Thursday, September 08, 2011

Bungalow of the Mind

Was it the late night hamburger and french fries at Noah's Ark on Grand Street? The two glasses of wine prior to that at the Embodied Light exhibition opening at the Educational Alliance? The frenzied, hour-long exercise-fest at the JCC?  The trip to Lincoln Center earlier to scout out a location for the September 18th Shofar FlashMob? Work-related emails that were read and responded to starting at 11 p.m.?

Or was it the driving, incessant rain that turned the Hudson River red, flooded roads, wrecked my hair as I dashed to meetings and parties and soaked my sneakers as I dragged Alfie and Nala outside on walks? Locally, the rain is but a mild manifestation of the wrathful weather experienced by neighboring states and communities; still, it serves to literally wash away memories of the summer that was, the long, sun-soaked days, the view from the porch of my bungalow,  Shabbat walks along quiet roads, peaceful floating in Walton Lake, the skunks, deer and raccoons, a season that played hard to get and then refused to linger.

Perhaps it is the cumulative stress from the dozens of hours I spent in my car over the past week, sitting in weather and weekend-related traffic; perhaps it is dismay relating to plans that were ruined. Maybe it has to do with a grander and sadder matter relating to the weather...the awareness that Planet Earth is showing signs of Post Traumatic Stress from the abuse she has suffered at humankind's hand.

It could be a million things and it probably is. On Monday morning we packed up our belongings and moved back to Manhattan. There were many events over the weekend, a visit from my sister, a wedding, celebratory dinners, hours lost in rural New Jersey, a trip to Connecticut, just on the border of Massachusetts. I am surely sleep-deprived. I could be eating better. I could be drinking less.

And then, spread out like a canopy that all but blocks our view of the sky, is the impending anniversary of September 11, 2001 in New York City. Normally drawn to the maudlin and melancholy, I find myself unable to tune in to anything commemorative so I tune out. Emotionally, that is. I show up at the events and the exhibition openings. I even contribute my memories and thoughts. I listen and applaud. I nod. I look like I am paying attention.

But I am not here now. I am a million miles away. I am in a place that is eternal summer. I am elsewhere, residing in a bungalow of the mind.

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