A widening.

Doodles from New York 2014 (17)

Just got back from New York City. A friend called it a life-defining trip even before I left — and it has become that.  Very much.

It’s difficult to describe the breadth and depth of where I am right now. I feel so wide. Or widened.  Widening. I looked through photographs from the trip to try to organize them into a shareable format: over 2,000 pictures and a few videos, but still I feel they lack the spirit of what the visit meant for me.

I now feel pulled from all sides. A bittersweet pulling and pushing, one that will entail fresh hellos and goodbyes.

I’ve dreamt of moving to New York to study art for a long time.  Last time I visited the city was four years ago in 2010.  That was when “Empire State of Mind” was topping the charts, and I remember a goosebump moment on the train from Connecticut to NYC.  Alicia Keys was softly singing it in acoustic, and there I was, not even in New York and already crying from “living the dream”.  It was definitely an OA moment.

But this time, there was no drama.  I’ve been in flow, in joyful acceptance of what is.

August 5, 2014

Two weeks have passed since I got back.  I can’t behind jetlag anymore and am feeling the need to debrief from the trip.

To grasp an experience is always a struggle.  To grasp in itself is to keep chasing after something — like a butterfly hopping from flower to flower.  It’s like making sense of a dream… you remember bits and pieces but the whole picture evades you.  It stays at an arm’s length, there, at a distance, separate, even if it’s actually bursting to envelope you and take you in.  I’d rather flow through a moment than contain it.

And yet here I am. Documenting  New York. For you. And me.

* * *

Some doodles for the bits and pieces:

Every great adventure starts with the calm, to refill the well and stock up on hugs from favorite people, things, places.
Doodles May 2014 (7)

What do you bring on an epic journey? How about the mountains and wide open spaces…
Doodles May 2014 (8)

…to gain momentum to just do it, go for it, jump in.
Doodles May 2014 (2)

Traveling is a big reset button.
Doodles from New York 2014 (4)

You leave behind the old and embrace the new with equal ferocity and hope.
Doodles from New York 2014 (2)

Surprises find you, in ways big and small.
Doodles from New York 2014 (5)

And after the newness of everything passes, you find it within yourself to be still again…

Doodles from New York 2014 (6)

and celebrate the loneliness…

Doodles from New York 2014 (7)

Doodles from New York 2014 (3)

Before you know it, the ride is over.
Doodles from New York 2014 (8)

And what you have to take home with you is an invitation to come back.
Doodles from New York 2014 (9)

To take the giant leap…
Doodles from New York 2014 (11)

…and reconnect with the great big world out there…again and again.
Doodles from New York 2014 (10)

There is so much to be thankful for…
Doodles from New York 2014 (12)

…but if I were ever to do the big dance, now would be the time to do it.Doodles from New York 2014 (13)

To reach out…
Doodles from New York 2014 (14)

…and reach in…
Doodles from New York 2014 (15)

Not without fear — it is scary out there — but to brave it just the same.
Doodles from New York 2014 (16)

Because we are in our 30s, and in our 30s we can’t afford to hide from what makes us happy.
Doodles from New York 2014 (19)

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