Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Though it may or may not be evident from this blog, I've been in hiding, eschewing social contact and retreating inward to myself. I am unsure what my friends think, but I can assure them that I have not been caught in the Relationship Vortex™, rather taking stock of my life.

Generally I feel like I'm a mess. I see rubble around me and the ashes of my life. I feel like a ghost. Slowly I've consciously or unconsciously dismantled the relationships in my life, the ones I fought so hard to build after moving to New York. But one of the few friends still present in my every day life reminds me that I am not a mess and that of the destruction in my life lately is giving me a chance to rebuild a stronger foundation.

With the recent Chinese New Year I have taken the idea of a new beginning -- a do over since January was a bit rough. The New York Times did a wonderful piece (and an audio slideshow) on a tucked away Buddhist temple in Chinatown and their preparations for the new year. Every square inch of the temple, in accordance with tradition, was lovingly washed -- from the ten heads of a Bodhisattva statue to more mundane objects. But what really resonated with me was this paragraph:

At the close of the afternoon chant, one of the nuns deposits some rice or water on a pedestal outside as a symbolic offering for the invisible spirits that they believe wander the streets of New York.

Because some lost souls did not lead good lives, the nuns explained, they are agonizingly stuck between this life and the next. So each night, at precisely 8:30, the nuns take turns striking a large gong with a wooden mallet and reciting a “hell-breaking mantra” to release them from their pain.

Maybe it's the point I am at in my life or the fact that I recently finished Luc Sante's Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York, but I longed for a gong strike in my life so I can start new and rebuild.

1 comment:

Belle said...

This is always a great time of year to reassess relationships and prune bad ones and invest in others. ANd taking time for yourself is a great thing. Important. Especially after just moving to NY. Everything changes for you. I've only been here about 6 months and my life gets flipped every 2 months or so. You can't hold on to much, but yourself and a few close friends. I'm glad you are finding wisdom and insight in places though. Good luck.