"See you one of these days..." SOLODANCER's Profile
AH, HERE WE GO AGAIN OF LOVED PLACES LIKE LOVERS INTERTWINED
It's all about trips, about grand thoughts of exciting intriguing places...places far and near, those loved and the exotic for their adventurous sonorousity and many for their nearness to our heart in their familiarity like new and long-held loves hand-in-hand to explore, rekindle, scale and even dance with into endless adventures, search for the undiscovered self - the essence and pure spirit in the journey which is life.
We all travel differently. Thank goodness for that or the oneness in that purpose will condemn us all to an imponderable boredom. Places are there to be sought after, met and then experienced...like the one heard so much about, encountered, courted after and then made love to...like the way of our own.
Travel to me is such a hallucinatory experience. It's a thoroughly different space, that's why I float as well in being even before I can board another flight. And all along, I remain sleepless but stoked and strangely empowered yet not thoroughly comprehending it all but swept away by the onrushing magnet of new insights and brave possibilities.
But also defying all that, even when experiencing during a lengthy period or time simply staying put or whereby not being able to get up and go somewhere far, the landscape and territory of one's home base as in my case - the chameleonic New York City - becomes a known place to be further explored from a deeper layer of sensibility and surrender.
As I've noted down somewhere...EVERYDAY YOU MUST JOURNEY A PATH THAT LEADS YOU NOWHERE BUT TO A FIELD WITHIN YOURSELF SPREAD OUT IN THE WIDE OPEN.
By now, you must have read and heard (and seen the pictures and videos especially those by Hansi) aplenty about the incredible Portugal Meet at the end of May in Cascais. To a few this description might well be disputed as a bit overblown but for a first-timer like myself, it certainly was a perfect introduction and great fun. Okay, so I missed a day-and-a-half of its proceedings unfortunately due to a twisted ankle as a result of a miscalculated landing from one giant rubber tree at Belem's Jardim de Agricola Tropical which I had eagerly climbed onto in order to hug its massive branches. The picture of apparent child-like amusement belies the mishap which followed shortly thereafter.
Hobbling around a bit afterwards, resuming participation with the rest of the festivities, I could not wait to be back in the great company of newly-discovered friendships with one amazing VT group especially.
And, to be in Lisbon - a much beloved city of mine - for this great VT Meet could not have been a more spectacular setting.
Thereafter, having the rest of June all to myself (well, on the surface of it), I headed down south of the country, the Algarve, to its hidden gem of hilly interior - to be in the company of an ancient stone farmhouse undergoing a transformation, a village's ultra-tranquil setting, to commune with a new summer, to nourish and wholly recuperate under a dreamy arbor.
A journey of whatever length...is a metaphor for life and existence. Everything is determined by the strangely proscribed and mysteriously given steps. We carry and release them as are the empowerment and pounding of our breaths...we are beholden to them, taking as much or as little in slow pace and as quick, far and away or simply to a lover's bedside, dependent upon our needs - adventurous solicitousness, self-compass and a personal choreography. At whatever pace, we know that we will hit upon a cliff...the moment which like any other...rattling with wind, drenched in heavy rain and darkness, in full brightness of day, on a moonlight or within an empty stare with all one's memory foregone; then, suddenly, a push invisible from our back from which we fall stagger and resist...we slitter down and if we have an instant more, we stab the self with one last arrow of words...'journeys, were all that for the making of wings?'
Delay the pleasure and you stretch the doubt.
Doubts which haunt one's time.
Time which shall never return.
TRAVEL JOURNAL ENTRY:
Why is it that there are some of us who desire to never ever go home again
where from we had been born and where childhood was spent even in a most
It is an open wound - not inflicted - but one that already came with the
being that had around its edges sweetness and core fatality.
You leave it behind out of a necessary desire, a pestering dream, conviction, a force behind your back that kneads upon the open wound...
and the shudder that is being ignited causes the feet to wander off beyond the proven fire of intimacy and companionship. Another place is always another place in the mind to settle in. It starts out feeling alien where the newness of the terrain is filled and completed with strangeness, want, seductions, leaps and uphill climb...you breathe from this embrace and now
it is more than you with yourself.
Algarve, October 2011
This is my town. My beloved and maddening town of Manhattan.
An island so small yet so special and precious it's been from the very start coveted by many who have and will search for a well-balanced existence...arms welcoming everyone, but not to all, but those who love an uncompromising brand of freedom, liberty, unbridled equality for all and an openness - that true American spirit - a unique individuality and an inexhaustible promise of opportunities.
Everything is here: the old and the new, the exquisitely beautiful, as well as the repulsively ugly and more, besides. It is not a place for the faint-hearted or the overly sentimental, nor the sort of soul lacking in courage. It is a tough town demanding quick instincts and the ability to acquiring the necessary street smarts. New York City is the very place evocative of a hot but voluptuous caldera from which derived a certain unique existence rendered in what Virgil called "the tears of things", life filled with nobility and brutality, passion and terror.
Whose music is it but yours
Staying with the day
Unsolvable puzzles face toward the sinking sun
Richter at the piano sowing Mendelssohn
Like seeds across the open chest
Posters from Ortygia
Books black and white fotos
Of family once intact
Potted plants impedementa all
In here create linear shadows
Inner transaction standing still their
Cocked ears merciless while
I on the sofa face the
Window's frozen-looking light
The silvery skyscrapers of Manhattan
Burning streaks on mirrors and
On glass like rain
Long concerto upon these breaths.
R.G.O. (aka Solodancer)
NYC, Early May 2013 ____________________________________________________________
Walk on any street in New York City and you walk into a minefield of corruscating visual and fecund explosions. These city pathways incisively ask of you to be open, to adapt and stretch out, to be all-humanity, dream and linger, give take and be taken, expand, be thoroughly free....and thus nourished evolved and very possibly, redeemed.
The area of Manhattan island I live in and been living in for many years is called Hell's Kitchen. Don't let the name scare you, please. It's the district west of 8th Avenue between 34th and 56th Streets which is Westside Midtown of the city. Below 34th Street, the area becomes the Garment District or the Fashion District and above 56th Street, there is the grand arts venue of Lincoln Center.
So, Hell's Kitchen, a name which conjures up all sorts of mind-bending stories about the place, in actuality is really a wonderful nice upcoming neighborhood in the city that has over the years come around on its own.
In truth also, it had a very turbulent past especially around mid-1800's when the Hudson River Railroad opened here which brought with it factories, lumberyards, slaughterhouses and tenements to house a new wave of immigrant workers which bred the resulting negative factors of prostitution and gangster-style crimes. Riots erupted between the Irish Catholics and Protestants and between the Irish and African-Americans as well as a widening rift between the Jews and the Italians. No wonder this place was condemned then as "Hotter than Hell"! thus precipitating the name Hell's Kitchen which stuck until today. It is, for one reason or another, an apt description of the area's virulent history but also one which continues to be romanticized in the movies, literature, music, etc..but especially to the current die-hard residents of today.
The good and exciting mix of people from different worlds or cultures - as is the norm in NYC - living in Hell's Kitchen continues the tried and true age-old American tradition of a cohesive pluralistic societies. In recent years, this neighborhood has become an in-place to live at with more and more young and fashionable crowd coming in spinning off new and trendy cafes and restaurants. Like most of NYC neighborhoods, Hell's Kitchen, which by the way is also called Clinton (not after Bill but for a former New York mayor Dewitt Clinton) is fast becoming gentrified which, however good or bad one looks at it, is definitely evolving in many imaginable as well as unimaginable ways. Hell's Kitchen, these days, is still not only 'hotter-than-hell' but hotter because it's heavenly.
Lisbon: A Summer Lunch
Sunday. The city eerily quiet, summer after all - the first day of July like a sudden gust of warm air having returned full circle. Lisbon redux.
An occasion to meet up with friends - old and new alike. Meeting for the first time Ulrich (Colares) and his wife Ulla from Germany both of whom also love frequent visits to Portugal especially their favorite spot on the slopes of Sintra. And then there's the die-hard Alfazinhas (native Lisboates): Antonio (alopes), Carlos (jorgec25), Gloria (Lusatraveller) and myself from NYC.
It is a perfect day and afternoon. Some typical Portuguese restaurant that Antonio has recommended located slightly above old Lisbon. I will not remember the restaurant's name and on which street. I don't care. It is simply great to be back in this beguiling city, a place to me always giving and full of intrigue. There are many cubicles to this old restaurant and in one somewhere in the middle room, here we are like long lost relatives eating beans, chorizos, mackerel and grilled lamb. Once again, VT stories, peals of laughters, a sense of eternity fan heavily by godly red wines of Portugal and dark dark coffee cap with cherry liqueur.
A perfection duplicable only by the next one.
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