Being Present in New York City

I planned this trip to New York City months ago. My main objective was to spend time with my friend Ray and I timed it to coincide with Vogue Knitting Live. Then a business trip to Nashville came up and I had to scramble to change flights and find someone to stay with Lulu.

Just before the trip I finished an extensive goal setting exercise and realized it was paralyzing me, not inspiring me. I literally tore up the goals while UK Sarah watched via Skype! I replaced it with a recommitment to being present as much as possible. Then I flew to Nashville.

Nashville was a whirlwind and deserves its own post about what I learned there. On Thursday I continued on to New York City and enjoyed a great evening with Ray and his partner Jim.

With Ray Hippolyte in New York City

With Ray Hippolyte in New York City

In the middle of the night I became seriously ill. Everything I ate that day came out violently. I felt like a truck ran over me, turned around and ran over me again.

I had plans! I had places to go, Sesame Street retrospectives to check out. Instead on Friday my big achievement was walking outside my hotel to get a vente hot tea at Starbucks. I slept a lot. I could not even claim to read or write a tweet or write a blog post. I had just enough energy to laugh at the irony: I had just reread the chapter in Steven Pressfield’s War of Art about resistance to creativity. Illness is a common form of resistance.

Maybe it was food poisoning from cheese pizza at the Newark Airport, or may be it was the flu. Either way it was a great teacher. The only productive choice was to pass through it and put my diminished energy to getting better.

By the next day I felt washed out, yet considerably better. I spent some time at the Vogue Knitting Live event and met Ray for coffee. I wrote a little and ate carefully.

With Carrie Pieper, kindred spirit

With Carrie Pieper, kindred spirit

Fortunately today I was okay. I said yes to meeting up with my cousin Carrie Pieper. We are the same generation of Pieper and I am 20 years older. She is delightful! She moved to New York City 3.5 months ago to seek her fame and fortune behind the scenes on Broadway. Already she has a self-supporting job, an apartment, friends, and a second job with Classic Stage Company. Gumption. (Sandy and Marty have every reason to be proud.)

We went for coffee at her workplace, Amy’s Bread. We bought some pastries to take to Ray and Jim’s for brunch and it turned out to be Jim’s favorite indulgence. We enjoyed a classic New York City brunch at their spacious mid-town apartment, one guest even sang for us! Four and a half hours later we sloshed out into the rain feeling like cousins.

This weekend, with its wonderful connections, was made possible by living in the now.