Thursday, September 24, 2015

‘Pope Day’ NYC

For the past few months of summer I have been wearing thin socks to work each day to help keep my feet cool inside the sturdy black shoes I choose to wear unchanging on hot summer days.  On this second day of autumn I went with the thicker cushioned socks even though I knew the temps would make it into the 80s. 

St Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC is at 50th St and 5th Ave.  I had a morning business meeting at 44th St and 5th Ave.  Penn Station is at 34th St and 8th Ave.  I figured correctly that the fastest above ground mode of transportation once exiting the train tracks would be the sidewalk.  And so I walked. 

Seemingly, every active police officer was on duty today.  Every intersection had two cops.  Every sidewalk had two cops.  Subway entrances--two cops.  Open areas, two cops and three national guards.  Dunkin Donuts—Sergeant.  Starbucks—Captain.  Black Escalades abound.

And a bit different was the mood of the city.  People walked rather slowly.  I was more concerned about being relaxed in my pace than being late.  It was day one of ‘Pope Day’.  Why worry…just be…on this fair weather Papal visit day.

My meeting was over by mid lunchtime and I had a 1:38 train to catch.  Throngs of other New Yorkers were making their way for an early exit as well-not wanting to get stuck in traffic hell-hopefully the Pontiff would understand.

Settling in after some Chinese take-out I watched the whole Vespers ceremony live on TV from the comfort of my futon.

As you all know from my writings I am not religious, though I am spiritual. 

I admired the ease and comfortable personality of Pope Francis.  I ignored the obvious that most of the readers were literate but couldn’t read aloud---no flavor or emotion in their spoken words.  I liked the apologies by His Excellency.  I had no particular issue with his homily.  I had no feeling that it would do much to cure the world’s ills either. 

I enjoyed the music.  My attention wasn’t diverted as the Pope spoke in Spanish and the overlay was English, as I understand very little Spanish.

There are only a couple of days each year when the masses act in accord and peacefully.  Christmas and Thanksgiving are among those days.

‘Pope Day’, when it’s Pope Francis (Francis of the people day), is a day when the masses rest, and like Christmas—people think before doing.

I like when large crowds of people can get together in peace. 

I look forward to my run tomorrow morning.  I will pass by my local Cathedral and pray, even though I don’t belong.

I will feel that the world is sometimes as it is supposed to be and I’ll wipe the tears from my eyes.

© 2015 Christopher’s Views 


Sunday, May 3, 2015

everyday wonder

Generally not a sky watcher, though making an exception tonight.

Over lunch yesterday a friend and I were discussing how some things in life are just flat out complicated, like calculus, taxes and figure skate scoring.

Much of our existence though falls into the 'simple, not easy' category.

Birth, parenting, love.  Goodbyes, diets, exercise.

Tonight's sky made me think there exists a third category.  Simple, complicated and wondrous. How else could I describe a big bang, producing more stars than imaginable, more light than can ever be seen, more synchronization than calculable, beginnings and endings in perfect harmony...and supporting all life along the way.

(C) 2015 Christopher's Views 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Looking ahead…and all around

The only deviation in my diet the past couple of days has been about how much butter I spread on my toast at each replicated meal…the Gatorade and tea remain unchangeable.

Perhaps I picked up a bug at the petting zoo, in the overly tepid hotel swimming pool, or from the Porta Potty (glad I uploaded the gross snow pic instead?) at the base of the tubing park visited last weekend with fav bud.
Of course…there is always the random chance of shaking the wrong hand.

And so, as I dream of jelly, and I attempt to erase memories of ‘sloppy’ the pig and a pool full of people that probably used the unkempt johns just before making their grand splash, I challenge myself to delete reminders of the winter hardships as well.
The shovel remains in my CR-V, but my back is feeling better.  The pot holes still multiply, but I’ve only had one flat tire.  I have enough shoe polish and stain lifter left to keep the corrosive rock salt at bay.

I moved from hating scarves to making one my friend. 
I learned how to bond with my son under 5 layers of clothing.

Then forced indoors, I gleefully smoked the fav 12 year old at an arcade racing game and was equally delighted when he handily brought me down playing chess on the rebound.
Yes, the winter was daunting.  Too long.  Too difficult.  Too cold.  Too windy.  Too immobilizing.

As March approaches, I will be hoping for a speedy transition of seasons.  And I know I won’t be alone in wishing for early cherry blossoms.

Before whispering into any night skies though, I need to make sure that I don’t delete the reminder about how challenges at our doorstep can sometimes beat a path to beauty in our own backyards.

© 2015 Christopher’s Views
And as Leonard Nimoy would add, “live long and prosper”.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

the calendar’s hullabaloo

Sunday, January 4th 2015, and firmly positioned on the testing grounds for New Year’s resolutions.  This morning’s rain and fog in New York convinced me to head to the treadmills at the gym instead of the hills at the park.  I was a bit surprised that the attendance there was sparse.  Usually it is difficult to get both a locker and my first choice of apparatus in January with all the newly inspired members revving up their regimens and commitments.

But today I got my customary locker and had pick of the best machines.  The faces around me were all regular’s…like a typical weekend morning.

I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.  For the good, I am not a fan of big crowds.  For the bad, maybe it means a lot of folks are at the pharmacy getting flu medicines filled. 

It’s not my thing to make a New Year’s resolution, but I do like the typical vows that I hear.  Promises to eat healthy, exercise, lose weight, quit smoking, join a book club, join a writing group, write a play, write a book, learn to dance, learn to swim, take up yoga, run a marathon, pray, meditate, go back to school, change careers, ask for a raise, clear out clutter, pay off debt, reduce stress, work on anger, slow down, start dating, skydive and take a vacation.
I’m sure there are some people who make New Year’s resolutions and successfully see them through to fulfillment.  They are probably the people who possess strong will power.
But most of the time when I hear people tell me of their success stories for changes in their lives it does not involve the calendar and most commonly involves the power of positive thinking, putting faith in God, or 'letting go and letting God', visualizing the future or writing down goals.
Resolutions aside, I try to move about my life as best I can with positive thoughts and faith.  Where faith is concerned I do not have an unwavering faith that God will always bring forth what I desire or that I will avoid pain and suffering.  It is more along the lines that I have faith I will be able to find comfort and happiness wherever I wind up. 
Mainly though, the New Year reminds me of the tricky parallel between life and time.  And that while there is often plenty of time for us to achieve our aspirations in life, time can likewise move us by in the click of a finger. 
I have a friend who recites mantras to me almost daily.  One of her favorites is ‘stay in your lane’.  She repeatedly texts and says the phrase as if honking and gesturing at me from behind.  For me, it is a reminder not to get sidetracked by others anger, regret, jealousy, judgment, hate or other malice.
Staying in my lane doesn’t mean I cannot stop, pause or even change directions. 
It just means that the path I choose ought to be plied with happiness, love, friendship and opportunity.

Otherwise, I am just on a bumpy ride with no idea when time is up. 

© 2015 Christopher’s Views