All posts filed under: Life

Random Acts of Correspondence (Part 1)

I have a new typewriter. I say “new”, but it’s really over 40 years old. I won it on eBay for 30 bucks plus shipping. It’s a Royal Mercury portable typewriter from the 1960s or 70s; not the same as the typewriter I had as a teenager, but it’s bringing back all those same feels. It’s only had one owner before me who had it since his childhood and in his listing he said it was time for him to let it go. I told him I would take very good care of it for him. I cleaned it last night, and today it took me over four attempts to install a new black ribbon. It seems like this machine had been sitting around in its case for dozens of years, so naturally the old ribbon was dried out. I wonder now if it would have been easier for me if I had chosen to install the black and red ribbon. I think the orientation on those spools would have been more obvious (deep sigh) …

Mumble Jumble (April Fluff Post)

I have been doing a bunch of random things lately and every day seems to slip away very quickly. I never feel like I have accomplished anything or completed everything I wanted to complete. So, since I was not able to decide on one activity or experience to write about, I decided to share a list of things–in no particular order–to briefly describe some of what’s going on in my life. The funny thing is, after I wrote the list, I can see I actually have gotten some things done and I am generally moving forward. This is very satisfying (insert smile emoji here, lol) CURRENTLY. . . WORKING – a full time job with a multinational company. EATING – a new omelette combo, eggs with diced red onion and chopped dill. I learned about it from Kathryn Grody, wife of Mandy Patinkin, in one of the entertaining YouTube videos her son Gideon posts about his parents. DRINKING – lots of water and Prince of Peace brand organic white tea. WEARING – my comfy pjs …

A Gradual Loss and a Gradual Recovery

The pandemic knocked me for a loop—that’s a given. Since June of 2020, I have not be able to summon up enough energy to write a single blog post. In addition to being house-bound, I was coming to grips with multiple losses—friends dying (not just from the virus), family health crises, and particularly the loss of my mentor and friend, Barry Harris. It was a gradual loss at first; I was last in his presence at his NYC class on March 10, 2020, just as Covid was about to lock us all inside. Terribly afraid of accidentally being a carrier (because at that time nobody knew if you could be asymptomatic and still spread the virus) I did not attempt to visit him at his home. Instead I sent cards and letters, and we had phone calls back and forth, but it was a very sad time as I missed hanging out with him, playing word games, making him my chicken soup and other things we enjoyed. I struggled with anticipatory grief of more losses …

No Words

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” –Aldous Huxley There is so much going on now that I am at a loss for words for this month’s post here. I am turning to music to help me keep my center. I hope all of you also have music in your life. My dearest wish is that my friends and family are all safe and surrounding themselves with things that make them feel comforted as imbalances around them are corrected. Please know that even if I have not spoken to you, I DO care for you, I DO think of you, and I am sending you the energy from deep within my heart. Stay well, stay strong. -Laurie

The Sound of Community

I know I worked a little past 7 PM Wednesday night because as I was filling out my timesheet, adding up the time I had spent on different projects, I heard the sound of my community cheering in gratitude outside my window. “Ah, it is seven!” I thought to myself, and I began to sing a little of the tune “Thank You Very Much” from the movie Scrooge. Here in New York City, as in other cities around the world, we are all very grateful to the healthcare and other frontline workers who are keeping us healthy and safe, or being there with loved ones when family and friends cannot be there for them. There is a lot of gratitude mixed in with all the other emotions that come and go each day during this time of social distancing and self-isolation. At 7 PM each night, during this time our New York Gov. Cuomo has called PAUSE, the sound of community is clearly heard. Last week I heard a bunch of people singing “New York …

circles and shadows pattern

Finding the Upside

For this month’s topic, I will highlight a form of visual poetry I have been creating during this time of self-imposed ‘social distancing’. So, this is my attempt to focus on the upside of isolation; an opportunity to explore creative projects I enjoy, but at a deeper level. However, I will begin with a personal insight from earlier this week.  You see, as I come to grips with the COVID-19 pandemic that is totally changing our daily lives right now, it occurred to me that my life has *already* been shaped by another pandemic. I grew up with a keen awareness of the sudden, devastating and traumatic power of influenza. I was aware of this because a beloved Aunt’s mother was struck down by the Spanish Flu when she was just a small child (1918-1920). Her widowed father re-married and he had two more daughters, the younger of which became my adoptive mother. My Aunt V loved her step-mother (she called her “Mamma”) but the loss of her first mother was always acknowledged as a …

My 2020 Notebooks

Preparing for 2020 (Keeping Notebooks II)

FLOW is my chosen theme word for 2020 and I have been focusing on staying in a calm, creative mindset  as life swirls all about me. I am exploring all my art supplies, organizing all my music projects, and gathering and sorting all kinds of multi-media materials–my inspirational triggers, all in an effort to keep me in a creative frame of mind for the year ahead. Today, when I decided to write about this theme here, as luck would have it, my first issue of Flow Magazine arrived in the mail from the Netherlands–a holiday gift subscription from my mother. I took it as a confirmation from the Universe that I am truly in the groove! Part of my personal process, as one year ends and another begins, is to prepare a daily journal to reflect on my theme and to note the things in my life that make one day different from the previous ones. I find that if I do not keep this practice, one day can blend into the next and into …

Vegetables in Manhattan (A summer fluff piece)

I almost cried when I saw the artichoke; it seemed to be trying to hide from me as I lifted off a small cardboard cover. I did not yet know what other surprises awaited me but it almost didn’t matter because I knew that a Sicilian-style stuffed artichoke was in my near future! This is the story of my third weekly shipment of fruits and vegetables from Misfits Market, a delivery service that brings farm-fresh produce right to my door. I also like how it forces me to plan my meals a little more thoughtfully as I need to eat (and/or cook and refrigerate) everything while it is still fresh. As some of you may know, I live in Manhattan. There are no farms here, at least none that I am aware of. I had a dream once of growing vegetables on a rooftop garden. I took a bunch of books out of the library and researched what I would need to do to build an elevated garden based on the square-foot gardening system. Unfortunately, …

Becoming collage

Magnets and Distractions

My back is messed up. No use in going over why this happens to me periodically. I will accept that it is for me to deal with even though the initial cause was out of my control. Yes, I know what I am supposed to be doing to avoid a recurrence of this pain–yet it continues to plague me. I should avoid sitting for long periods of time in folding chairs. I should get up at least once an hour and walk around. I should not sit hunched over my computer for 6 hours straight. I should lose weight. I should practice yoga more consistently; the list goes on and on. I understand that other people deal with chronic pain and have much more intense experiences than the few weeks I am disabled by sciatica pain and random back spasms. Perhaps they have ways to deal with it other than the ice packs, ibuprofen, bedrest and stretching exercises I use as my main healing techniques. Mostly though, I wait and DISTRACT myself with work, sleep, …

Carousels – Not For Me

This weekend I will be avoiding the luggage carousel by traveling light. I will also attempt to avoid any feeling of traveling in circles as just the *thought* of this makes me physically tired. I long to move forward. Perhaps I am feeling an anticipatory exhaustion because it has been so cold lately, and so very dark in the little room where I work by myself. Perhaps I am mourning the loss of the extra days that are cut off at the end of February, (I feel like I have skipped something important. Is it March already?) Or, perhaps I am just tired of the same-ness of each day so far this year. They seem to circle ’round and ’round on themselves like a merry-go-round where I am the only rider, and a calliope tune droning on in the background is never-changing. This is not a complaint, just a fanciful observation of what I am experiencing. Tonight I am struggling to gather the physical energy to pack the bare essentials, to plan my journey, and …