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Welcome to A Writer's Landscape!

You have entered the realm of my mind where words play with the fabric of our existence. This is the map of my imagination: the very foundations of inspiration, musing, and thought splayed for your wandering eyes. Dive deep into the tides of these forces and experience my reality, my fantasy, my world; and if you should be so inclined, share your words with this land.

Peace and Love!

J Hart F

Monday, October 25, 2010

Finding Yourself in New York City

New York City. It's magic, truly, though the distinct lack of magic provides gentle reassurances it must exist everywhere. You can become lost in New York. Not merely lost among the tangled ways and hidden tunnels and flashing noises surrounding every fiber of this City, but you can truly lose yourself, your existence, your meaning. All of you swallowed up by the permanent fog drowning the spires soaring to heights attained in another time. Hope turns to desperation pacing the tunnels in waves of sardine-packed aluminum vessels, swimming through the blackness of the future. Dreams feel beyond reach with the myriads of cultures swarming around like hornets on their own missions.

This is not the magic of the City.

On the exterior, from the boat wading the waters of converging rivers, the City looks still, calm, peaceful, and beautiful: a facade of aspirations, the image of triumph, one profile of freedom to build whatever the heart desires. Magic! for those who see it for the first time. Statuesque imagery miles away from the truth of the teeming streets. She is alive despite the dead steel and captured glass. The onlooker doesn't know the majestic truth hidden from that elegant distance. Frames can't capture the lively views on the water, where clean scents spray across the bow and bring a smile despite the polluted air. Pictures can't overwhelm the senses surrounding the viewer, even from a distance, of the skyline mounting the shores. No amount of words can truly describe the humbling awe of the City's existence.

And yet, this is every man. It's the magic of an outward landscape of you, and me... of everyone in existence. I wait on the boat, looking idly at these masses stoically surviving in a place that's surprisingly hostile and even more surprisingly friendly. It's magnificent, the mirror New Yorkers refuse to regard.

Once landed, disembarking the protecting distances which fostered such beauty, the mind reels in awakening. It's a shock first-timers know about yet cannot fathom. Life bursts from the darkness in quickened steps, hastily seeking a journey's end somewhere else. Their eyes are distant, unfocused. Their faces terse, annoyed, disappointed or asleep. Rarely do underlying personalities reveal themselves on the streets, but they exist, screaming for companionship in a city built for loners traversing the rows on the way to work. Every so often, an eye might catch in the chaos of 'go-go-going' and a smile might spark that flutter so common to the unexpected. Yet, they move on until a haven is entered, when you can relax the tense body and free the mind of tis growing barriers against the onslaught of noise, pollution, images, and people. Only then are you free to meet. Only then can the truth of the City be revealed. Tourists lose this ability to attach to the city and can experience solely the bustling tragedies of the masses.

Quirky clubs, fine dining, random bakeries, quiet shopping, and the gentler populace are easily attained outside the touristy 'bubbles' within her streets. Sometimes, even New Yorkers can't escape them, those bubbles of easy to get to places. Sometimes, reality can't escape these scenes. Sometimes, the soul gets trapped by Times Square, in that fortitude of mass media blaring down upon the mind. You become lost, entrance by the movement constantly ebbing and flowing... but then you discover the quiet of the upper east side at night and wonder how the hell you got there. You break, spiraling down a tunnel of despair  mirrored by the subway that must be mounted to find the way home. Lost, mysteriously, in a city so easily navigated. The distant bodies feel cold, the shiny railings look infested, the stifling humidity covers your skin.

This is every man. At least once in life, down some street you've taken, I've taken, we all have taken, a turn arrives with detrimental determination. The choices sitting beside you are unfriendly and you forgo asking for their support. Aspirations for your won success feel abandoned in your own chaos of trying to decide which way to go, and perhaps you'll settle into the dingy, overpriced, one bedroom apartment in China Town. Getting to such a low allows one thing.

A reprieve.

Nestled permanently in New York City is a gem, one disturbed only by history, paths, and feet. Woven greenery, quiet minds, and manifesting art populate this sanctuary from the dead minds and loud life. The sun shines brightly across the lawns overlooked by the Castle. The corridor of trees opens to a circle protected by a fountain. The maze rambling through the center ensnares the will of haste. Central Park puts the soul back. it is the soul giving life to what seems so lifeless, where peace is touchable, even when people walk by and the skyline looms overhead. The gentle breezes and hushed voices replace perspective, allowing you to see yourself once more. Quiet surrounded by noise surrounded by the perception of quiet.

Magic exists here, in every footfall, in every turn, in every tree surviving despite the smog. It remains the best place to be lost because you'll always find your way again. No matter which way you turn, you'll find yourself among the trees. The mind quiets and resets, relinquishing stress to strength, turning the tarnished face into a beautifully intricate bark, subtle vines, and a smile from yellow flowers. This serenity of nature's truth touches your own truth, rediscovering in what place you belong: in or out of bubbles manifested on the dirty streets.

This is every man. Interplays of dichotomy present on three levels: exterior, interior, and subconscious. We present the mood of calm, collected motions through life where we drown in the plethora of ways tormenting our steps without the realization of our inner peace where truth will vitalize actions. Society has us focus on two levels, forgetting the third. We are tourists to our own lives, neglecting our park's potential. The City is all three ideals, and more, and can teach us how to balance life with ambition and loneliness, to mold emotions with freedom and necessity, to harmonize industrialized ethics with imperfection and love, to relieve perceived honesty of impressions and denote nature in magical revelations exercised within. It seems like far too much to express in a City already providing a magnitude of museums stocked full of priceless education; but to learn these lessons while vacationing stimulated a hunger to build my own expertise in the balance of New York City.

I've struggled with my truth, and I thought it was thrown in with the interior of my being, my subconscious mixed with the chaos of the streets of my existence. I was lost in New York City until we sat in the park, peaceful in thought and quietly reminiscing about the experiences that brought us somewhere in the middle of Central Park. Now I understand something I care not put into words, something the City helped me find. I want that loneliness associated with  peace in the park: knowing a delicate balance of association to others while remaining myself, having time to be me while walking the streets with others, being free to do as I please and regard my others as bystanders along for the ride. Selfish? Perhaps, but it's been forever without that sense, and it's a desire lodged deep in my psyche, on that I've repressed for so long.


  1. Having an apartment in Manhattan is such a blessing. The City may seem be cold and lonely, but there are so many things to explore you can never get bored. Great post!

  2. I love LOVE L-O-V-E this post!!!