TRIUMPH OF SPIRIT IN LOVE, NATURE & ART

Posts tagged “New York City

Last Snows/Millbrook/New York City

 


It’s been a long, hard time since I wrote.  But unlike the bird above I was not alone, thank the Lord. Beloved husband was at my side.  I have thought of many of you and wondered how you’re doing, if you’re still blogging.  Kit, Running Elk, Bert, Paul, Michael, Sue, Palestine Rose, Joshi, Ashley, Didi, Val and so many others.  I check my hundreds of blog emails unread and see you are.  Have not only not been blogging but not reading the blogs either.  Been sick, selling our barn, moving and withdrawing from a major benzodiazepine, Klonopin, a “benzo” as they are called.  My doctor got me addicted to it.  And, while selling the house I took extra because it was so stressful and I had to function no matter how sick I was.  Now I am paying the price.  Withdrawal is at a snail’s pace and fraught with physical and psychological symptoms.  It seems futile to be angry with my doctor.  He didn’t force it down my throat but he did dispense a very dangerous drug.  This is one of the seldom talked about pitfalls of being mentally ill.

The house is finally sold and all the headaches with it.  We will miss the nature and our home in the depths of it.  I have lost my inspiration.  My muse.  Pictures were everywhere.  Now in New York City there is so much stimulation I cannot even see images to capture.  But in many ways it is  good to be here.  Although I remain sick and sick at heart with what is happening to our country, even so, my husband and I are blessed to have each other.  But today, with the March for Our Lives, I finally have new hope.  Perhaps the new generation can succeed at peace where we have failed.  Perhaps the world can stop destroying itself.

And finally now, at last, I can find time now to look within.  I continue to follow Sadhguru and his Inner Engineering.  That is my priority now.  So I don’t know if I can go back to blogging as I used to.  Inspiration is at zero.  But at least I hope to visit sites now and again. Let me take this opportunity to say hello and happy Spring to all of you!


Street Life in New York City

Inspired by a post by Tiramit at Dhamma Footsteps

Have seen the plight of the working poor in India, especially working women in films like Ankur,” and in many other Indian films.  But it is not just India.  It is everywhere. And it is not just the working poor.

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The belongings of the first resident to set up camp near a seminary and a church

A block away from our apartment in New York City is a tiny campsite of homeless people. I think of them every morning at prayer. I wonder should I bring them food? Coffee? Meantime, in shame and shamefully, I cross the street to avoid walking into their bedroom. I feel for them especially when I am sick and think how horrible to be homeless when sick. But actually it is a daily horror.  Only a scaffolding protects against the elements, the heat of summer and the bitter cold of winter. And know I could be there, too, if not for the grace of God.  For these people are most likely unemployable.  Most likely they are mentally ill, like me, only unlike me, unable to work because they are untreated and homeless.  My husband, a retired psychiatric social worker had many homeless clients who could not work and could not get it together to get disability.  These clients spoke of the horrors of homeless shelters and explained how living in the streets is preferable.

The residents of this little homeless camp seek refuge and food in the church across the street. As they huddle in comforters in winter and on the sidewalk in summer, I ponder their lot in life while we have our little lives, wrapped in middle class comforts.

And in the United States we have a candidate who speaks to the rascist and xenophobic of our country.  To our shame to have even running.  But he also speaks to the working poor who are failing despite working one, two and three jobs, to the people who would despise the people down the block because the residents are not working.   And he promises his followers a better life.  And they believe his fantastic lies.  Such are among the many problems of having an underclass of the working poor.


Seeking God in New York City

DSCF8435_edited-1Riverside Park and Trapped Nature

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Political Wall

DSCF8440_edited-1 Home Furnishings in the Shelter of Union Theological SeminaryDSCF8447_edited-1

Customer in Local Coffee Shop Window

***

Twinkling stars, infinity sky
no longer can I see,
blinded by the might of
fierce night light in the city.
Now the universe  appears
behind closed eyelids
unbound by hour on the clock.
Energy fields in the sky of day
once transported me instantly,
now I battle noise and numbers
in the megaphone metropolis.
My private piece of sky to see,
sitting in the summer sun,
in the backyard playland,
sits now in memory
along with the macro world
of insects underfoot.
The infinity of the terrestrial lawn,
now is writ on microscopic cells
inside my convoluted brain.
Our little piece of paradise
Our little barn for sale
Home now the concrete jungle.

I will find God here, too,
amid the traffic and the trash
Overcrowded cities can
team with spirituality
as manifest in Mother India,
satsangs to the barking dogs,
insistent horns
streets full of homeless.
Here, too, a camp
one block away
reminds one of the blessings
of a dwelling and food to eat
and humbles one
amid serenades
not of crickets
but of sirens
and the cooing of pigeons
or the sweetness of a sparrow.
T’is true the Divine
is manifest in nature,
easy to see there
everywhere
but He dwells here, too,
in the rat filled streets
among the humble
somehow majestically in
the lowest of the low,
I would I could see Him in
the Sadhus of New York City.
His mighty kingdom
lies within the Self
bursting within the heart.

Have mercy on me, oh God,

and please open my heart

to the Compassion within!


Confessions of an Agoraphobic

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I will do almost anything to stay at home. Granted I have a few chronic illnesses that keep me in but it is mental illness that is the real challenge. Mental illnesses, plural, and phobias, to be more exact. Bipolar Disorder, Asperger’s, OCD, Emetophobia, Claustophobia, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Agoraphobia. And I do what mentally ill people do.  I isolate.

Life can be lived through the ethernet. Luckily for me and many others. One can stay in the apartment for days. Today, however, I had to go out. My husband asked me to check the car. And there was shopping to be done and a trip to the post office required. Shit! Forgot to take major meds last night and was not in good shape yesterday either.  Dreading going out!  A one mile errand for me is like a trip to China. First off, take the missed meds. And make the preparations to go out, hiding money in case of a mugging, packing a phone, emergency meds and emergency numbers for my husband, etc., etc., etc.

Then comes the moment of truth, going out the door. Meet a neighbor and surprised that could handle her in my fragile state, and was, in fact, good with her. Not always the case. Helped a new neighbor and walked out the door into the street. A man coughing. He may vomit. Terrified of vomit and vomiting. I search out the streets and buses for people who look sick or sound sick, coughing, etc. The origin of this phobia– an alcoholic father who was often sick, but knowing that does not help matters. Make it past the coughing man and note his location to look for vomit on the way back.

Then there are all the unknown. This is New York City after all. Dirty, smelly, overstimulating, overcrowded, noisy New York City. People approaching you for good causes, bogus causes, begging, anything is possible. It is not like I am a newcomer here, having lived in New York City for six-plus decades and worked all over the city for three of those decades. Until I couldn’t any more.

Someone once asked me what was there to be afraid of? What could possibly go wrong? Oh, wrong question. I could easily rattle off twenty-five scenarios of disaster and then some. But this morning surprisingly and unusually, am happy to be outside. Greet my Indian newsstand lady friend and my friendly Hispanic super next door. All goes smoothly. The clerk in the post office ends on a kind note after my botched addresses had to be fixed. It actually, and can’t believe I am saying this, but, it actually feels good to be out.  Give a beggar a dollar and talk to him. Feeling good outside is a rarity. Perhaps it is the missed medication. Secretly I still believe the medication takes away something good in me. Still suffer from the delusion that all ills come from the medication, though “know” I cannot function without it. Actually perhaps it is doubling up on the dose that helps. Perhaps I should be on a higher dose of the anti-psychotic. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps…

Trip over. Glad to be back home. Didn’t feel faint until back home. One of these days  will venture out to shop for a new pair of jeans. One of these days…

(For more writing on battling mental illness please see my e-book, “Eye-locks and Other Fearsome Things” on Amazon.  Also available on Smashwords, iBooks and Nook.)