Category Archives: Writing Freestyle

the color of lightning

This morning is wet, the rain falling in buckets. The sky is a bright gray, the color of lightning.

A pair of postal workers discusses politics over breakfast. A toddler waves to the nearby sparrows having a bagel feast. A man behind me scans his phone. It’s me and my newspaper, a Brazilian Dark Roast and a corn muffin this morning at Fairway.

On page 3 there’s a story about a tree. The image shows its stark naked skeleton, crooked branches brittle reaching skyward in pain. The color of its bark silvery black. The caption shares details about its death, this 600-year old iconic pillar from Bernards Township in NJ.

It reminds me of the Grinch tree that used to stand in front of my childhood house in Bensonhurst. It’s drooping branches hanging lifeless, its limbs in disrepair. Its roots tangled amid the underground wires and cables emitting who knows what kind of energy into the earth. An eyesore dying from the inside out.

The rain stops. People dash outside scurrying to their cars and the ferry, eager to make it to their next destination.

No one carries an umbrella.


spring awakening

The sky may be gray on this overcast rainy day but I caught this flower awakening to spring:

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passion flower blooms, @prez13


butterscotch ginger

My hands are cold.

I set up shop on the terrace this afternoon and have been working outside ever since, wrapped in a blanket over my clothes.

Finn has been running around the deck, jumping in and out of the planters as if he were training for the Cat Olympics. He gave me a minor heart attack when he dashed across the corrugated roof of the pergola, attempting to launch himself to the next deck.

My writing exercises are much enjoyable when there’s a proper table and/or desk for me to work from. And right now that outpost is outside, either on the terrace or in a coffee shop.

I’ve been writing and researching, all day. Snippets of copy for the company blog, keeping up with my daily blog posts here. Outlining projects for my clients paid and barter. Reading articles to keep my mind alight for critical thinking and analysis.mug.

Finn jumps from the stairs to the table, walks across the laptop keyboard to stake his claim. Almost like a lion on the sub-Saharan desert searching for a palm tree to escape the brutal sun. Except it’s a dining room table covered with books, newspapers and a coffee mug.

It’s time for another cup, a special roast from Supercrown Coffee: Guatemala El Apiario, delicate with butterscotch undertones.

Butterscotch, almost the same color as Finn’s coat. My ginger flame point Siamese has made his move to a cooler location. He settles in with his back to the mirror, a gaze thrown over his shoulder eyeing his reflection.

When he’s calm and chill, he’s almost regal. My Scottish knight of Brooklyn.

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Finnegan meets the cat in the mirror, @prez13


maple, honey, vanilla

I had a craving for chocolate chip cookies. The second day at NY TravFest was just as stimulating as the first and I find myself in a noshing mood. I pull out all the ingredients for the original Nestle’s Toll House cookies, automatically adding the flour, baking soda and salt to a small bowl, mixing the butter and sugars in the larger Kitchen Aid one. I reach into the cupboard for the vanilla extract and come up empty-handed.

A substitution search suggests maple syrup and so I add that with a splash of honey and finish the cookie batter.

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Twenty minutes later the first freshly baked batch is ready for consumption.


every day is a journey

Can you imagine traveling for a living? Or at least writing/shooting pictures for a living while traveling (or vice versa)? It’s something I’ve heard other people succeed at doing but haven’t tried it myself.

A colleague recommended I check out the New York Travel Festival this weekend. It’s an event designed for travel industry professionals and those aspiring to work in the travel sector. The two-day conference includes presentations, workshops, cultural performances, and networking events. I plan to blog about the sessions I attend on my business blog, Modern Vintage Ink, cross-promoting on Medium and LinkedIn. I am in stealth mode putting to use all the skills I’ve learned over the years to help myself launch my own business.

I have been in stealth mode the last few months putting to use all the skills I’ve learned over the years to help myself launch my own business. Folks warned me that it would be exciting and scary, exhilarating and at times, daunting. And although it has been (and continues to be), a challenge unlike anything I’ve done before, I’m enjoying learning more about myself each day, even more so now that I am accountable to myself as client and manager. HeartGate.JPG

These life-changing moments are also liberating, freeing myself from the expectations of others and allowing me to be, well, me.


peace in the city

Tonight CC and I attended a member’s reception at The Rubin Museum of Art. The Rubin presents contemporary exhibits that “emphasize cross-cultural connections” with the art and ideas of the Himalayas and surrounding Asian cultures.

I was first introduced to the museum by Lulu when we attended a Mirror Meditation seminar last fall. The session included a silent walking meditation through one of the galleries followed by an immersive meditation using mirrors to reflect the inner self. The whole experience was calming and zen-like, one of the first times I’ve felt completely at peace in the city.

The museum architecture is perfectly attuned for sound. This evening there was sitar music playing at the bottom of the stairway rotunda and a life-size gong signaling time for the keynote presentation by executive director Patrick Sears.

We were invited to participate in the OM Lab, where individuals record an intonation of OM (A-U-M, phonetically) as part of the largest collective chant for The World Is Sound exhibit opening in June.

 

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The OM Lab, Rubin Museum of Art @Prez13

 

Chanting OM is one of the favorite parts of my yoga practice and I love the idea of contributing my voice in collaboration.

If you’re located in the metro New York area or plan to visit the area before May 8, 2017 you can, too. Details here.


Strength, Balance, A Rock

You live a healthy life and hope you are doing the best that you can. There’s always room for self-improvement, and you make a promise to get better with each day. You go to Western doctors, you practice Eastern medicine. You eat kale and consider going gluten-free. You meditate, swim, do yoga.

And then the call comes, the one from the nurse at the radiology lab telling you the mammogram was indeterminate, that your left breast needs to be rescreened. In that moment you are stirred awake as if you were asleep, your eyes are wide open.

fullsizeoutput_1bddI wonder about the medical assistant (or nurse) on the other end of the phone. Who they are, how they do it every day. How they process the information and manage to inform all those patients on the brink of uncertainty.

I try not to think about (aka Google search) what it may or may not mean to have an indeterminate screening. And instead, I call the health insurance hotline to confirm coverage benefits.

My internist leaves a voicemail reassuring me that initial screenings like this are common in women over 40. Breast nodules are not necessarily an indicator of cancer. She notes that the nodules could be fatty tissue or a cyst that requires drainage. It also could be nothing and that it was better for me to wait for results from the next screening before getting ahead of myself.

I take a deep breath, try to calm my mind. The fear of the unknown can be exhausting. I reschedule my afternoon so that I can take a nap.

Finn comes in from outside as if he knows that I need him nearby. We cuddle side by side and drift into our dreams.