If the above paragraph does not make it clear why I live in NYC, nothing will. In a place like NYC, (and in my experience so far on earth, only in NYC), can I be who I am without any editing necessary and be accepted as such because really, who cares? The place is huge. There's room for whoever you want to be. I realize more and more that in many ways it's a city of misfits. There are exceptions of course including those I refer to as fair weather New Yorkers who are there to succeed in something and having succeeded or not at a set task leave for the suburbs or elsewhere as soon as possible. There are people born there who wish they hadn't been and would leave if they could. Then there are the rest of us, those drawn to this city because it's big enough, beautiful enough and multi-faceted enough to contain the restless misfit soul.
So what has this month been like? Well, I've finished a draft of a stage text, sent out applications for jobs and funding, publications, etc., sent off final paperwork for divorce in UK (with minimal fuss, though with annoying delays due to international nature of things and whatnot…but that's basically done, and now it's a waiting game) and the rest of the time is spent time with John, my beloved Canadian, when he has time between work and dealing with some complex matters that are best not written about here.
I've also been taking lots of photos and video….The St. Lawrence River, which I can see from where we are staying, is gorgeous. The sunsets while cold as shit have been beautiful. John, who is an excellent photographer, has been patiently showing me how all the bells and whistles work on my digital camera. As anyone who has ever tried to teach me anything can tell you: this can be trying. He assures me I am not as grouchy as I know I am…bless him. But slowly, slowly I'm learning. Also collecting video paintings for: what? I think probably the stage text recently completed as draft…but maybe something else…I'm still in divining rod living mode…feeling out next steps one at a time…
The nostalgia element of things here has to do with the weird echo of childhood, but also listening to music with John, which at times (when listening to e.g., Genesis, Talking Heads, etc.) brings us both back to our teens and 20s and this odd way in which we can envision having met one another back then (there having been at least two times in our younger lives wherein we were tantalizingly close - but not quite intersecting) so there is this odd parallel world in our not-memory (yet this not-memory has an inexplicable resonance) in which we met then and have been together since that time. It's really hard to describe this, but it's quite precise and strong. Of course in reality we could have driven each other nuts if we had met earlier and the people we are now we are because of past experiences, so it's a weird thing to contemplate, but somehow impossible not to have some weird nostalgia for a past we did not live…
Meanwhile, in real life, we have been together for four months and this month has given us time to get to know each other a lot better in real time and space, which has been invaluable and kind of amazingly great. There have been bumps and learning curves but we have dealt with each of these events with grace and without causing each other any undue anxiety. We seem to be able to focus on whatever the presenting issue is and move on. I've never found it so easy to communicate with a partner like ever. It's a revelation and a truly positive one. This is why I secretly (not so secretly) believe if we had met earlier in our lives we would have fallen in love and still be in love. There is a very deep sympatico that is so effortless that I have a feeling it would have been there from the beginning no matter when that beginning may have been…but that kind of thinking is clearly impossible to 'prove' and of course presents the even more problematic issue of non-acceptance of my actual past as it was lived…so the only truly affirmative way of looking at this is to say: yes to the whole thing...
So in lieu of continuing to whitter on in such bizarre hypotheticals, I will leave you with some photos of my time here. Where, for the record, it's still Really Cold…But at times also astonishingly beautiful… All of these photos are taken during various sunsets, which bring to mind Artaud's observation that "the setting sun is beautiful because of everything we lose by it."
|St. Lawrence Park|
|reflection in river of sky and trees from Block House Island|
|sunset reflections from Block House Island|
|seagulls of Block House Island with Canadian Air Force plane|