Friday, May 1, 2009

Restoration Accomplished

Photo taken at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, NYC
Photo of Lord Ganesh taken at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art (my favorite and most beloved of all the Hindu deities)

Photo taken at Coney Island beach (from what I heard they want to tear it all down and build casinos)

My recent trip to New York was an awesome experience. Truthfully, I'm ready to go back and was sad to leave. The trip offered a mixture of redemption and revival, while also offering a flashy display of the city's improvements.

The subways have greatly improved. When I left, gangs were robbing people on the trains, panhandlers were soliciting at every stop on every car, there was even a time when a girl was riding on the subway car dead for hours before anyone noticed. Addicts nodding off as I attempted to explain away the reason for their condition to my sons, mad as hell that I was put in that situation for them.

Now the subways are relatively clean, even if the stations need a little more work. The police no longer seem to shy away from "certain areas," and everyone is just chilled. No acting an ass, yelling, jumping and screaming. I was greatly impressed.

Times Square has reformed since I left. At the time that I left, Giuliani was just starting to clean up this site. Peep shows dominated with that one hot Dominican chick that was always trying to get me to come by and pick her up after work. XXX movie theatres that would make the hairs stand on the back of my neck as the soles of my shoes stuck to the floor like velcro. Fake shops that pretended to sell anything other than what they were really selling, the tourists that would be pick-pocketed as soon as they looked up at the buildings into the sky, the working girls that I frequently would conversate with on my late night walks. Gone, gone, gone and gone.

Many areas, Times Square included, are now very tourist friendly. While I commend the city on its clean up effort. I cursed when I saw that the Village is no longer the Village! I thought for sure this would be one place that I could remember and feel like I've returned to old times. Nope! The Village has been commercialized as well and lost its infamous individuality that drew me to it growing up. The teen who left Brooklyn to live on the streets with pink spiked hair, jet black funeral ready clothing, spiked collars and nails filed to sharp points. Saying that I was a NYC Village kid sporting my happy faced back pack would hold no meaning now for anyone who didn't experience that era.

Going back home has helped me to realize the many reasons I sought the sanctity of the end of the beach reaching into the ocean, quieter and alternative cultures, what makes me "eccentric" to my friends who had a hard time understanding my needs. There are so many people, people every turn, every corner, they take up so much space that the distance between one person and another is less than a breath. So many people together changes their nature without them realizing. The constant auras, constant secrets whispered to me about them, constant assault and onslaught of people.

There are too many options, too many people to see and to talk to, too many to experience that many lose sight of the ones they have close to them. I know that friendships are strong, but there is too much distraction to realize what character of woman stands before you. So much distraction that the disrespectful head turns to stare with the wife and kids standing next to him or her. Thousands of greetings per day that it takes a lot more to stand out, lots of disrespectful comments that make a woman shut down and ignore everyone to mentally isolate herself away from the rest of the world.

On the other side of the coin, my trip seemed to be inspired by the Ancestors to bring me closer to them. I floated in and out of museums, cathedrals, churches, mosques, temples.... The only place I didn't go is a particular temple in Queens but I'm sure we are all okay with that. I received messages, love, strength, enlightenment, encouragement in five times the volume I was able to receive with meditation alone at home. I really believe it was T/their way of pulling me away to be alone and tucked into T/their arms to help me through a time in my life of struggling to regain my footing.

For many years after my divorce, I lost so much that I constantly prayed for God to restore me. A restoration of who, what, where and how I was before I ever met my ex-husband who brought me immense pain and suffering. That same prayer was my constant prayer. I closed my eyes tightly in earnest that it should be granted but I forgot to open my third eye to realize that I had been not only restored, but exceedingly blessed. The last step was for me to restore myself to my own ways before him. This last portion was for me to accomplish.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to go and am anxiously awaiting my next return date. I have to return and eventually, will move back near the city I've always loved but now I cherish as well. I'm grateful for the new friends I made on this trip and grateful for their generosity and patience in caring for this spoiled little Daddy's girl. Right now, I'm just grateful for the new perspective I have on my life and renewed visions for my future. Next trip, Buddhist and Hindu temples, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, and getting lost within some of my favorite cultures. Perhaps I'll eventually return to the temple in Queens just to see how things have been, but I'll wait for my permission before returning.