January 4, 2010

In the year 2010…

Haha. No baby zombies have attacked me, and no aliens have coerced me into taking them to my leader (I wouldn’t know who that is, anyhow) … no y2k-esque computer combustions, just the same old war and technology-dazing, sick sad hearts, stagnant brains, yada yada yada.

The last month of the decade was a whirl for me, leading up to utterly peaceful, honest, good work. A chance to breathe. Juliet Mitchell is quoted, “The only thing you can do if you’re trapped in a reflection is to invert the image.” I’ve been living in the squalor and splendor of the city pre-Christmas (Union Sq’s holiday market was 1/4 amazing, 3/4 predictably disappointing), of Brooklyn with the family in the Hart House, to Boston with singing and drunken Irish friends, to returning to Connecticut being the prodigal daughter I am, seeing family, older and newer. Visited with my favorite animal in the whole world, Lancelot with whom my spirit is siphoned partially off to, for safekeeping.
Did holidays, came home to Brooklyn via busville in the morning, trekked through the familiar subways and streets onto Hart St, my home block, where every piece of garbage debris looked suddenly more offensive and brighter. In the light of day, with impending subletters coming to visit my home, I second-guessed my previous visions of my neighborhood (glorified from being away for awhile) and filed away some anxiety about the trashiness of the ‘hood.
I immediately relaxed upon entering my sleepy lower levels of the house, where we are still sort of renovating, so it’s very unfinished and quiet. Everyone in the house zooms in on the TV/wii/ps3/netflix in the upstairs living room as if forced by a culturally-bred magnetism.
I spent the days between Christmas and New Years doing some accounting, alot of shopping, a shitload of cleaning, securing a subletter the evening following the shitload of cleaning, put all my belongings in storage/laundered everything coming with me for January/sorted what to take and what to leave. By “storage”, I mean “shoved willy nilly into black garbage bags and had Jeffrey carry them into the basement somewhere”. Watched some movies (fed Jeffrey & my current Whoopi obsession with some “The View” and “Eddie”, the latter being a mid-90’s gem set in the center of the universe, NYC, in which she plays an obsessed Knicks fan who takes over coaching and turns the losers into winners!) – did some cooking (giant pasta etc salads?) – drank some mediocre bloody mary’s (still waiting for the ideal mix!) – wandered around… slept in the daytime a bunch… generally saved energy by being low key and hibernating.

All of a sudden New Year’s Eve was upon us, the snow fell (a gift from 2009, ‘remember me!’) and sanctified the ugliness. Jeffrey came home from work after a failed ‘meet up’ (dead phones, oy vey, must have been hard to meet friends casually pre-cell phones, or meeting grounds were specified much more concretely) ….. We made jade green mochi, for good luck.
Played some scrabble, eventually ended up heading out to see what we could see, with Collin’s pumpkin-midnight being 1 o’clock AM. Hit up a local joint where Jeffrey’s lack of official US identification was an issue. Wandered around to a bar we’d found a year prior, while meeting up with a girl whose house we subletted at the time. Joy of joys, it was fine for Jeffrey to come in. The gays welcomed us with open arms, and the straight sleazy bouncer gave me kisses.
The next thing we knew, with anticipation and excitement splashing from everyone’s pores, we were in the last 10 minutes of the first 10 years of this millennium. We were allotted noisemakers and maracas, tambourines and bongos. We made noises and smiled alot, and then the countdown began (but we missed it because we were loud) and we joined in at, “4, 3, 2, !!!!!!!!!!!!!” Suddenly everyone’s pains of living and guilt-drenched consciences were cleared for the next decade. We don’t have many decades, you know. I was thinking about that. By 2020, I’ll be 32 years old. And hopefully very wealthy and lauded for my career choices and work. Also, happy, and still friends with a handful of people I like. I hope my head feels clear, but I know it only does when I’m isolated. But then my spirit feels like a recluse, and the isolatory hymn seems like a cop out.

Because, yes, we have to belong. We may create internal utopia, and force communities to exist under peace regimes in forgotten regions. But we still have to belong. There still is another huge community we need to be a part of. Hopefully we’re blessed with being involved in the kinder, smarter, more interesting parts, but no matter what, the idea[l]s have to stand when side by side with canyon-sized differences and scary foreign thought.
That’s something I love about New York, that you are given the space to be who you are, whatever you are, and it’s (mostly) safe. We all agree to disagree, so that we may share such a tiny space. Because with that attitude, we love each other. Even if we don’t understand, agree, or really care.

The downside is that we often forget to be grateful and take it for granted. We’re raised mostly to be exalted and feel so powerfully entitled that when throngs and throngs of different tribes are passing by everyday without a second glance, sometimes our egos become wilted. And who knows how everyone deals with that- I personally hide inside myself and have a somewhat crass exterior. A crude autopilot driving my body for most of the day, with my voice and hair. Some polish their arrogance and parade around in it every time they have to talk to someone. Others make themselves busy and seek external stimulation, hide in the motion of the city, concepts brought to life in huge numbers, feelings, etc.

For me, inverting the reflection I trapped myself in was heading up to the farm in Watkins Glen. Farm Sanctuary is an organization that campaigns on behalf of farm animals, but the main draw is their two shelters. One is in California, where I lived and breathed deep for a good while in 2005, then 2006 again. I learned to get up early and work hard all day and meet animals I’d never known. I made some really wonderful life acquaintances. I saw a gazillion stars, moons, suns. The hills soothed me. The starthistle bled me.
Now I’m here in the New York farm, and I’m pretty much in the north nowheresville. The animals are different here, a little more “East Coast” and fussy.

More on the farm experience later. For now, I just wanted to check in and note that I’ve gotten more fresh air and been less lazy in the past few days than I have in about half a year, or more.

It’s snowing every moment, and infinitely beautiful. The cold (-20 with windchill) is not so cruel when you wear snowpants every day and at least 10 layers of clothing. It’s actually not bad at all, you just have to be prepared.

I started capturing off tapes I’ve had for a little while so I can have a clean slate as far as my camera-project-brain, so I can get going on the project I came here to work on. More video soon!

I feel like a capable, strong, calm person. I’m eating fresh and well and not trying to secretly kill myself all the time with dullness and technology. I don’t have to survive by shutting down my feelings.

well, still, pretty good year.

some things are
melting now


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