Category Archives: Opinion, Nature

Why I Write

 

On the grounds of Cedermere, the home of William Cullen Bryant.

On the grounds of Cedermere, the home of William Cullen Bryant.

The urge to bring the thoughts and feelings that reside inside me out into the air is why I write. There is the desire to record, to explain, to revisit, to understand, to share the world I know. The words flow sometimes faster than I can write. Other times, I search for them as they elude my awareness. Then, there are days I wake up thinking of them and all I have to is sit down and they write themselves. I write to connect with others, to pay tribute to all who came before me and point to a path for those yet to come.

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Somewhere, Something

Morning Sky

Morning Sky

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”
Carl Sagan

This is what drives us to delve into all unknowns. The knowledge that there is more than we know, knowledge based on thousands of experiences over thousands of years dangling in front of us enticing us to dive into the ocean to find the pearl.

The curiosity, the desire to learn more about something or someone is a constant force pushing and pulling our minds like gravity pulls our bodies. Of course, we have to add courage into the mix.  That ability, which surprises even ourselves at times, to do what we know will be dangerous or difficult.

Carl Sagan has summed up the human urge to explore, to examine, to learn more about everything. So, we embark on a journey without knowing exactly where we are going or what we’ll encounter.

What’s more, until we have the ability or the body of knowledge necessary, we dream about finding out what lies beyond. Eventually, we started fires, orbited Pluto, obtained and changed DNA, cataloged different mental states, developed agriculture, written book  after book about love, created an ethical system and laws to govern society. Each generation grows more sophisticated. Still, we ask what is next? What is “out there”?  We prepare each generation providing years of schooling to teach what we have learned and encourage students to delve deeper, to discover something more.

What incredible “something” is just out of reach, waiting to be known?

 

To The Museum

At the Nassau Museum of Art

At the Nassau Museum of Art

Much of my time is spent alone.  I don’t mind.  I think I was meant to
work and live with minimum distractions.  That doesn’t mean that  I don’t need to reach out to others, to touch and be touched. And, I have learned
just how important it is to connect with the world.  So, I schedule regular trips to museums. The desire to see exhibits of how the world once was as well as examples of how civilizations view the world evolved from lunchtime trips to the Soho Art Galleries when I worked in Greenwich Village to quick visits to the Museum of Modern Art when I worked on Sixth Avenue and 52nd Street.  Of course, there were the days spent at the Museum of Natural History where I would take my daughter to linger (where else?) at the Dinosaur Exhibits.  Now that I work from home, jaunts to museums have to planned but I delight in setting aside days to wander around the slightly claustrophobic, temperature and humidity controlled rooms that hold the world’s beauty as interpreted by mere mortals.

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Ode to the First Snow of the Season in New York.

 

Cloudy Sky

Cloudy Sky

 

ODE TO THE FIRST SNOW OF THE SEASON IN NEW YORK.

There is no fanfare to announce
your arrival. Silently, you descend
on the city. From clouds rolling
and dense, you appear. Slowly,
at first, a lace curtain drops down,
rippling in the wind and the fresh
smell of joy overcomes the atmosphere.
Hearts open to a child’s excitement.
White flakes fall onto cold cement
and make quilts out of cobblestones
streets. Suddenly, all things are possible.

 

 

CLARITY

I feel younger than I am. I haven’t been a girl for decades. But, girl was my first identity and it stubbornly refuses to fade into history. Girl defines me. Even before the “boys and girls” of elementary school, my father referred to me as “the girl”—a memory that has remained vivid in part because my mother would remind me of it whenever she spoke of my childhood. So, I am the girl.

For several years, I haven’t seen clearly. This is literally true. I first noticed it as I was driving from Long Island to Manhattan on a snowy December afternoon. The sun suddenly emerged from clouds and the glare blinded me. Good thing my car knows the way. Then, I had difficulty reading in soft light and needed a few overhead, high watt bulbs to read the newspaper. Soon, I realized I had a huge blur in my right eye and a smaller one in my left eye. I panicked. My eyes! What would I do without vision?

Now, these eyes are the eyes of a much younger person. They see clearly again and I am thrown back to a time when my vision was detailed, nuanced and the sun’s rays didn’t blind me. Last May, I shook off my fears and went to the eye doctor. After a cursory look with his instruments, the doctor said I needed cataract surgery in both eyes. Yes, I was on the young side for this surgery but, nevertheless, it had to be done.

My new vision is forcing me to reexamine reality. Along with the joyful anticipation of seeing what I have been unable to see for years, comes the anxiety of catching up, of plunging into unknown realms.

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