Simple Meaning


Closed for Rehabilitation

I'm on a brief hiatus, waiting for the world to catch up with me.


Territorial Begging on the subway

Last night, I witnessed quite a funny scene on the subway. A woman, probably in her late 40s, fitting the typical beggar profile walked into our car and told a sad, languishing story about her unemployment check not arriving on time. (That's not the funny part, of course.) I listened sharply, and tried to separate the lies from the truth, but my eyes were more perceptive to the truth than my ears. Her arms were scarred with track marks.

Finally, she went to the next car and a man sitting next to me shook his head in disapproval as another beggar entered. She looked even more disshoveled and told her story, evoking absolutely no emotions from me. I turned away from her disinterested. Before she could finish her rounds, holding her cup up to people's noses, yet another beggar entered the car and chaos errupted.

He was an older man, late 40s as well, and he exclaimed, "Aww shit!" when he saw the woman in the car. She in turn walked up to him and asked what he was doing in the car, "This is my route!" she yelled. "Don't 'effing' yell at me", he said. I turned to her awaiting a response. She was quiet for a few seconds and then motioned to strike him. He moved back and they were yelling back and forth for about two minutes. I was afraid it would escalate into something more serious and violent, yet at the same time I couldn't stop giggling about how ironic and ridiculous the whole situation was. Eventually, she drove him out of the car, and he left the train at the next stop.


She Was an Act

She was an Act,
A beautiful girl, that everyone loved
So she played along
And sang her song
A beautiful melody
Melancholic and sweet.

She charmed the masses by Night
And wandered the hollow streets by Day
Hoping for the Autumn winds
To whisper to her
That she too could love
Before the Winter arrived
And her tears came from a darkened place

She was an Act
Unable to love
So she walked, walked, waited
And watched the world pass by


On The Body: Week 1 Results

I behaved very well over the past week, and didn't overindulge in food even once. I even cut down my daily cookie consumption from three/four cookies a day to two. In a larger picture, however, I do not feel healthier. I think it is taking my mind a while to adjust to these minor changes. As of now, they don't seem to have a significant impact on my body and so I attach very little value to these changes. In addition, my shoulder feels burdened with stress, as the last day of the summer semester is approaching. I will try to find a way to relive myself of this discomfort within the coming days.

On the Mind

My latest mind puzzle evolves around the idea of loving without an object. I derived this idea from Thoreau, of course, given that he's been slowly penetrating my thoughts - and his writings inspired me in turn to begin this journey.

Initially, I couldn't wrap my brain around this concept, although I don't think of myself as someone who can love, only with a goal in mind. I don't even think of myself as a loving person, living in the world that we do now. Not only is the word overused, but certain New Yorkers cannot think, act on, or feel love without the confines of time or quantity. I think once we grasp the idea of a timeless meaning in our lives, we can work towards eliminating the act of quantifying love, and truly realize the potential of loving. But as it is with all true states of being, it is not simply realized and will never be achieved.


The Week in Summary

I would rate last week as one of the better weeks I have had in a while. Despite the rain last Thursday, the weekend was surprisingly entertaining and I think I've made some progress towards my journey.

After an early day at work on Friday, I took a trip to the Visual Gallery to see "Postpartum" and take a glance at Margot Herster's pictures. I met her a few months ago, when she had begun working on the particular project that was being exhibited - so I dropped by to find not only her great photographs, but also other installations which tickled my imagination.

On Saturday, while standing at the bus stop, I got into a conversation with a young man from Barbados. We talked about a variety of things, but among all the mumbling he said something that stuck in my head the remainder of the day: "We do not appreciate enough, what our parents do for us." - more on that in the future.

And finally, on Sunday I got carried away with socializing (which can be a good thing at times), but I am now feeling the effects of it. More on that later, as well. Happy Tuesday!


Nausea on the Subway

For regular subway riders, the terms MTA, Flooding, and Nightmare go together like Peanut, Butter, and Jelly. Although I primarily rely on New York City's intricate subway system as a form of transportation (I don't know how to drive), I always feel as if its plumbing is third-world-esque because it always fails when it rains.

After my Thoreau lecture last night, I looked outside to find that the little teaser cloud we recieved earlier in the afternoon had turned into an angry, angry monster. Everyone without an umbrella was crowded in the main lobby, waiting for the rain to subside - but I was eager to go home. Another girl from my class offered to share her umbrella with me, and we took brave strides through the pouring rain. Once we arrived at the subway entrance, the three bottom-most stairs were submerged in water and we looked at each other, wondering whether to return to the lobby, or take a dive into the splash pool. We closed our eyes and a few seconds later, we heard the lovely beeps granting us access into the subway.

As it was fit for queens, the train was awaiting our arrival and we ran into one of the cars only to find disappointed faces, and a train that was temporarily stranded due to flooding. At this point, the AC was beginning to make itself noticeable and I felt a cold mass stick to my back. My shirt had gotten wet. For a brief moment, I had this overwhelming urge to rid myself of my skin - the mass on my back was becoming unbearable and I had begun shivering. I became nauseated by the sensation of water on my skin.


Three Minutes of Darkness

Photo Credit: Alex
A dark cloud, which engulfed and darkened the entire office, just passed over the island of Manhattan. We seemed to be in a time warp for a few moments,
and silence was prevailing over office chatter and the sounds of fingers hitting the keyboard.

Rainy days always evoke melancholic thoughts and moods, which the sun in turn envies.
It fights to be seen although it reigns for the better days of the year.
It is impatient, and with persistence, fights its way through the clouds.


Taxi Ordeals

Photo Credit: Alex
Patience was testing my waters today. In retrospect, I realize that I should have taken the subway instead of a taxi, when I realized I was going to be late to work. It would have been the simplest thing to do, yet being the complicated human being that I am, I tried to take the extraordinary chance of making it to work on time.

As soon as I got into the taxi, the driver initiated small talk about the weather, and switching to day-shift for the first time (which I should have taken better note of). I engaged him in a casual conversation for a few minutes and turned to the window as I got bored. When he finally turned onto 57th Street at York, I had a feeling that the taxi ride was about to take, well, a wrong turn. I supressed the urge to say something, thinking he knew where he was going. When we arrived at 5th Avenue, there were no left turns as I had expected. With time catching up to me, I had yet another instinct to walk to work, rather than have the driver turn around several blocks. By the time I realized it, we were several avenues away from my destination, because he thought he would be able to make a left turn eventually.

To top off my wonderful experience, I had completely forgotten about the meter, which the driver did not stop until we got to the destination, ten minutes after he made the initial wrong turn. When I reminded him that the meter had been tarnished, he said there was nothing he could do about it and cursed at me. He was more frustrated than I was, which I didn't understand, because I thought he was at fault. So rather than arguing with him about whose fault it was, and how much I had to pay, I just left him the amount, which I thought was appropriate - nothing.

On The Body

Photo Credit: Alex
I have decided to use Wednesdays to discuss the progress of my Journey. The most difficult aspects of this quest is, trying to attain a simple outlook on life, and communicating this vision to others from my standpoint. I understand that it is an unwinding process, and I hope my writing will gain in clarity as I progress.

I want to begin my Journey on the outside and work my way inwards. I am starting by focusing on my body because I feel as if I have immediate control over it. Compared to the mind and spirit, I think the body is easiest to understand because it gives you immediate feedback if you have done something wrong to it: you need no acquired knowledge or feeling to experience its dissatisfaction. For example, when I overindulge in food, I experience immediate discomfort and at times stress and sadness, knowing that I have caused my body a displeasure by giving my greed free reign. From that instant until the discomforting sensation wears off, I feel heavy in thought, and at times distracted, which I want to avoid at all cost during this Journey.

Baby Steps
I am going to start the simple process of listening to my body, and I will stop eating when I am full. No matter how delicious the skirt steak in front of me might be, I will practice restraint for my overall comfort. If I must have it, I will save it for a later sitting.

I will report on my progress next week.


New York City From my Window

Photo Credit: Alex

I work in an office with four people, including myself. The atmosphere is very pleasant and although work can be overwhelming at times, I do have a lot of freedom - enough so to have a blog. We have a marvelous view over Central Park in its entirety, and on a clear sunny day it is quite beautiful to watch the clouds sail across the sky.

Although the city looks peaceful from 40 floors above, it is clearly just an illusion. While staring at the grids created by office and apartment buildings on the Upper East Side, I involuntarily hear taxis honking, people chit-chatting away on their cell phones, and what looks like an animated toy city fully comes to life in my imagination. It is almost impossible to think of New York City without picturing a hectic city that is sometimes not as pleasant as it appears from my window.