The word that keeps coming up for me is freedom. Several years ago I opened a door to find a man holding a gun an inch from my chest.
After that experience I felt a kind of freedom I'd never had before. I lost all self-consciousness. I would wear rainbow socks and sing as loud as I liked. This faded after awhile, and I've been wanting to get that feeling back ever since without another gun.
Photo by Alan Houghton
On a recent light grey afternoon I went for a walk through the grimer part of my neighborhood on my way to East River Park, down by the Williamsburg Bridge which feels like a forgotten, liminal place.
I had been thinking about my grandparents house, a place I had adored, and how I hadn't gotten to say goodbye to it as the contents were emptied and the house was sold when I was in college.
I was thinking about that and about the movie Up, (which no one had warned me would make fat rivers shoot out of my eyes during the film's first 20 minutes), when I came across a room-sized open metal box.
Inside it was a broken table and chairs, lots of upholstered furniture, chipped odds and ends. Near the front of the box was an upturned, formidably sized television encased in an an ornate wooden cabinet with drawers. Upside down it somehow reminded me of Cyclops's eye.
And then there was a old wooden trunk like a treasure chest, big enough to hide in. Of course I had to open it. Inside I found yellowed newspapers that happened to be from the year I was born. There were some electronic parts, and sealed in plastic, a green rafia hula skirt complete with a carved out coconut husk bra.
The collection as a whole had clearly been the furnishings of someone's life. I stood back for a moment to witness it fully. Then I imagined my own apartment inside the box instead. I picked up the hula skirt. It weighed almost nothing. I took it.
When I got home, I found some hula videos on you tube, put on the skirt (the coconut bra didn't fit, sadly), some rainbow socks, and danced.
In the comments, I'd love it if you'd share what's hatching in your life... what qualities of experience-- adventure, freedom, love, forgiveness, mercy, etc... And as always, any offerings of art or poetry on this or any theme are greatly appreciated.