When Stars Collide

Memoirs of a Downward Facing Dog

It’s funny how quickly life changes course. Just a few weeks ago I thought that my summer would be filled with camping trips, festivals, hikes, love, bike rides, weddings and the quintessential experience of the Oregon adventure.

Instead, I am spending nearly the entire month of July, on my own, teaching yoga in New York City.

The Universe seemed to think that swapping a sickly summer stench, the hot air rising off of subway grates, sizzling street meats and steamed hotdogs swirling amidst the exhaust of 40,000 taxicabs for all of that romantic, fresh mountain air was a fair trade.

At first, I thought, “This is bullshit.” But then again, maybe I’m exactly where I need to be.

I never realized that New York City is a place that I’ve never lived, but a place in which I’ve spent enough time to have racked up quite a lot of memories. Walking through the neighborhood around my Airbnb apartment, I am flooded with waves of nostalgia. I am familiar here. I walked past a restaurant in which I ate like a queen with an ex, ex, ex-lover; now closed down. My walk took me past a restaurant in which I had brunch with my mom a few years after. And then still, another restaurant, with a different lover sometime after that. (A lot of restaurants and lovers, I know, but it’s New York City. What did you expect?) And while drinking a six-dollar latte outside of the coffee shop across the street from my apartment, on the very same street in which I visited a college roommate some ten years ago, another friend rides by on his bike.  In a city of 1.6 million people, and I still manage to run into someone I know.

In The City that Never Sleeps, I have joined the ranks of insomniacs. Call it jet lag or heartbreak, or a combination of both and I have yet to fall asleep before 3 am. If there is one place that I know of on the planet to be solo, alone, or even a little bit broken, it is Manhattan. You can saddle up to a bar, and I do, all by myself, and don’t think anything of it. I don’t distract myself with my phone. I just sit. And I drink. And watch life pass by in perfect anonymity. This is a place in which to wander the streets, with my headphones plugged in and no one would think otherwise if you were to suddenly start sobbing on the sidewalk. It’s New York City, man. There are a lot of reasons to cry here.

The energy of life is like a Band-Aid. All of those people, with their nose to the grindstone, trying to live, succeed, get ahead; thrive and survive. And it feeds you, vicariously, like the pulse of a heartbeat of someone who probably has blood pressure problems.

I smoke on my grated balcony, because that’s what I do when my heart hurts, and I envision Audrey Hepburn in her doo-rag, strumming her guitar, singing Moon River in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

A friend told me that her teacher once said, “A billion stars had to explode for you to be…here.”

What are our expectations but merely our attempts at controlling the outcome?

And if that many stars exploded on my behalf, what else is there to do but trust?





1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Dad
    Jun 27, 2014 @ 13:42:14



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