Night on the Town

We went to see Mamma Mia! (absolutely no photography allowed) and the city at night.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Big Stuff

There are big things on my mind.

Things like what classes I should take this fall.

And how I should be filling out the "All About Me" form.

The one that asks deep questions about me that will require some actual thought.

I'm really not interested in thinking. At the moment.

Things like this fire.

The hundreds of people who have lost their homes.

How lucky I am.

How I actually feel about it all.

Because I think it's pretty well known that to get through I go into "don't think about it" mode.

Which is great, because it gets me through the moment.

It allows me to do what needs to be done without being emotional.

But still, looking around at my house and knowing that what I might never see it again--that's big.

I know, intellectually, that it's big.

But I don't think that emotionally it's sunk in that it's big.

Or maybe I just think it should be big.


Big stuff on my mind, so I am going to continue listening to show tunes and not thinking about the big stuff.

Because it's big and I clearly don't yet know how I feel about it.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


I was blissfully unaware, sleeping until 1:30, curled up in my own little bubble.

It wasn't until my neighbor called, wanting to know about the fire, that I knew something was different.

And then that bubble popped.

Even though I couldn't smell the smoke, I imagined I could.

Imagined it wafting ahead of the flames.

My parents drove home from their weekend away.

As much as I love my time just to myself, I was so incredibly relieved to have them home.

To no longer be the only person responsible for myself, the cat, our belongings, and our home.

I actually slept, although I know people who didn't, because they had gotten that call, and were packing up their cars and families and heading out.

I have had time to walk through the house, to consider each piece.

Everything holds a memory.

Every little thing makes up my home, my safe place.

Yet I realized yesterday when I was madly dashing around, trying to grab it all, that I didn't need to grab it all.

I need myself and the cat.

End of story.

I would miss it all, but all I really need are my parents and my cat.

Of course there are things I would grab; that I have grabbed.

Of course I'm terrified of this being the last time I'll see all my things.

But at this moment I am safe and so are my family and friends.

And that is all I need.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Staten Island Ferry

New York City, continued.

On our first day we took the Staten Island Ferry.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Last Night

I so needed that.

A friend with whom I can laugh and beat at Monopoly and share secrets and feel completely comfortable.

Utterly me.

It is so refreshing to be me, without any reservations.

It was a time of comfortable silences.

Of honesty and not looking away.

Of discussing in great detail things that don't matter.

But they do.

I keep saying this, but it's the little things.

Sometimes there are big things, but all the big things are made up of little things.

And I just crossed the line from being vague and poetic (or maybe it just sounded poetic in my head) to completely confusing and ridiculous.

But please keep in mind here that I'm going on three hours of sleep.

Probably the most restful three hours of sleep I've ever had.

Although my hip hurts and back aches and I did something funny to my knee (when did I get old?), my mind is fresh and clear and my heart is full and happy.

I am content. At peace. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I used to know it. 

I used to be okay with it.

It was more than I ever thought I would be able to do and so it was perfect. 

And then something happened. 

Maybe I conveniently forgot, or maybe it was the rush of graduating high school. Maybe it was the energy surge that comes from no school.

It crept up on me, this truth I used to admit so freely.

It came up and smacked me in the face.

I’m not sure why I was so surprised. 

After all, I’ve been filling out forms and calling doctors, trying to make sure I have what I need.

But, without even thinking about it, maintaining that it would be normal.

Because why shouldn’t it be?

Now, I don’t like the idea.

It is what haunts me during the quiet moments late at night.

I don’t want to be different.

I don’t want accommodations.

In this, yes, I want to be like everyone else.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Breakfast and the Subway

I am making my way slowly through New York photos. Instead of waiting (possibly forever) for me to finish all of them, I thought I'd post them in chunks.

These are from the first day;eating breakfast from a cart in a little square, surrounded by water and traffic and then starting to figure out the subway.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Two Ways to See

It took a long day of travel to get where we were going. Driving and flying and taxiing. Only to arrive at the hotel and find that our room wouldn't work because....and it just sort of went on and on.

Or at least that's how it felt.

I was exhausted. I wanted to curl up and sleep. But I was also hungry. So we went out to eat.

This tiny little Indian place that was long and very very skinny. With very excellent food.

All through dinner I had been staring at the beautiful lights that didn't match the intricate Indian lanterns. The fun, bright wall colors. The simplicity of plates and glasses and napkins, just waiting to be used.

So when our ice cream arrived, I just had to get out my camera.

And even though they're horrible pictures, dark and grainy and very orange-y, I don't care.

They're perfect.

Because they're what grounded me. Made me feel like I had really arrived.

Suddenly I was dancing down the streets, irritated by my slow parents and the necessity of stopping for cars.

Photography is what I needed to really be present.


After just a few short days in the city, I was tired. I was ready to leave.

As amazing as it was, it was constant movement and stimulation.

All I wanted, and needed, was to curl up with a book and just be still.

It was really perfect timing because the next day we took the train out to Long Island.

A beautiful place that reminded me of where my grandparents used to live.

Small towns and strawberry festivals.

It smelled clean.

And as beautiful and photogenic as it was, I didn't take out my camera once. Not once.

I had been with it, behind it, almost constantly during our time in the city.

I needed a break.

I love to be behind the lens. It helps me to see the world in a different way and to see things I never would otherwise.

Yet sometimes I need to leave it behind and let my own eyes take it in. The beauty in my surroundings.

I am so incredibly glad I brought my camera to capture memories and to center my brain. I am so incredibly glad I let it sit in it's bag for the last three days to let my brain calm down, and to let the memories seep into my pores.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Yesterday was a long day. I somehow managed to be awake and packed and out the door by the time I had been waking up for a week. Sleep is a wonderful thing.

I ate another muffin. Really really good blueberry muffins.

I put off calling the hospital, to tell them I wouldn't be able to make it in.

Mostly because I still wanted to believe I would go. Which of course, was completely ridiculous.

A car ride, two trains, a taxi, a looong flight without a movie, and another car ride, and we were home.

Home to our house.

Shriveled orchids and purring kitty.

Comfort and routine and internet that works.

I unpacked at night. When the house is quiet and I'm listening to music on my iPod that is once again fully charged.

I create a scary pile of laundry to add to the already scary pile.

I dig some coins out of my hairbrush.

I flip through the playbills from the shows. I finger the tickets.

I breathe in the salty smell of the sea.

I run my hands over sandy shoes.

I love to travel.

I love going to new places and exploring.

I love being a tourist. Once I can get over the "I look like a total tourist" thing.

And I love coming home.

I love feeling wrapped up by familiar smells and sounds.

I love both.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Tomorrow I will wake up at 7 am. About three hours earlier than what I have become accustomed to.

I will double and triple check everything, convinced I have forgotten something. I'm sure I have, but hopefully it won't be something vital. Like my boarding pass or camera. Or underwear.

I will trek through an airport, mourn the loss of the really-good-muffin-place, and settle in for a three hour flight.

I will disembark into a new airport that I have only heard about. I will get on the subway and thank my father for doing so much research.

I am sure I will want to curl up and go to sleep and go out and run around with my camera like a crazy person.

I don't know what to expect. This is a city I have heard so much about, yet I really know nothing about it. I don't know the people. I don't know what it sounds like or smells like.

I only know what it looks like through other people's eyes. I have yet to see it with my own.

I have left much undone, here at home.

My bulletin board is half-full, waiting for me to print out all the pictures of smiling people and laughing faces.

My pictures are a mess. My camera rearranged its numbering system and I lost my editing program.

Yet tomorrow I will get in that plane and let go of it.

Someone else will, literally, be in control. I am there as an observer, to soak it all in. And to do that, I cannot remain attached to here. I can't be focused on my messy room while I'm in the city that never sleeps.

Friday, June 1, 2012


A new month.

I've been out of school for I-have-no-idea-how-long, and it has been lovely.

There is nothing on my schedule that I don't want to do.

There are friends and shopping trips, errands I can run all by myself, hours at the hospital, trips to see new places and old friends.

This freedom is exhilarating.

The getting bored and everything.

But really, I think my favorite parts have been at the hospital.

Not only do I now get to spend three nights a week asking questions and observing, I have the choice to stay as long as I want. That little piece of plastic that tells the world that I am capable to drive all by myself.

It's wondrous. All the possibilities are still surprising me.

I know the next few days will be busy.

A fast pace that I have grown unaccustomed to.

Full of the hospital, sleepovers and smores, parties, packing, and flying off to a new city.

I just want to remember to rest up before it starts, and to slow down to really take it all in.

It can be so easy to get caught up in the frenetic pace of a big city that you miss the character of the place; the little things.

Happy June.