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Sunday, March 23, 2008


The Roar of Silent Waterfalls

It's Easter. It's Purim. It's a whole load of other holidays, including a Shi'ite festival and, if I'm not mistaken, a Hindu one. There's even a full moon. The place is just soggy with noumenon.

But to me, most of all, it's the Equinox: the time of change. The sun has swung up into the bright half of the year, the time of growth and possibilities. Before the next equinox, before the darkening of the light, I will be in New York. For good.

At this time, I'd like to share with you some words I wrote on my first visit to the city, a half a dozen of those equinoxes ago.

They say that people who live their entire life within the sound of Niagara Falls never actually hear them, until for the first time in their lives they travel out of ear-shot of the Falls, and suddenly the silence hits them like a solid wall of anti-noise. And I know, and you probably know as well, that feeling you get when after a long, hard day you kick off your tight shoes and suddenly, for the first time, you feel just how foot-bindingly tight they have been all day.

That's how NYC feels to me.

It's been said that freedom is "the hunger in dark places, the longing of the soul," and with these magnanimous sentiments I neither can nor wish to disagree*. Let me say only, then, that freedom is also the roar of silent waterfalls and the vice-like grip of doffed shoes.

And this is what NYC means to me: finally, it is defined not by its attributes, but my the attributes it lacks. When I search the faces on the subway, in the streets & in bars, looking in fearful desperation for what I dread to find, I fail to find it: that miserific expression of hateful, hate-filled despair that I think of as the London look is almost totally absent here in NYC.

People here are just good. And that's all she wrote.

At 22.30 on a cold, dark night, huddling against a wall to shelter from the rain, I realized that there was nowhere on earth I'd rather be.

It took three years; three years of sorrow and darkness; three years of fear and doubt and despair (and some spectacularly Sucky Jobs, which I really will post one of these days...) but in less than six months, I'll be there; I'll be home

This post is dedicated to thegirl, in the hope and expectation that we will both achieve our dreams.

*I still (2008) agree with the sentiments. The miserable failure who uttered them? Not so much.

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