Friday, December 18, 2009

Work, Play, Life, Death

We passed a major milestone over here. For the first time, Finn and Lucy took the subway on their own. Considering I only just started allowing them to cross the street on their own, without holding my hand, about two years ago - we have come a long way. It still freaks me out more than a little but I know it is important to allow them to have their experiences, make some mistakes, do things correctly, learn firsthand how to navigate their hometown. (I am always amazed when they call NYC their hometown...I am definitely still a foreigner). I guess the hard part is that the possibility for fatal mistakes is so large. It is a big, bad city after all. And yet, most of us manage to get around everyday, mostly without incident. Now they will too. One more string cut, one more step away from the nest. It's great. It hurts!

But what, you say, does that have to do with Ontario? Well, by taking the subway on their own, they allowed me to get in over three hours in my studio to work on Knitting Sprawl - Ontario. Look how big Onatrio is! My fears of not having enough work to show in Peterborough were pushed aside by the flood of ideas that just a little quiet makes possible. Now I just need the time to carry them out. I have my sights set on the time between now and New Year's Day. Sure it is holiday time and all that implies, but to me, it is quiet time.

Tomorrow, however, I will take a step away from all the work and play to attend the funeral service for Daido Roshi in Kingston, NY. This too will be mixture of experiences and emotions - the bus ride up with sangha, the service itself, meeting a friend for dinner, then a performance tribute to him in the evening and a bus ride back to the city. A long day but one that will be fascinating and moving, no doubt.

And I am looking forward to seeing one particular performance in its final state. I assisted Joy Jimon Hintz, a senior monastic and Dharma Holder, with her costume for the dance she has prepared for tomorrow evening. Jimon was a soloist in a well-known dance company before becoming a monastic and it has been very interesting to work with her to create her costume. Not to mention that it has pushed my somewhat rusty sewing skills to a new level.

Then, yesterday she pulled me aside with the words that it was "honesty time." Immediately, I thought, "oh no, here it comes - she will finally reveal me as the fraud of a seamstress that I know I am!" But no, she just wanted my opinion about how the dress looked on her. Oh, there you are my friend, my ego. Maybe Jimon felt that too.


OfTroy said...

i call NYC my home town too,(my parents never did) and i know the secrets of the subways.. the IRT, IND, the BMT lines--(and can tell at a glance which train belongs on which line)

i too learned to take subway by myself age 10 or so.. (and used to meet a cousin at Port Authority bus terminal and bring her 'home' to our apartment in the bronx)

I got lost a few times.. and ended up walking and walking miles home--(i never had an extra 15Cent fair in those day of poverty) but it taught me!

as a teen the thing to do was to go to the beach--Rockaway! 2 hours on the subway--3 trains to change. and NO AC. and the woven wicker seats of the IND trains were so uncomfortable!

Patti Blaine said...

Yay Finn and Lucy! And no, I'm not secretly glad that we left before Kate could ride solo. She'd have been brilliant, I'm sure of it. I'd have been a puddle, but she'd have had no problem. Now? Just today I told her she was born and raised in NYC and to stop whining about walking somewhere. I do hope she can plunge back in should she have the urge.

Jan said...

Ah, gee -- Another missed connection! Hubby James was planning to attend the Daido Loori funeral, but he has a nasty cold and can't make it.
Just today I was looking at photos of the lion in the Lion Yarn Studio in NYC, taken the day before your knitted skyline installation.
Be safe in that blizzard!

Robyn said...

Hi Jan, Looks like I have a nasty cold too! It popped up out of nowhere it seems. Very disappointing to say the least. Hope James is feeling better...I had been looking forward to meeting him in person, but there will other chances, I'm sure.

Did you see the Lion Brand in Martha Stewart Living Magazine? They sent me a copy of it! Nice article for them. That store is really lovely and welcoming, and Lion Brand is so amazingly supportive, that they deserve all the positive publicity they can get.