Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New York, New York

My brother and I sit in the center of Union Square in the heart of Manhattan, taking a breather from the madness of the holiday weekend crowds stuffing the sidewalks throughout the city.  This plaza, packed with eccentric characters, colorful diversity, and bustling energy, is his comfort zone to relax and unwind as he has made living in this center of the world his paramount
dream.  For me, my senses are overloaded and I have a sensation of no escape.  Even in the “quiet” streets of Park Slope in Brooklyn where he resides, there is an energetic vibe I’m no longer used to.  This city is like an unexpected gust of wind, stirring up my plans and my perceptions.

It’s dumfounding that one month ago I was staring into the horizon, following the simple lines of the volcanoes and the sea with my eyes, not a soul to interrupt the peaceful scene.  That existence is impossible here in the utter chaos of the busiest cities in the world.   What a vastly different island than little Lanzarote… [The island of Manhattan is approximately 13 miles long and 2 miles wide, with somewhere around 13 million people situated on the island on any given work day.  Lanzarote is just shy of 40 miles long and 13 miles wide with only 125,000 people.  That means Lanzarote is 4-5 times larger with 1% occupancy. Quite the contrast and my explain why I'm just a little overwhelmed]

While there’s a stark difference between our ideas of comfort, I can relate to where he derives this absolute love for the city that never sleeps.  He can feel the undeniable energy that never fades.  It’s as though the mind and body of a person residing here begins to mimic the pulse of its environment.  How could it not?  Even I have an extra pep in my step when I hit the streets on a mission and bounce from one subway car to another.  It’s like being infused with an extra dose of adrenaline, zapping away any lethargy as the rhythm pumps new life into the people running on overdrive. Even living in Madrid can’t compare to a city like this one.  This tiny island never stops moving for a second and if you take a quiet pause for too long, it’s easy to get sucked up into an abyss.

Busy streets of Time Square

There is a tempting quality to being in a place with such a powerful presence, where the center of everything resides and where absolutely anything is possible.  It truly is where people with a dream of success come to try their hand at their ambitious goals.  But is this the feverish atmosphere that will fuel my dreams and be my own hub of triumph? Does this nonstop lifestyle inevitably lead to burn out or somehow mottle out a simple joy essential to really appreciate life? For me, the energy, while motivating and captivating, is dizzying and exhausting.  It seems to seep into people’s blood, altering their chemistry to become a part of this breathing giant.  I know I could take on this place, guns a blazing, ready to join the rat race and take on my own massive endeavors.  But I could also be sitting on the edge of a beach, watching the gently rolling tide, and fueling myself with the unmatchable power of what exists simply in nature.  This is the big question now burn a whole in my scull as I sit in the middle of the madness.

Quiet Famara Beach

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