Raw From The Road, June 12, 2017
Slow down, you’re movin’ too fast
You got to make the morning last…
Simon and Garfunkel
It seems only fitting to quote a Simon and Garfunkel song about New York since I have just returned from a wonderful visit there with my family and friends.
My trips to New York are not vacations, however, they are filled with connection and reunion and the privilege to be there for my parents in whatever way we can be.
Living three thousand miles away at this stage, as many can relate, is difficult.
My mother is in a nursing home and my father lives at home with a live-in aid.
My husband and I go back and forth between them. Whenever possible we get to see the rest of my family; my brother, my stepbrother, sister-in-laws, friends, niece and nephews.
We pack this all in a time frame of 5 days. This trip, we also attended a Bar Mitzvah for a very good, long time friend’s son, which was an added bonus.
And… after 5 years of packing my Nikon to photograph the NYC series for “Deconstruction” and never making it into the city to do it, I finally did… thanks to my loving chaperone.
We left Long Island at about 11 pm and got into the city about midnight. Parked right near Times Square.
I don’t know why I was so surprised to see so many people still out and about at that time, but I was.
It was as if it were 3 pm on a summer afternoon.
We were surrounded by bright lights and tons of tourists and unfortunately, tons of cops with guns… unfortunate, but obviously necessary.
At 1 AM they close the bleacher stand in the middle of Times Square and I was going to wait until then to photograph because I knew people would leave. However, luckily for me, at about 12:50 AM it started to rain.
Umbrellas went up and within about 10 minutes pretty much everyone dispersed.
Dave and I stood under the awning of a hi-rise building on 7th Ave while people scurried by.
I thought to myself that it would be a bummer if I finally made it into the city to do this photo session and I wasn’t able to do it because of the rain.
But the rain let up, while the wet streets in the city lit up with reflection. They were beautiful, glistening from the electric billboards and lights.
I set up my tripod, put my white dress over my clothes and started taking test photographs.
I started photographing and the session was gifting me happy mistakes, one after the other.
Double exposures, lines from the cars passing by and in one image (not shown), everything disappeared except the city streets and me.
We got back to our hotel about 4:30 am, slept for a few hours and resumed our visits.
One night while looking at his computer, Dave mentioned that Kinky Boots was on Broadway. We both loved the movie and we were excited about the possibility of going to a show, something we both love, but seldom do.
So we splurged, bought tickets, and on the last night of our visit we took a subway into NYC to have dinner and see a show. It had been about 5 years since the last time we saw a show on Broadway so this was a real treat.
It’s difficult for me on the last day of our visits home in New York.
Difficult to say good bye to my friends and loved ones and especially difficult saying good bye to my parents, realizing the possibility that it might be last time, though they are both doing relatively well at this point.
So while thoughts still ran through my mind, watching a Broadway distracted those sad notions.
I came home to California feeling extremely blessed and extremely tired.
So now it’s time to slow down a bit and refuel… and take some solitude which helps me to rejuvenate… empty out so I have room to fill up again.
So thank you Paul Simon, for the reminder to slow down and make the moments in my life last so I can really be present in each one.
Wearing myself out and touting that “I am so busy” is so yesterday plus it insults the people I am saying it to… as if they aren’t busy as well.
Hope you’ll join me this week in practicing feeling groovy and grounded…remembering to stop and remember all the things in life to be grateful for and that we can make time for the things and people important to us…no matter how ‘busy” we think we are.
With so much gratitude and love,Robbie