Sunday, May 25, 2008
So I did something kind of crazy on my birthday Sunday. I answered an ad on craigslist and went hiking with a guy I had never met before. He was a nice kid; intelligent, well-spoken; but not much of that elusive chemistry. So what was it that possessed both of us to meet without so much as an exchange of pictures? Plain and simple: loneliness. There's just a lot of loneliness in this city. It's what makes us go full speed ahead from one thing to another so we can just forget about the loneliness, even if just for a moment. I think a lot of us choose our loneliness. The alternative, of course, is choosing to be with someone you don't really feel much anything for. Which is worse? Is it better to die alone, proud not to have settled for someone we didn't much care for? Or better to die knowing you never met the person you really wanted to meet in this lifetime? We meet so many people in this city. Like a handful of water that slips through the fingers.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
OK, my birthday presents have been coming a few days early this year. Yesterday I got a birthday call from none other than Gail Simmons of Food and Wine magazine! How crazy was that. My friend who works with her asked her to call me up, which she graciously did. She was so bright and personable on the phone--I might have embarrassed myself a little, but who cares? It was so awesome that my friend thought of me that way. Today I got a letter from Edward T. Hall, the world-renowned cultural anthropologist, who responded to a letter that I wrote him last month, thanking him for the profound influence his writings have had in my life. He is 94, still going strong, but I am just over the world that I got this chance to communicate with him. For as much I cherish my solitude, I seem to be discovering all over again that life can be pretty amazing when you reach out to others.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
I featured Koop, the fantastic Swedish jazz duo, once before. With warmer weather now upon us, I thought it was time to showcase them again. Their music, with Yukimi Nagano on vocals, always stirs up feelings of intimate happiness. Enjoy!
Sunday, May 11, 2008
One of the things I like about living in NYC is that you get to see movies that won't play in smaller markets. This weekend I felt like I was living at the Quad on W. 13th, watching Constantine's Sword and The Memory Thief. The first, a documentary made by an ex-Catholic priest, wasn't about the Holocaust per se, but about the history of Christianity's persecution of the Jewish people. The second was a compellingly original movie about a young man's transformation from lonely soul into insane suicide victim, triggered by the pain of the Holocaust. Remembering the past. Getting lost in the past. Neither necessarily leads you to understanding the past.