Sunday, August 18, 2013

Love, Defined

So there I was, chilling at Duke Island Park, listening to The B Street Band (a Bruce Springsteen tribute band). They were very good and I was enjoying myself. The Bruce doppelganger announced that the 'dance floor is officially open.' I saw kids throwing frisbees and footballs, families enjoying ice cream and other treats, and dogs relaxing in the cool night air--but no one dancing.

Then he guided her through the crowd of chairs and blankets and running kids. She was unsteady, unsure, as she walked. I wondered what had happened.

When he came to an open spot of grass, he took her in his arms and lead her in the dance. They were alone, in front of everyone to see her initial faltering steps, but his was sure and smooth, his arms strong around her.

And they danced.

While everyone heard the music, they felt it, moved to it, looking lovingly at each other.

Love defined.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Sharp Edges of Time

It was our 'stay-cation' week. Our kids had crazy work/school orientation/camp schedules, and with two of the three going away to school in August, the finances are crying. Our plan was to do day trips: Great Adventure (we are soooo done with that place and the interminable waiting lines), the Jersey Shore (one day because the weather was crappy, but we squeezed in jet skiing and dinner), a movie & dinner day (re: see note about weather being crappy above), a day getting housing for son (hubs went, I worked on edits, so no vacation that day for anyone), and then a day in NYC.

Here's where we went first:

It's the Freedom Tower. It still astonishes me how quiet people are at this site. Even though there are jackhammers and car horns and construction crews yelling, most visitors were hushed. We stood there, admiring the beauty of the building, so different from its predecessors, yet just as majestic.

The best way to view the memorial waterfalls is on an angle; it shows the depth (30 feet) of the first waterfall. The bronze edging, with all the names of the people humanity lost that day, are cooled in summer, heated in winter. The information pamphlet said it was to make it comfortable for loved ones to visit and touch the names.

This is the Survivor Tree. It was the only tree to survive the fall of the towers. It was cut to an 8' stump, then moved where it could be attended by specialists. It was then uprooted in a storm. Again it was moved and specialists tended it and kept it alive. It is tethered while its root systems re-establish themselves. When it blooms in the spring, it is spectacular. The 9/11 memorial is hauntingly, devastatingly beautiful and gut wrenching. The sharp edges of time have not dulled the horrific pain of this inhumanity. We left in silence, to wander away, touched again.

What better refuge from heat and sorrow than the loving embrace of a sea wind? We took a cruise on the Pioneer, a late 1880's sailing ship. We were allowed (read: encouraged) to help hoist the sail. It was relaxing to sail around NYC harbor in a smaller boat piloted by staff and volunteers, rather than sit in a large boat the felt like a bus on water.

What a view! A little to the left is the spire of the Freedom Tower.

The Lady greets us, reminding us that all yearn to breathe free...

Now that vacation is over, I'm back to editing, promoting, writing, blogging, trying to get ready for school, thinking about fall cleaning, painting the dining/kitchen/guest/bath- rooms once the kids are all settled.

Oh, and yes, tormenting my cat.

Hope the rest of your summer brings good, thoughtful, peaceful, and enlightening things.


(All info about the 9/11 Memorial were taken from the free information pamphlets available to visitors)