Thursday, October 21, 2010
I don’t keep a blog to apologise about my lack of frequency in updating my blog. And yet, it seems that that is how I start every entry, these past few. It’s been three weeks since my last update and I’m so aware of that. It’s not that I haven’t had anything I wanted to write about. I’ve half written blog posts on note pads around my apartment, even more of them in my head, on all sorts of topics: doing the laundry, a train journey, a sunset from a ferry, writing a novel, but I don’t want to write about any of them today. Today, I want to write about endings.
I don’t like endings. I don’t think I’m very good at them – I’ll leave those of you who’ve read my novel to agree or not! – and coming towards the end of the 8th week of my 9 week trip it’s hard not to think about the end. My list of things to do before I go home will no longer fit in the days ahead. The best before date on my milk carton is when I will be back in Ireland. For quite a while I haven’t been able to say I have more time left than I have spent here. Walking back as I just did from the coffee shop on the corner I am acutely aware of the details of Brooklyn all around me: the squirrels chasing each other around the tree trunks, the sound of sirens, the feeling of the air on my face. I’m drinking it all in, that’s what it feels like, so I can emboss it on my memory for when I am no longer here. I pass by houses dressed up for Hallowe’en, shrouded in fake cobwebs and yellow tape, with laughing pumpkins and funny straw filled little men smiling from every step. New York, it seems, is getting ready for another season too, in Bryant Park the Reading Room has gone now, myself and Nuala packed away for another year. In its place there’s the beginnings of construction of an ice rink, a market that will sell festive gifts alongside it. Both open on October 29th, the day before I leave.
The handy thing, about being aware of all of this is that it dovetails neatly with the character in my book. She misses Brooklyn too, that’s what I’m writing about, her in Dublin, missing here. When I am back at home, I may write about her back here. Perhaps we will pass each other in the air.
The other handy thing, is that it gives me a real opportunity to practice staying in the day. I’ve been doing a lot of yoga over here and no matter what class I go to, it’s always the theme. It’s hard, for ninety minutes to stay on your own mat, to stay in that minute, that second and it’s even harder off the mat but it’s good to try at least. As a kid my Dad would ask my Mum and I half way through our holiday if we’d enjoyed ourselves – past tense – and I always vowed never to do that! So here I am, on my fifty fourth day in Brooklyn, posting my blog about to head out to dinner with friends and looking forward to the eight days I have left. And like the children already dressed up, making the most out of Hallowe’en, I plan to enjoy them, to trick and treat all the way to the end.