Welcome to my home. I have invited you here many times before, but I don't know if I've clearly introduced you.
"clinging to the earth" taken on the usually forbidden hill at the back of the Tibetan Museum-- but today was special: The Tibetan Festival. Through torrential rain we celebrated life here.
I am a native Staten Islander. If you are a New Yorker you already have a dozen notions about what that means. For everyone else, that statement probably lures a big: "sure and...?" Well, it's not so simple. This is a place that is so much more than where I have grown up. There is a quality to Staten Island that is ultimately unique, at times controversial, at others mysterious and rife with misconceptions and inside jokes that are often self-deprecating.
from my window...
When I was much more focused as a writing major in college, a few professors urged me to write the Staten Island story...they understood the complicated nuances from the position of outsiders stepping in for a few hours a week. The closest I have gotten has been a few mediocre poems, satirical short stories, and 'blink-and-you'll-miss-it' backdrops to stories of long ago. Yet, the need to share the island still creeps up. I notice how it has started to drive me in photography, in blog entries, and in the way I have learned to see myself through all of it. I left, and came back--albeit kicking and screaming and plotting my next escape. But I am here, and I believe in being happy wherever you are. And lately, the urge to leave has quieted, and instead I hear whispers of "Stay", this is home...what I know of it anyway.
from the window of the special nook/office in my apartment
Maybe I am inclined to find beauty in everything for as many moments as I can-- but perhaps there is a certain charm unique to the energy of this place. Something that keeps me here.
Moments like this:
At Alice Austen House for Bridge the Gap II JP surprised me with this amazing birthday cake! Lots of love and sharing of his beautiful gift.
Places like this:
The Jacques Marchais Tibetan Museum. One of my favorite places to be. On this day we got to go up on the hill and look down on this baby shambhala. Despite the rain we embraced our little magical home for the sake of the Tibetan Festival...and although a barely recognizable percentage of this island came to an event like this...it still exists...and that's beautiful to me.
Even this coming Thursday there will be a FREE lecture by THE Robert Thurman at Wagner College (walking distance!), here on the brigadoon of Staten Island.
So perhaps I am forging a daunting path...but I hope, over time, through photos, through art, through writing, through it all-- to exude the beauty that is my home and my life here....because all of New York already knows the ugly of Staten Island...and that's okay with me...because I like having our little secrets.
Much love all!