Oh to Take on the World and Be Glad!

ImageIf we can’t ascend to the summit of this grassy outlook adjacent to South Street Seaport and let our arms sing, our limbs just float across the East River in expressions of weightlessness and delight, then I should want to live the most futile life ever. For what good is it for us to swallow up all the pebbles of pain so that we lose our buoyancy, our truth, our liberation?

 From Dawnique to Morgan: You always ask great questions, you are eager, you challenge others and you take risks. To those meeting you for the first time…everyone wants a friend like my Morgan.”
 
From Morgan to Dawnique: “How do you imagine leading gently? How do you imagine defining success as the ability to sip a cold beverage on a warm day in the company of your close friends? What would it take for you to linger? I more than appreciate your relentless enthusiasm, your endless agency in your own life, your visceral awareness of injustice and all the humor and hyperbole that you are. I can’t wait for us both to be employed here in New York. Those are gonna be the days.”

Have no fear of uncertainty. After all, this becomes the reality when we’ve stripped away our own God illusions from the world we falsely believe we’ve crafted for ourselves. Fear only that which nudges you further from God.

Wrote a New Story Guys

Maybe this compensates for my hiatus last week. Or not.

Have fun reading about Anthony Weiner here. Not gonna lie–I kinda like when stories make me do a bunch of research and I feel like I’m that person that sits on the rock in the forest and that tips over and then discovers all the amazing invertebrates underneath it. 

Inter-borough Displacement and Mid-May Transitions

The last May I did not slog all my belongings together in suitcases whose zipper teeth where yanking into each other was back when Alyssa and I still celebrated each other’s birthdays together. 18. Very much a teenager and one whose life was far more stationary (should we suggest that this is a proxy for something to do with maturity?) than I believe I’ve ever realized. 

In 2009, I hugged Nate goodbye and roadtripped up to Mollie’s woodsy Yarmouth home. Maine was so sweet–surprisingly chilly weather moods when Pennsylvania was practically sweating when we left. I came home for a week after our four day jaunt and then left for Turkey for three weeks. 

In 2010, after a whirlwind of questions about China to California, I celebrated my arrival back to Pennsylvania by going to Baker’s Diner with my Pennsylvania family. I supposed I should have been more grateful for the West Coast interrogation–the homecoming of inside jokes made my insides feel far warmer than they ever had with my China cohort–but I don’t think they ever asked about what it felt like to defy instructions, bike around the Xian city wall, and have your bike breakdown. 

In 2011, I moved from North Complex (Kelly) to South Complex (Witmer) or Grantham to Grantham or maybe not so much at all. Except for the fact that I left an apartment that I had shared with four slightly frenzied nurses for a roommate who was perhaps the best bowler I’d ever befriended. (Should memory serve, I’d say she played in some sort of championships in July.) For the entire month of June, every morning, I attempted to conquer the Witmer cliff on Victoria’s trendy and character-inducing, one-gear bicycle. 

No one in my family wants to think that the Morgan they know and love actually existed on graduation day last year when I basically abandoned all packing and cleaning (uh, thanks roommates?) to fall within the less than twenty-four hours of their trip to commemorate me. Not only did did my father run out for a last-minute Rubbermaid run, at one point, I stuffed my Subaru, powered to Dr. Harles, tried to find a decent place to chow down with the family without breaking into shameful tears, and then left for New Orleans, via Birmingham, via Isle of Palms, South Carolina. We left at 9 or 10 or 11pm that night. I only remember lying on the pavement at one point when talking to David. 

In 2013, I left the first New York home I ever had with the aid of two near-and-dear oldie but goodie friends from the alma mater. Instead of donning green robes this year, Dawnique, Tom and I instead reinvigorated our relationship by injecting me with huge doses of encouragement, loading Tom’s car, stuffing hangers in plastic bins and carrying large objects. They deserve a mighty thanks. 

Goodbye Corona. (You were where I become.) 

Elena

ImageIt’s 12:28 AM and I’m swaying back and forth in my cream colored doily dress to “Je Suis Jamais Allé.” Last night, I devoured a cheese stuffed omelette and a walnut, pear and craisin spinach salad in my mentor’s airy studio. Afterwards, I soothed my bloated stomach nibbling on fresh strawberry halves and sipping strawberry tea straight out of Budapest. I mailed a card to India. Today, I called a friend who will hike the Lost Coast trail next week; last week when we spoke he had pitched a tent in his Manhattan apartment. I walked for forty minutes in Central Park spontaneously on Tuesday with what already feels like an old, cherished friendship, where the conversation drifted as usual to our contempt and appreciation for urban politics. I rambled on and on about practicality and ideology and outcomes and core beliefs to a friend in a hospital bed whose summer intentions drip drop away like the ice cream I forgot to fetch at Häagen-Dazs’ free afternoon two days ago. Oh, and the Giants won today and Matt Cain still gives up home run after home run and crushes my heart with his ERA. There was also those lunch time questions that reframed my relationship with Bloomberg. Thank you question asker; you may thought provoke me any time you wish. (I may demand more.) In anticipation of my impending move, there is still a scarf, dress and cardigan unaccounted for and too much worry in my inventory. Last night, I dreamt that one of my besties (you know the type) basically sat me down and said, “Let’s not be what we are to each other any more. Like this friendship totally doesn’t work.” After two weeks of calling (no responses never) this actually worried me in its feasibility; he phoned me immediately after work this afternoon and told me I had to pick what mattered more–my prophetic power or our relationship. Love ya too. Also, happy birthday stephanie ferguson. yup. 23 now. join the club. you’re always the first person i’d pick to join mine. 

so much sunshine late these days. so little money to be had and copious amounts of time that god wants to know how i’ll be spending it. 

Dear Elena, Put yourself into these sentences and come lug over your brown sandals and splashy dresses and intellectual inquisitiveness and intrude into my New York existence.This is my rich life; it misses you so. 

New York Real Estate Moves This City

New York Real Estate Moves This City

Or something like that. There’s many reasons why I’m pretty proud of this piece. The fact that I turned it around in 24 hours. The fact that it encapsulates a lot of Coro content learning I did this year. The fact that it now exists online (rather than in my mind as something I could write about.) The fact that it’s another step in me writing more consistently and challenging myself to produce publishable content.

Here’s to this being my life!

Me in a City

If there’s a soft spot in my aggressive urbanistic tendencies, it’s well planned single family homes that tuck their garages in the back yard, boast luxurious front porches where wicker furniture languishes and stuff their front yards with droopy, vibrant trees. On the interior, enormous window panes usher in copious amounts of daylight. I’m constantly at a loss of whether I’d preferring to be stuffing my face with an omelette on the front porch, the back deck, or the lively kitchen table and sometimes I just want a sidewalk bench where I can take in the neighborhood’s charm offensive. I’ve been in D.C. for two days and lucky enough spend the night in two homes that live up to these standards, while further uphold my other personal pre-req of having easy access to public transit. Cars. Be. Damned. 

I find myself feeling satiated on thoughtful community architecture and increasingly less hungry for stuffing my schedule with every cultural haunt. And right now I’m exhausted and alone and I don’t feel oppressed being indoors in Arlington and that scares me a little. How did I find myself in such a state where I cannot stroll around the District on a Saturday morning?

To the earlier points, my favorite days of New Orleans were spent wandering between Magazine and St. Charles, plodding and soaking and memorizing the Vietnamese restaurant, the outdoor patio seating cafe, the flower boxes and white shutters, and letting that muggy, muggy air permeate my skin and beguile my soul. 

American cities I love you still. 

One dress for one life

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I don’t think that we have that word in English that evokes apathy, ignorance and greed as  complicity in murder. I’m not sure this English speaking country even recognizes this idea.

We are a self-determined people. We are bathed in liberty. We self-destruct, we self-correct. We fall and then we get up. We pick our future the way we pick out dresses; some hemming and hawing and then going with the sexy choice.

And so I need someone to explain to me how a person so awash in freedom as the 21st century-liberated, university degreed, zesty budding professional, American female I identify as can have no tools of recourse, no medicines of reconciliation, no balms for third world suffering, no answer to the quagmire that the same individual who bought forty-odd dresses over past six years sold her soul to a murderous ideology of “looking good for a low price.”

Yes, I was at Forever 21 yesterday and I still do.

Freedom can’t be just defined as my right to bear and buy arms without a background check or pen furious tweets and letters to the editor about those who do. It’s not just checking all the bureaucratic curiosities on a form to start my small business or changing my residence four times in a quarter and never telling Uncle Sam. Individual actions in relation to a government? Let’s all collectively scoff–freedom, you shall not be limited to an act of individual expression.

There is that liberty that I want and it’s the ability to jettison these systematic strangleholds that offer me a strange and fatal bargain:

“Donning this garment on the cheap will adorn you irresistible vitality and may or may not affect that of seamstress who created it. You accept an exchange rate of one dress for one life.”

Discipline

 

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It’s saving qualities surpass its banal capacities to illuminate darkness…indeed, it’s somewhere between its reliance on a human (and his/her family that reside in so remote a place) and the fact that it performs such onerous tasks

day

after 

day

 after 

day

Anxiety and Ashes

I’m not sure how much I’ve ever conceptualized inner tranquility, how much I’ve ever meticulously examined what it might mean to live out trust, or if I could actually vocalize what it would mean to cede control.

Like right now I feel like my eyes are smarting from a bonfire gone bad of jobs-I’d-like-to-have and places-that-I-need-to-live, desperation the ignition for this blaze. But what if I was just crouching in contentment on the log and acknowledging the heat of the flames but not letting their height or color daunt me?

Perhaps there is an element of walking on faith that is not so much being willing to do what you do not want to do but in actuality doing what you have no idea what you are doing. And being okay with it. (Even if it means I so utterly out of control)

Are you nodding your head God? Are you laughing? Am I right?

Let it burn away my need to know and my obsession with regulation and what was anxiety is now but ashes. Now but aspiration–not to do–but to be.