Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Light

27 Days until the Academy Awards.

Despite the fact that it's freezing out, I pondered spring several times this weekend. It seems as if the light is starting to change, just ever so slightly; the early mornings are brighter, and the sun is lingering just a little later each day. On Friday at about 5:30, it was still light out. Spring is waiting.

My internal clock definitely senses spring. It's been just under a year since I moved into my apartment in the neighborhood I now know and love. The novelty of living in a vibrant, interesting, safe neighborhood hasn't worn off, and when I walk from the subway to my apartment, no matter what time it is or what type of day I've had, I remind myself how lucky I am. I love my building, my apartment, my street, my proximity to almost every other neighborhood; I love my easy commute to work, to visit friends and family, to Grand Central, to movie theaters, to all NYC offers.

I live among artists (mostly musicians), professors, students and families. There is, quite literally, music in the air; I hear beautiful classical music played by professional, near-professional and professional-in-training musicians all the time, both inside and outside.

The parks near my apartment are currently quiet and gray, but I know in just a few months they'll become green and welcoming again, and I'll tote my beach chair outside and plop down in the grass to read, write, listen to music in the sun. I re-embraced my independence in these parks last spring and summer, sitting in my low-slung beach chair for hours, doing what I love most (reading, writing, listen to music in the sun), righting my sense of self and remembering how much I value time alone, time in my head, time on the periphery, observing and writing and soaking up life.

I miss the heat of the sun, and I do hate the cold weather, the layers of clothing, the short days. But I know the winter is necessary, and this winter especially. It's a season of stillness, of comprehension, of contemplation, all of which lead to inspiration. Dinner and wine, a warm apartment with good friends--in the winter, it becomes an art form, a cozy path to stimulating, entertaining conversations riddled with laughter, which leads to inspiration. Movies, plays and music lead to inspiration. Self-reflection, whether nonchalant or astounding, eventually leads to inspiration.

It would be easy for me to use winter as an excuse to shut down, shut off, shut out the connections that inspire and electrify my writing, my life. I don't believe in standing still; progressive connections, internal and external, mark our lives. Disconnecting seems antithetical to the greater purpose, and certainly to the novel I'm working on. My winter is dedicated to re-directing, replenishing, renewing...I can already see the changes in my light.

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