Monday, May 25, 2015
A break or interruption in the continuity of a work, series, action, etc.
A missing part; gap or lacuna:
Any gap or opening.
You’re probably wondering, “What ever happened to that tall blonde that used to write?” If you live close to my mom, you check in and ask her. If you live far away, you just keep clicking the refresh button in hopes that new thoughts will appear on the page. In truth, I took an unplanned hiatus and closed down the World Wide Web to live a real world life.
This is not to say that I didn’t write. In fact, I kept writing and thinking and pondering. But most importantly, I kept living, breathing and navigating my way through the New Year. The winter here was brutal and in many ways I needed a hiatus from it all. I bundled up and I hunkered down. There were not enough dry socks or pots of tea to get through this winter, but somehow we managed.
And then the other night, on my walk home, I noticed that the blossoms were in full bloom, the snow was gone for good and the neighbor’s French windows were open. As I waited for a friend, I peered into their living room. A large farm table was lit with candles and decorated with fresh flowers. All their friends were gathered around the table, passing platters and plates of goodness. They looked so happy. While I couldn’t hear their conversations word for word, I could make out the laughter–the collective sound of friendship and good company. I couldn’t help but wonder what they were talking about. I couldn’t help but wish I could join them around the table. As I sat on my steps and watched, I thought about all the conversations they must be having, the relationships they were in, the hardships they faced, the jobs they had, the hopes and dreams of each person passing plates around and around. I wondered…What was the best part of their day?
I thought back to this amazing film called “The Lives of Others” set in 1984 in East Germany. The Stasi Captain, Gerd Wiesler spies on the playwright Georg Dreyman. Wiesler and his team bug the apartment and set up surveillance equipment in an attic and begin following Dreyman’s every move. Granted, this is an extreme, but it sparks that same curiosity of what happens behind closed doors? What happens beyond the French windows of the apartment across the street? What is their story? Who are they? What do they do? Where were they all winter?
One of the most popular things to do in New York is people watch. There is no shortage of good people watching. I always say that New York is like a giant human exhibition. It is a walking, living and breathing gallery of people from all over the world–every style, every height, size, color, personality, voice, and story. The entrance fee is stamina (having the energy to keep your eyes open and following it all). The show is ongoing. I forget this sometimes, look down and drown it all out.
But then I am reminded again that I am part of this exhibition. Sitting at a bar with my guy, he leaned over and reminded me to look up from my drink saying, “Look at that couple over there. What do you think they are talking about? Where are they from? Where do they live? How long do you think they have been together?” We made up their story. They weren’t that happy. She had moved for him. He was settling. His hand resting on his forehead said it all. He had regrets, even his draft choice. She was fed up, pulling out her phone and scrolling through old screen shots pretending to be busy. They left the bar with their glasses half full.
And I said, “What do you think they would say about us?”
His reply, “We are perfect.”
Of course we are not. Of course this is never true. No one is perfect–not even the dinner party across the street. But we can make-believe. We can dream. We can pretend.
This cup is for open windows, good conversation and fiction.
Spring is in the air and my hiatus might be over.