Thursday, August 11, 2016

Travels to New York City

So, Sherry and I have traveled without boys to New York City.  We arrived yesterday, and, as invited to, made ourselves at home in an apartment we are borrowing for a few days.  We then grabbed lunch at Abitino's on 2nd Ave near 40th, picked up a few groceries to save money on breakfasts, and walked back to the apartment in the rain.  After a little rest, we walked all the way over to the 600 block of 9th Ave for dinner at La Carafe (French/Mediterranean) including a nice rosé with syrah and grenache.  We then saw, Cats on 52nd Street and cut through Times Square on the walk back to the apartment and stopped in Grand Central Terminal for a picture or two.  Didn't get to sleep until after midnight and I slept till 7:30.  Nice for me.

This morning, after getting started at a leisurely pace, we went to Grand Central to get the subway to Bowling Green Station and then took a tour cruise around.  The walk to Pier 16 was fun going along the water and the tour was great for pictures of the rebuilt World Trade Center and Statue of Liberty among other things.  We then had lunch at Industrial Kitchen and walked up to the 9/11 Memorial.  It was somber and the pools were amazing.  The fact that someone left one white flower near a name was also powerful.

As I sit an get ready to join a colleague for dinner at a fine Italian restaurant on the Upper East Side this evening, I ponder Memory from Cats, the entire story of Cats, and the rebuilding in lower Manhattan.  Seeing Cats and hearing the heartfelt singing of Memory was a reminder of someone I'd known in high school.  Someone who sang a couple of songs I wrote as an undergraduate.  Someone who has a great alto voice that could belt out Memory with the same power as the singer at the Neil Simon Theater last night.  

And I messaged her just to see how she was doing.  

She commented that she was not singing much but is enjoying her "current gig".  (In other words, being a physician.)  

There is nothing wrong with finding one's career.  (I certainly have.)  There is nothing wrong walking away from old pursuits (I have had to make a choice between different pursuits--running and music--twice and running won both times.)  There is nothing wrong with "growing up and acting like an adult" and doing all the responsible things.  We need that, of course. 

However, there is also something to be said for making a choice that leads to renewal.  This is where the rebuilding in lower Manhattan comes in.  Obviously, violence and destruction are much different from choices that we make as we grow up and grow old.  But the sense of renewal at the 9/11 site--the gleaming glass, the energy, the willpower, and the quiet memory, are all things that are important.  And all reflect on growth, renewal, and better.

With respect to Memory, each of us has things that we once were that we are no more.  Things that we have grown away from.  But things that may continue to inspire and motivate.  And it is that point on which I'd like to end.  Making music still inspires me.  Writing still inspires me.  Running still inspires me.  Baking inspires me.  And making art inspires me.  And I leave a lot of my "active" life with the moon in the sky and approaching dawn (my favorite time to run).  What I choose each day and/or for the next phase of my life is just that, my choice.  Constrained by a need to make a living--of course.  Constrained by the impact of choices I made long ago, like three boys, of course.  Constrained by my talent or lack of--for sure.  

But I have the choice and can either live with just the memories or let the memories be transformational--creating new opportunities, creating new possibilities, creating new challenges.  And always--absolutely always--finding the joy.  Radiating the joy.  Being the joy.  For myself.  For others.  Belting out my own version of memories and renewal each and every time a new drawn breaks and a new day awaits.  Building on what I have.  Making the most of what is to come. 

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