Thursday, February 26, 2015

I'm Home Again

I have felt overwhelmed with gratitude for all I was able to do in six days of travel.  Jim and I both spent time with Jeff's family and Laura's family.  I had a wonderful evening with Dan and Raven.  They shared some good things of their life with me--a favorite Japanese restaurant and the view of Manhattan from the Brooklyn side of the East River.  Dan invited me to see his office and I traveled downtown for that as well.

In New York itself, I met with two friends that I know from our church in South Bend.   Maggie is there for a full month and it was great to see her with her daughter-in-law and the new baby--and to get her out for a few hours of walking and talking and eating.  I was able to see Linda who is there supporting her Morgan, her 23 year old son,  and his wife during Morgan's year long treatment for soft tissue sarcoma.  I got teary listening to her but she is very brave and strong and so is Morgan. 

And then the experiences of New York itself--gasping at the Martha Graham dancers , smiling for 80 minutes at "Texas in Paris" at the York Theatre, seeing Pollock and Manet and Van Gogh works on walls instead of in books at the MOMA, meditating on Psalm 104 through Barbara Wolff's illuminated manuscripts at the Morgan--and more.  Looking out at the Empire State Building from my 16th floor window and looking at dirty subway platforms--those are the contrasts of NYC.  Listening to garbage trucks, horns honking, sirens blaring--even in the middle of the night--those are the sounds of NYC. 

A few of the moments I will treasure were when I stopped to chat with someone--a danger of becoming a garrulous old lady--but fun.  I asked a MOMA guard, when I noticed him noticing a baby, if he enjoyed seeing guests smile at the art.  He said that he doesn't look at the faces all that much but once he had a woman fall down at the floor in tears when she saw Van Gogh's "Starry Night." She said she had waited all her life for that sight.  He said he was moved to tears himself.

And then the woman on the train who looked at me a bit askance when the place emptied next to me in a two person seat.  I said that I thought there was room.  She sat down and told me she used to weigh 240 pounds but now weighed 202.  I hoped she wasn't insulted by my comment and said I was looking at the room I was taking up.  She told me, "Don't eat ice cream."  But then when she asked me if I heard voices, I thought maybe we better end our conversation!

I told the check-out fellow at Trader Joe's in Brooklyn (one of 30!) that we needed a Trader Joe's in South Bend.  He said he'd put in a good word if I'd put in a good word for them with only one Trader Joe's for 2.9 million people in Brooklyn!

How grateful I am to have had the energy and the time and the money to make such a trip.  Planning it, doing it, and now blogging about it--and treasuring the memories--all very good!

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