I have returned to California for a bit of business, to continue creating the piece that is slowly evolving into something much larger than anticipated, and to raise funds for this project.
It feels as if this past month and a half in Brooklyn was really more than one year. All of the bits of my home have been kept constant in some time portal stirring me into a reflective frenzy.
Moving forward, my goal is to enable viewers the ability to zoom out from their lives, to see themselves as a part of an incredibly diverse community, and to inspire the appreciation of those interactions. As citizens of any urban environment, our responsibility is to learn from and share with others.
The map will show vernaculars: lists of words that show nutritional ideals, of colors symbolizing the mourning ritual in a homeland, of graphics that represent a history. The various forms in which we express our hopes for the future.
I will be west until the beginning of May, updating this blog regularly with progress on the map and tangents. Already these days away from Brooklyn have been fruitful, the constant desire to be outside walking has subsided enough to focus on creating.
Today was one of those magical days in which the world is perfectly composed with long shadows and chillingly beautiful details. Everywhere were situations that made me smile.
Gleefully, I wore shorts for the first time this year. A bit premature for the others I met, although not the temperature, as a little boy gapped at me when we passed one another. Loudly, he told his mother, “That girl has chicken pox all over her,” referring to the plethora of freckles I assume he’s never seen before.
Also on this great day, I found myself at Greenwood Cemetery. Only a small portion of the 478 acres have been mapped. This will be my refuge in the coming months.
Yesterday was the first day of spring in Brooklyn. Walking along Eastern Parkway, I witnessed hundreds of celebratory moments. No fewer than five men repaired their cars, hoods raised with tools piled on the sidewalk. Four men and women held a door for another. One woman smiled in response to my giggle at her baby’s dramatic cry. Widows sat on park benches sharing stories of aching ailments. Jewish neighbors dressed as dinosaurs, pirates, princesses, yodellers, etc wished one another a Happy Purim. I sat adjacent to a woman knitting at a permanent chess table, not far from the whale in Lincoln Terrace Park and sketched the children playing. The sound of their collective laughter, yells, stomping feet, and squeaking swings transported the entire playground to another world in which the wind was warm and the ground we shared was not just for passing.
I met an amazing barber today. Trying to get the story behind his collection of vintage haircuts displayed in his window, every reply was a comment on the weather. There is an air of excitement, certainly, as if we’re collectively shedding our outer layers for full fledged cat-like stretches.
American flags are flown abundantly in Bay Ridge as Lower Manhattan is visible from the waterfront. I can’t imagine what it was like to be at the 69th Street Pier on September 11th.