Tuesday, May 22, 2012

New York and a Spell of Belonging

I tr
The NZ dollar may have changed as payment was en route to this Australian organisation. Originally I purchased 70  trees. Have also grown and given away nine other trees, and planted two I bought in a friend's and my garden. Six other seedlings are growing to give as time goes on. Seventy trees absorb carbon produced from one return flight to Europe (for one person), which I believe equals my one-way flight home from the States, plus my cruise and the trains and two short domestic flights I took in the USA. I'm also now vegetarian which covers carbon from car travel there and my car here.


I've paid for trees for my travel, so the carbon produced by planes, trains, boats and cars I travelled in can go into trees and not destroy where we live. It only cost me just over $NZ200- My vegetarianism also assists with producing less greenhouse gases.


The travel itself was a joy.

Strange and unusual too.

People have been swapping stories with me about their encounters, inevitably.

Someone told me they had an affair in New York and while they were wildly enjoying themselves one evening, as lovers do, her male friend started chanting in another language like Celtic or Latin as if casting a spell, a magical incantation to perhaps protect himself, or enchant her, or...?  She wasn't sure.

Another friend present for this story, (who'd written home one time about NY drag-queens festooned with light-bulbs - Bain Divine, you know it), said, 'O well, you certainly did have a New York experience then.'

Later, my adventurous friend told me she thought her lover's chanting meant she belonged there now, in New York and elsewhere in Amer i ca. 'It was a spell of belonging. He wanted me to feel at home, connected, and I think I do. It's as if I belong in both countries, my own land where I was born and also, in Am eric a where I had such an exciting, revealing time. A lot of love.'

She, like me, also found that every day or so after her return home something reminded her of where she'd just been, like the universe was trying to make sure she didn't forget the States, or more importantly her friends there.

Myself, I keep seeing or hearing things which point me back to where I've recently and sadly departed. (I sobbed when the plane took off from LAX  finally across the Pacific Ocean, surprised myself, such a wrench to leave).

Yes, those uncanny or just sweet reminders - A woman with an American accent speaks to me at a poetry reading my first week back here, at some length and then comes over to see the room I had for rent. (She was brought up overseas as an ex-pat NZ child in Papua New Guinea, but learnt English from Americans so the accent stuck). Then, an overheard conversation I joined on Saturday, at our local market when a woman discussed trains - she told me after Canada she is '...catching the train to Seattle.' No one's ever mentioned that city to me before, just by the way in conversation. Or I simply pick up a book and it falls open at a page and a line, a word, a phrase, something takes me back, (too many of these random selections to mention). There was also a store I never usually go into, but something drew me to wander the shelves of gaudy knicknacks and cheap kitchen utensils, yesterday. A bright blue and green tail, pinkish flesh tones, long pale hair and reaching up for something out of sight, the mermaid definitely stood out. I had to smile, it was ridiculous. The mermaid hunter I'd read about in poetry collection, mean confession, he doesn't seek out frozen, confected creatures like her, does he?  http://www.amazon.com/mean-confession-Dean-Strom/dp/0977852644 

I realise those 'signs' are co-incidences, some of them slight.

My friend and I agree, we do not seriously entertain the idea we're getting some kind of message from the universe in fact, but it's obvious our everyday lives will never be the same. We count and treasure these random references to another land, to various wonderful people there and the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the Yoo Es Aye, because we've altered. We fit into the world differently now and possibly forever.

When we recognise references to someone or somewhere in our everyday life, tiny clues in the chaos appear to form a pattern which we make familiar. Associations evoke emotional responses, we feel more comfortable to admit them within, to include ideas and feelings around certain newly acquainted people and places in our ordinary experiences, our day-to-day scenarios have expanded or shifted and bonds of friendship are even stronger than they were before.

I'm vitally interested in love of people and loving where we live, actively making the world a better place wherever possible.

When I checked out the other youtube views now offered after my last video poem, which is about memories and how they mix in together http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2ak02WMs3o&feature=youtu.be I noticed a Tupac video. Well, and this surf life-saver last night, a fine young woman, sat down beside me after I'd been asked to read aloud one of the poems I wrote for a customer at Lucy*Mae. (I was commissioned to work in fashion with poetry last evening). She stated, 'I have a poem, do you want to hear it?'

'Sure, go ahead.' I smiled.

She went through the words, a dynamic rap.

I asked who wrote it.

'Tupac Shakur,' she said and rather looked like I wouldn't know who he was, at all.

'Thought it could be,' I said, 'I've heard a lot of his work.' Agreed too that I did think it was poetry, since she asked if I thought so, and I explained many of the young people I worked with for years in education did send me a great deal of Tupac, to listen to. I admire him.

So I write this and listen to Tupac, (his name means Shining Serpent, which is a symbol of knowledge, I believe). gotta keep ya head up - and it feels like another one of those messages from the universe, http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=JlQcJAjYxaI

All those musings may seem foolish to others, I simply have to make some kind of sense of this and ensure I'm still connected in some way, so I can live with things as they are rather than wish for impossibilities.

So, surely, then there was New York.

Has any city ever evoked craziness, excitement and wonder in the same way that NYC does as soon as its name is mentioned?  Do those three words I used even get close to the insane beauty and fascination of the place?

And can the series of short movies I shot inexpertly, in a state of culture shock at the time help me relive the experience of visiting New York City, or will I always long to go back there to check if in fact it is as fascinating as it appeared to be, every moment, even when I was asleep? I slept in a state of amazement while I was there.

My friend Dean texted me when I pulled into New York train station, 'New York is a monster.' He was right. Glad someone warned me before I realised I'd been swallowed alive. His many texts across the U S A helped me stay on some kind of even keel, as much as I ever do and I've thanked him before but I must do so again, his messages were deeply appreciated.

Today, I received on a disk from the photo-shop a few precious minutes of footage from New York, (as I mentioned) taken during my week there at the end of my trip of a month across the top of North America. The many still photographs I took were stolen with my laptop. I hold some memories as well, naturally, but they're inevitably a random series of highlights and change with each re-run. Human beings reform our recall to suit wherever we are at the time, but this writing could help me to keep those glimpses of the past in mind alive with more alacrity and real definition, perhaps.

New York was on my list of places I had to see, since I was much younger. One other place was the Swiss Alps just by the way which I did drive through on a Magic Bus, en route to Greece once upon my 20s with a boyfriend who planned the trip for ages. (We travelled Europe, Britain and Eire for about 18 months). After recent disasters however I decided the New York I wanted to see wouldn't be there, but someone or a few people really, convinced me to go anyway and so, I did.

Nothing could've prepared me for the cacophony outside New York Train Station on arrival. Thank goodness I had a Red Cap to assist or I could still be standing there lost and bewildered in the teeming, diverse and strenuous crowd.

I recall so much but the movies I just received back on a disk, do not do the experiences I had in New York justice at all. The link is at the end of this blog, nevertheless.

Nothing like being there.

I'm homesick for America, ooo that could be a country song I suppose.


O I'm homesick for America
while home has my heart for now,
I'm missin' train station alarming moments
while the rain here gets me down.
 O I'm homesick for America
though I was born on islands far from there,
please someone tell me how to make the ocean smaller
so this heartache I can bear.


Nothing I can do to change anyone but myself. I did sit in the sun today for such a long time, some of the sun's brilliance and warmth affected me, I feel livelier. Exercise also a fine way to beat the blues and I strode round the Auckland Wintergardens, loving those jungle plants, their apparently painted leaves, banks of orchids purple, white and lime green like a child's fauvist picture. Since all the walking and weight loss on holiday, (along with avoiding tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and capsicum) I can stride again, my knee seems almost entirely free of arthritis and I love the sensation of freedom.

That road though. O I love travel. I could be on a train or a boat, walking or cycling my whole life and happy about it in the bitter-sweet way I almost always feel good about anything, usually. It's rare I am absolutely delighted or wholeheartedly in favour, my doubts hang about like dark cats and they twine through my every step most days. The pathos of existence, such a persuasive element to me, as soon as I feel something about any experience I know where I stand.   http://www.public.asu.edu/~macalla/logosethospathos.html 

I won't be travelling anywhere much again.

Travel, especially in aeroplanes, is destroying where we live. If we do not buy trees to cover the carbon cost of our flying, our car emissions, our burning coal, we are each responsible for ocean-life extinction by 2030 as much as anyone else. Carbon sinking into the seas is creating carbonic acid. http://planetextinction.com/blog/archives/category/effects-rising-temperature

This while we are faced with deliberate moves to ruin democratic systems and replace them with tyranny, world-wide. Resistance is vital.  http://truth-out.org/news/item/9264-a-victory-for-all-of-us

About my astounding poetic trip to america I feel delighted and also, deeply sad.


"...nothing here but my own tragic hands that once were guarded by a world of sweet attention that now are left to guide and disappear into the common dark of all our debt...and all that road going and all the people dreaming and the immensity of it..."
           Jack Kerouac On the Road http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzCF6hgEfto&feature=share

New York May 2012 my videos -

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