Manhattan, I Love You

Monday, December 29, 2014

Chapter One. She adored New York City.

Chapter Two: New York City loved her back.

Chapter Three: She falls madly in love and he loved her back.

Chapter Four: Chapter Three didn't happen or at least hasn't happened and I'm fine with it. Today's subject isn't about romantic love, or rather it's not about romantic love with a man. It is in fact about romantic love for New York City.

New York City has given me all sorts of wonderful material on life. It has given me inspiration, strength and creative freedom, but it has also given me insurmountable feelings of distress and anguish. I've learned that life can be such a polarizing experience, but I've learned to embrace it and love it, because we've been given a chance to live, so live it now. Live it today.

I frequently hear about how people adore New York City, but New York City hasn't loved them back. So I'm assuming this is a common theme with this grand city, but I feel like this can occur in any metropolitan city. It is crowded and populated and I think that fuels the idea of feeling isolated, even though when one is constantly surrounded by people, it can be the most alienating feeling in the world. Over the course of my time here, I've learned to accept this feeling and I'm now very comfortable with my solitude.

The greatest thing about New York is that it's constantly in momentum, it's moving, pushing forward every second of every day. There's no time to stop, breathe, look, appreciate and that gets exhausting and overwhelming. Now, I take my time to stop and breathe and look at my environment, because I don't want it to all be over just like... that. I want to take in as much as I can, before it's too late. The end is always near and sometimes it feels palpable. Sometimes I feel too acutely aware of my mortality and it paralyzes me. This isn't the city's fault though, I've always felt aware of death.

Nowadays, I'm not so much afraid of death but rather afraid of time. Michael Caine expresses this idea in Interstellar: "I'm not afraid of death  I'm an physicist, I'm afraid of time." and I understand what he means - at least I hope I do. Time is terrifying, because we can't make more of it. Time runs parallel to everything, but once our time is over, it's just over. Time will continue to persist, but eventually it will end. My time, your time, the universe's time. All I can do it make my time count. Every waking moment needs to count. Maybe not every waking moment, but the time that I'm conscious is the time I need to make something for myself. Make time for myself, my aspirations, my career, my family, my friends and others.

So why do I think life is worth living? That is a very good question. For me, well, I know a few things that make my life worth living... I would say... Woody Allen and his humor (forget his controversies, just his contribution to film history is enough to make me believe life is worth living), Roger Federer and his elegant tennis skills, George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, Louis Armstrong's voice, Moonlight Serenade by Glenn Miller, Franz Schubert's Trout Quintet, Cherry Blossom season, Autumn in New York, Kiri Te Kanawa's recording of O mio babbino caro, Arthur Rubinstein playing Chopin, Do not go gentle into that good night by Dylan Thomas, the melting clocks by Dali, old black and white photos of a simpler time, Before Sunrise by Richard Linklater, Sure Thing by David Ives, Constellations by Nick Payne, seared scallop nigiri sushi from Senryo... Just to name a few...

And I don't see any particular person's face at the end of it. Unlike how Isaac sees Tracy's face in his mind and he realizes why life is worth living. I'm not there. I don't know if I'll ever get there. I love my family and friends, without a doubt, but you know that one person that you envision seeing at the end of it all? I don't see anyone. I don't know where they are, but that's up to the universe and the cosmos. The answers are up there. I'll be patiently waiting. It's all in the timing.