Archive for February, 2010

Up in the air

Posted in Travel on February 21, 2010 by cgeary

Not quite like the movie (but what I good movie!)

Cindy leaving for Zambia

I left about 24 hours ago for Zambia and now here I am. I sort of enjoyed the trip. I’ve been flying to Asia and Africa for over a couple of decades now and most of the time, I was definitely focused on just getting the trip over with so I could get to wherever I was going,  but I think I’m finally slowing down a bit and trying to enjoy the journey and the destination. In my new job I no longer fly business class and it doesn’t even really bother me. I was always adamant about the advantages of business class to help you get enough rest so you can work  better when you get there, but I think I’m changing my mind. I think if you are not so stressed before you get on a plane, that counts for a lot as well. I’m not saying that those great seats in business class didn’t look inviting after a 15 hour flight to Johannesberg from Atlanta, but given the huge cost saving in flying coach, I’m not sure it is worth it. Hard to believe I am saying this, but I am.

One thing I always have thought about long flights is that because you are usually cut off from most communications during that time (though this is changing), you can switch some things off and pay attention to magazine articles or books…so at some point in a long flight…when I’m not sleeping…my thinking is usually a bit more expansive than the usual day to day stuff…today I read (very quickly) Michael Pollan’s book, Food Rules. I also listened to a Deepak Chopra audiobook while I slept and afterwards…so that might have had something to do with a more mellow frame of mind. (Plus, all the flights left on time, my bag got here ok and I have a room with a nice view.)

I didn’t take a lot of photos during the trip. I’m a little intimidated to be obviously taking photos, but I don’t know why. I thought my iPhone camera (which is a very good camera) would be less obvious but I can’t upload them til I get home because I don’t have international roaming on it. But here are a few photos.

Bead statue of Nelson Mandela Beadwork close-up

 This was a very tall statue of Nelson Mandela made out of beads. It was very sweet to see all the kids come up and sort of instictively take his hand.

Beadwork close up

All the way there

Here I am in the self-portrait in the mirror…checked into my hotel…too jet lagged to sleep yet.

Urban living

Posted in Travel on February 14, 2010 by cgeary

Essex Street Station platform

Last weekend I got a chance to visit my son Max and his girlfriend Ambien — the first time I had been to NYC since they moved there last May after graduation. I can’t remember the last time I was there….several years at least. I think this was the coldest visit to NY I’d ever had….at least it seemed so at the time. We got just a bit of snow on Friday night…not enough to make a difference.

Max in front of Cordelia Street Cafe

My son and his girlfriend live in Brooklyn. They are both actors, both in their early 20s. I got to see Ambien act for the first time while I was there in Clothes for a Summer Hotel, last play written by Tennessee Williams. It was produced by the White Horse Theater Company (www.whitehorsetheater.com). It was an unusual play — a ghost play — with some ambiguity about the timing and sequencing of events. It was great to see Ambien on stage.

Brooklyn snow

Lights on gym floor

We didn’t try to do tourist-y kinds of things..it seemed too cold to try. I enjoyed being able just to hang out with them while they were doing their usual weekend things. Max had an audition in Manhattan and a basketball game at MLK High School.

Bank St and Greenwich

Max and Ambien at Arte Pasta

At Artepasta

My thoughts throughout the weekend were about how much energy it takes to live in a big city like that. It is great to have mass transit and I’d love to be able a light rail down here…but it also takes a lot of energy to learn how to use it and how to negotiate the finer points of its use. For me, it takes a lot of energy to be around so many people all the time. It IS amazing to be there and be around all the energy you find in the city, but I find myself on overload fairly quickly. I realized that as I get older I don’t move as fast or adapt as quickly as I once did….certainly not as quickly as Max and Ambien who have the whole thing knocked and seem to be loving all of it. I think it is great…I am happy for them to be pursuing their passion even in the midst of the logistical and financial difficulties they face in doing so. There is a lot of satisfaction in doing what you want to do.

Restroom art

At breakfast at New Kingdom

One more thought about traveling with an awareness of time marching forward…the last time I was in NYC with Max was when he was a junior in high school…just the two of us. I was the one who was organizing and planning and figuring out how to get where we needed to go. Now, a mere six years later, roles were reversed. I just followed his lead. (When I visited my daughter and son-in-law in Dublin last year…where they were living…it was true as well. Emily made all the plans and it was great to have someone else in charge. Again, however, I could tell quite a bit of difference between the physical stamina of myself and my children….even if I do run to keep in shape.)

Subway abstract

I look forward to returning — maybe to see Max in a play — hopefully in warm weather!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Posted in Celebration on February 14, 2010 by cgeary

“Everybody can be great… because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. you only need a heart full of grace…a soul generated by love.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.