Saturday, April 19, 2008

The perfect Brooklyn night;

Tonight was something special; And not because of anything grandiose, but merely just because…well, because, like a present moment it just-was.

I have been in a flux this past week. I promised on my facebook status I would get out of my comfort zone this weekend. Do something out of the norm for me; sailboat, workshop, biking, travel upstate, skydive, SOMETHING. New York has tons of activities to offer and most nights lately I can be found on the couch on my computer, at the gym or talking on the phone. No reason to slug my life away when there is so much to offer out there right?

Sure enough, when I got home from work tonight my predictable pattern of surfing the net and sitting my ass on the couch started to rear it’s stagnated head. My inner voice said resoundingly NO! and 5 minutes later with wallet and keys in hand I was out the door and up the 5 steep blocks to Prospect Park. And outside the weather was perfect.

For those of you who don’t know what Prospect Park is, let me tell you it’s just about the best park in the tri state area aside from famed Central. Smaller, closer with just as much to offer and more convenience. Last summer I spent a lot of time there, and as spring is in the air I can feel this summer beckoning the same. Although this summer is not last summer. This summer I am ME this summer. The tides have turned more.

Strolling through the sidewalks, jogging paths and hills I am still amazed what a beautiful piece of nature is here right around the corner from my apartment. I stopped and sat on the grass next to a couple eating falafels. I don’t think they noticed me, nor cared really with the scope and surrounding architecture so amazing. I let my stresses go and my thoughts get quiet with God. They say prayer is speaking to God and the silence is God responding. Whatever it is, it works for me.

WHY don’t I do this more often? Now I walk by the most beautiful freshly flowered pink trees and just stood there and took it in. Just a moment-standing underneath it all. Nature really is astounding if you stop and be present with it. All the other people there obviously feel the same way I do so I’m sure I didn’t look too cookoo for cocoa puffs gazing lovingly at mr tree. The park is filled with people. I’m pretty intuitive so I can sense their different personalities, feel their energy. I saw two people in meditation 'Namaste-esque' poses in the grass. Dogs and soccer playing jockeys. Parents taking their families for a park stroll. Teenagers smoking weed on the corner bench. Wow even the dirt. I stopped and dug the dirt with the stick, can’t even remember the last time I did that. I almost forgot what dirt looks like! I stopped and bought a hot dog from the vendor, then moved on to the front of the park near grand army plaza. The best part was my final bench sitting, with this delightful woman and her dog Mel, and only 5 feet away a jugband brother-so-art-thou band playing full out folky rhythyms. They looked like they were having a ball, and those of us around them couldn’t help but feed off their enthusiasm. I looked up at the sky, noticed twilight was approaching and made my way back out toward Prospect Park west, it’s own historic street just outside the park equally as fascinating with its charm.

It was nice to escape my structured schedule tonight. No worries about money. No inner critics. No relationship concerns. I’m tellin y’all now, don’t forget about getting outside this beautiful spring. It’s absolutely essentially here in a city. This is what keeps me in awe and keeps me centered. At least…for now.

All in the all, the perfect Brooklyn night.

I copied this from a subway poem the first year I lived in New York. I think it says it best.

“You travel a path on paper
And discover you’re in a city
You only thought about before
It’s Sunday marketplace
Parakeets and finces are placed
On the stones
And poppies in transparent wrappings
How can you be where you never were?
And how did you find the way
With your mind your only measure?”

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