A journey through the outdoors…in the midst of a bustling city. Follow my blog to see images you don’t normally see.

Cloister

If only

I could be cloistered in The Cloisters

That beautiful structure

Standing in the center of a gorgeous park

At the highest point in Manhattan

A park so peaceful

A place so open

A world so green

Looking out over the Hudson River

With the sun shining on the water.

If only

I could look out

From the top of the stone ramparts

Filled with history

That tell the story

Of a massive battle.

Fought closer to home

Than we could feel

From our classrooms in the West.

Out here

This battle

Took place

Where. We. Are.

When it is no longer far away

We have no choice

But to take note.

Remember.

History. Is. Now.

Make it what you want

The future to reflect on.

Times are strange, aren’t they? How are you all keeping it together? I’ve been trying to find a new normal with purpose and structure. It’s not easy. Composure is hard to keep. Composure is…changing. Everything is changing. Or so it seems. So how are people keeping their…composure? The word is a hard one to write about today, it seems. In a time when everything seems to be up in the air how do we keep it all together? Does keeping it together even look the same anymore? Or are there such changes in our outside world that we must change on the inside drastically? It seems to me that that’s the case. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing. New opportunities might come of this tragedy.

While trying to cope with all of the extra time on my hands, stuck inside, with life topsy turvy, I was having a tough time. My boyfriend made a suggestion: why not volunteer? I had no idea that anyone could really volunteer virtually. I mean, I’d never heard of that. I took his advice, and two weeks later I find myself feeling more cohesive…more composed, happier, stronger. That is not to say that I was unhappy before, or weak, but I have a newfound sense of purpose during this time, as I generally volunteer a couple of hours almost every day. You see, before this happened I was looking to find a remote job (I’m still looking), and I thought the only thing I’d be good at is customer service. Through my volunteering these past couple of weeks I’ve realized that my customer service skills can be put to good use to actually help people and my horizons have been broadened. The work I’ve been doing is providing assistance to those in need by calling to check on constituents and connect them with mutual aid resources. I love it. I get to help people, and that warms my heart to the nth degree. It makes me so happy. It has also been socially helpful during social distancing. I get to chat with volunteers every day and we even have a social hour once a week on zoom! I’m connecting with people I never would have met otherwise. It’s all beneficial. I hadn’t thought of this before, but I’m sure there’s a way to use my customer service skills to work remotely while providing assistance and understanding to those in need. I truly hope so.

It’s odd that the word composure brought up an idea that has absolutely nothing to do with the word, but for some reason when I think of the word composure the word “grounded” pops into my brain. To me, to have composure means a person is grounded in their body and their soul. That is exactly what volunteering has helped me with. If you’re curious about virtual volunteering during this time, let me know in the comments! You don’t have to live in New York or even the USA to be involved in the virtual organizations here. I hope to see you on the volunteer lists and that you are all happy and healthy. Have a great day!

Cover Photo courtesy of Nicole De Khors on Burst free images.

Footer photo courtesy of Shopify Partners on Burst free images.

Yesterday, while walking to do an errand, stuck in my own head, thinking about trying to keep distance from people who did not seem to be thinking about social distancing, I randomly looked up to the sky. It was a beautiful, bright blue day, and, very uncommonly, I could see the moon crisp and clear. It made me stop and think about my previous post. I had written about looking up to the sky, centering oneself, and being grateful for the frontline workers. Sometimes I forget my own advice, as I’m sure we all do. Yesterday, I stopped and took a breath. The sight of the moon looking down over the world reminded me that there is something so much bigger out there than all of us. There are larger forces at work than mankind. It was very comforting thinking about how all of us are simply small creatures allowed to live on this beautiful planet that has, miraculously, supported us for so long. It reminded me that the world provides us with what we need if we stop and listen. I couldn’t let myself forget that moment, so here is the photo that I took.

Although I know that today’s word is twinkle, this memory of the moon popped up in my mind as I started deliberating what to write about. I generally go with whatever the first thing is the springs to life, as I enjoy writing stream-of-conscious style posts. Also, the cosmos is just such a fascinating, beautiful, unifying place. I wonder what it’s like to look back at the earth from the International Space Station and see the world for what it really is. What a life-changing experience. What a point of view.

Huh. Empty.

That’s an interesting word.

If anything, I feel,

Anything but empty.

It’s weird.

I’m isolated right now,

For the most part,

As are many of us.

But empty?

Not so much.

It’s more like…

Filled with emotion.

Fear.

Courage.

Strength of personal bonds.

Support from loved ones.

Terror of the unknown.

Thoughts of unease.

Thoughts of love.

My heart is abuzz.

My brain is on fire.

But empty,

As you’d rightfully assume,

That I’d feel,

I don’t.

Maybe it’s because,

There are so many helpers out there.

Here’s to the helpers.

Here’s to the heroes.

Sacrificing their lives,

In order to save ours.

Flounder. That’s an interesting word. I’d like to say that I’ve pulled up my bootstraps and fought my way through this with a smile on my face. Honestly, floundering is something that is hard not to do. At this moment it seems like the Big Apple is unrecognizable. I look out my window and it looks like a New York City I don’t know. It’s…devoid of people and energy. It’s…not NYC. I can only hope that everyone is at home re-configuring their lives and succeeding in the best way possible. Truthfully, this is the first time that I’ve gotten myself to the page. It’s a whirl of craziness even though everything is so still. Thousands and thousands of New Yorkers have all of the sudden become unemployed and the city is doing it’s best to accomodate all of that. It has put a massive strain on the infrastructure of the city, and we are all struggling to get through. We have quickly become the location with the highest amount of cases in the US and times are very uncertain. The interesting thing is, we will not be defeated. NY’ers…are tough, diligent, strong, and courageous. It’s been incredible, the way that the community has shown love during this time. I’m proud of my co-workers and proud of my city. NYC strong. We can do this. It may be dark now…but it will be light in time.

Photo credit: Alexis Azabache. Follow Alexis on twitter: @alexazabache1

RDP Saturday: Water

When I thought about the word water for today’s daily prompt I considered coming up with a beautiful poem (or, hopefully beautiful, lol), but nothing came to mind. Sometimes I try too hard when it comes to writing (and life, in general). I can’t seem to be comfortable not churning out work that I think is profound. That’s not to say that any of my past work is viewed as profound, in my opinion, but sometimes I think that maybe I try to make each thought and/or statement much deeper than it really is in that moment. In other words, I’m creatively stuck just a bit and I forget that that’s okay; that not every post has to be perfect and shiny. Not today.

So here’s to loving writing by the method of brain drain today. Here’s to imperfection. Here’s to letting my mind wander and not judging what comes of it. So. Water.

When I think of the word water I hear the gurgling nature of the ocean as you come up to the surface after dunking your head, when your ears are adjusting. I think of the aqua blue beauty of the ocean in Bermuda. I go to my happy place: Horseshoe Bay in Bermuda. It brings a peaceful smile to my face in a time where the world is anxious. It brings some calm to my paranoia. Bermuda. 🙂

Photo Credit: Matthew Henry