Empire State of Mind

reddirtlattes/ May 16, 2011/ Uncategorized/ 9 comments

I feel the pull. I think it started with a picture. Or maybe it was just a word. But the roots I felt were slipping, slowly untangling and shredding have found a concrete barrier and tug me back towards them.

I don’t need much. Just a fix. Just to know it’s still there while we jump from place to place, circling the sphere like balloons.

I wonder where our daughter will find hers. Somewhere we happen, when suddenly she starts to grow downward, into the land itself.

I was born in Virginia, and then moved to Arizona, then back to Virginia till settling in Florida around age 6. For the next 10 years, swamps and moss and gators were my backdrop. But somewhere in the middle, on a trip to New York, I found the place I would first call home, and those last few years in Florida were nothing but waiting.

For my husband, it’s raw nature. As remote as can be, that is what he calls home. The place he can rest and sometimes dreams to be.

I know for some home is where they started, where they remain, and even if left for a little while, always return. Home for me was found much later than that, and perhaps I will never go back for good, but today it pulls and tugs at me. I am right back on the streets, with the smells and sounds that seemed to have no boundary with my body, as if the whole city were just an extension of my being and without it I feel a little less of myself.

Right before we left, before the boxes were packed and stored, before I would become a mother and before the world would become my backyard, there was a crazy afternoon when the sky of New York seemed to turn in on itself. I stood on my terrace and took it all in, memorizing it, inhaling it, so on days like today I could bring it out and stand back under it.

[photo taken by a friend from her apartment downtown]

[from my terrace, original light]

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  1. Wow-such amazing photos! Waves of clouds. Beautiful.

    1. Hi Robyn.
      Yeah, it was crazy. I’ve never seen a sky like that. Everything was bathed in gold and wrinkles.

  2. love the title!

    1. It’s a song by Jay Z about NYC.

  3. There’s a song by Billy Joel – “New York State of Mind”…your post took me back to high school (when I lived in NY) and singing along to that song…

    I totally get the “home” feeling, and whether it’s NY (or CO for me), or where ever the “roots” feeling is for anyone, reconnecting with that home is beyond compare – your anecdote did an admirable explanation of it though:

    and she writes too!


    1. I love that Billy Joel song!
      And thanks, Jason. Just trying to find my way…

      1. with your talents and skills you have many ways and paths to choose from

  4. Wow, what beautiful pics! There’s a place in the middle of the Karoo (a deserty place in the middle of South Africa with vast plains and huge skies) that I’ve only been lucky enough to visit, not live (yet), that I felt, the first time I went, was home, and have felt with every subsequent visit. My heart clenches with joy each time I go there x

    1. Shiny, exactly.

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