Play it again …

Some things are so good, we want to repeat them again and again. A good book, our favorite song, the memory of that very special day. If given the power for just one day, which moments would you play again?

Play back the old tune, the one you know by heart, the one that sings to you in the morning, and holds tight the memory.

 

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Moments to remember …

My home for over fifty years is a place where the world stands still and all things and people come to it.

A place where over one-hundred and fifty language groups live and work and open restaurants on the East Side of Manhattan.

I learned very early that living in New York means you can travel all around the world and never go further than the next subway platform. It’s easy. Jump on a cross town bus, take a subway, cab or hop on a bike.

Sitting on a subway staircase with a paper cup of coffee, sunglasses shaded over with my gray fedora hat, worn jeans and nothing to think about. Just sleepy headed with no particular place to go. Maybe I was coming from a long night. Maybe I was going somewhere and changed my mind as I am prone to do.

Sitting with that first cup of coffee, the first three or four sips of that first cup of coffee and New York City passing in front of me. Subways coming in and out of the station and people scurrying, hundred of faces and the din of rush hour sounds to deafen the ears.

Rush hour in New York City, Columbus Circle and 59th Street, West 8th Street in the Village, I am a voyeur as I watch the neighborhoods change.

Take the A train to Harlem and get off on 125th Street and walk up three or four blocks and go to a local diner for grits and eggs and watch people having breakfast. People watching is better in the early morning when we are more vulnerable.

Sit across the street on someone’s front steps and watch as children come in the morning for school. Mothers and fathers dropping them off. Older brothers or sisters or whoever, deposit them. Then the wiry, little street urchins who take themselves wherever they want, or the ones who trip over everything and can never seem to keep up, book bag falling off one shoulder and one sock drooping down on their ankle.

On another morning I might stop to get a bagel with a “smear” and a large sweet coffee. God is in the heavens and all is good with the world as the rest of the city begins to hustle off to work and I am playing hookie.

City streets with their changing landscape and the stories of their people. People pumping life into the granite and asphalt and the lights strung out over the bridges, the high-rise buildings dancing in the bright, crisp cold night air.

 

play it again

 

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Play it one more time …

Going off to the next place, I recall each moment, keep them fresh in my heart and tell the universe to play it again … once more before I go. .

My son-in-law recently asked if I would move back to New York. I thought the boy had fallen on his head. It made perfect sense to him that I reunite with the family and friends I had known my whole life … come back into the fold … the little lost sheep who had lost her way.

And although I lament here on so many days and in so many ways about my life in New York … I would not go back. Every second of every day is meant to be a lesson … a piece of the puzzle that will not be done until my time is done.

The last piece of my life puzzle will be put on the board by someone else. I will have gone on … passed into another life.

 Tell me … what are those moments in your life you play again? 

Moment you want to repeat?

fOIS In The City

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28 Comments

Filed under Random Thoughts

28 responses to “Play it again …

  1. Florence, what at poignant, beautiful post! I feel jealous that I haven’t sat on the subway steps with a cup of coffee! Wonderful.

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  2. And, by the way, now I’m going to have ‘Play it Again’ running through my head all day – thanks a pantload!

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  3. I agree with Laura, you hit a nerve with this one. I was all caught up, and then, stymied with a question. What moments would I like to live over? Not do-over moments, there are plenty of those, but live over over moments to just get lost in.

    Hmm.

    When this prairie girl moved east, sitting on the shores of Lake Ontario was an awesome event. The rocks on the shoreline were huge, the water went on forever, the sky had no end. I didn’t know who I was then, not even all that sure now, but I was at a definite crossroad, making changes in my life people I cared about lacked the courage to make–even to the point that they tried to stop me.

    Don’t go there, don’t change things, change is scary, change is bad. Stay here, stay The Same. It’s awful, but it’s The Same.

    I changed. At the time, I didn’t know I was in the midst of change, could not comprehend how profound the change would be or where the road of change would lead me. Many more changes followed. But sitting on the banks of Lake Ontario, I embraced the unknown and in so doing, embraced the life I have today.

    Thanks for leading me back to that moment, Florence. I owe you one.

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    • Sherry, it is my pleasure to lead you back to those special moments. And although I know I would not be able to “do over” the fact that I have those images to relive in my head and heart … makes me unafraid of other changes … helps me get over all the speed bumps we encounter along the road.

      As you embraced the unknown sitting on the banks of the Ontario, I embraced our new life in The City from the sheltered known of Brooklyn. And as the poet says … “that has made all the difference.”

      Glad I could lead you back to the shores of the lake… and BTW I do adore when you call yourself the prairie girl 🙂

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  4. Relive over and over? When the doctor wrenched my first born out of the lower part of my body after the c-section and said, “I think it’s a boy!” My mind fogged. “You THINK?” Then he passed Dylan into my arms and laughed at his joke. My son really was a boy! Whaddaya know?

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    • Patti, I think that most of us have those moments of when the first or any of them were born. To pull my leg, my first OB said “it’s a girl” and then laughed. He knew I wanted a girl. Then after he laughed, he held my son over me and there he was … my baby boy!!

      Yes, we love to relive those times that hold a special place in our hearts. Thanks 🙂

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  5. Music evokes powerful memories. As does smell. A boy singing “And I Love Her” to me. After the ballet in the park when rain fell as Handsome and I raced to his car. My wedding day. Children born. The bedroom window opened when Handsome was sick and the sounds outside filtering in. Sometimes, just sitting on the front steps with my old kitty and watching her and the world go by.

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    • Yes, thanks so much, Vicki … I love your memories and I always love when you tell us about Handsome. You are truly blessed. There is nothing better than sitting somewhere to watch the world go by … and it’s our gift to be able to share that with others 🙂

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  6. I love seeing New York through your eyes. I barely know the place.

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  7. annerallen

    Your lovely post started brain wheels turning and I got lost in nostalgic reverie. The snowy winter day I went Christmas shopping in Manhattan and ran into a guy in Brentano’s I’d crushed on in high school in Maine ten years before. Ice skating in our back yard with a bunch of happy neighbor kids. Sitting on a park bench on a vacation in Rome and being surrounded by a flock of peacocks. All those glittering moments that make the mosaic of our lives.

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    • Anne, spent many a happy day at Brentano’s. I loved your memories … so rich in nostalgia and a hint of who you were then. Those glittering moments are what we relive in our minds and hearts and make this “aging” process worth the trip. Thanks so much for sharing yours 🙂

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  8. Like Lindsay, I love seeing your New York, Florence. I’ve only been there once and then as a tourist. Don’t you find as you grow older certain memories crystallize and become sharper? These days, I find my mind wandering back to a certain halcyon summer in Britain doing archaeology time and time again with no apparent trigger. Beautiful post!

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  9. I’m definitely not a city girl, as you know, but you brought it alive for me, almost made me feel as though I belonged there. Excellent writing!

    I’ve never stopped to think about reliving any moments. I’m sure it would be something from childhood, however, when life was much less complicated.

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    • Laura, I don’t think you need to be a “city girl” to enjoy rambling the streets with me. I enjoy the many descriptions and the odd times I was happy to wander the countryside or meander along the shores of any body of water. Most of us do go back to our childhood when life was so easy. For me, the times I spent as a single mother in New York are my salad days 🙂

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  10. christicorbett

    I love your New York city posts! Your writing style makes me feel like I’m right there, which someday I hope to be for at least a visit 🙂

    Christi Corbett

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  11. Nailed it again. Those were the days, though Laura I wouldn’t advise sitting on the steps of the subway these days. And Brentano’s? Those were the days, huh?

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    • Yeah, Shelley … I loved Brentano’s. Sadly, I must agree that it isn’t a good idea to do most of what I did then, now. The world has gone to a new place without us … but I don’t mind. Thanks and congrats on another good one out there 🙂 There are two, yes? Independence Slay and a WF’s fiction. Leave the titles here. A little shout out is welcomed !!

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  12. I like to think of us New Yorkers out in the burbs or wood like the people in Fahrenheit 451, only instead of memorizing books, we’ll be holding memories of the city before it became to expensive to live in, unless you have oil I guess. Yeah I do have books out this summer 2 and a novella, The women’s fiction is Breakwater Bay about a ceiling restorer in Newport RI and an accompanying novella Newport Dreams. And how crazy is this? I’m doing a new mystery series that takes place, guess where, Gilded Age Newport.
    Coming this way soon?

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  13. Moments I want to play again are my summers in West Michigan with my cousins, my college days, and when my kids were little. Time does fly, doesn’t it? I swear I blinked and it all changed!

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  14. Florence – I’m sure I was positively brilliant when I posted my reply around 4 a.m. However, I wasn’t brilliant enough to do whatever I needed to do in order for the comment to reach you. I hate insomnia but I hate technology more.
    As with others, I took a trip down memory lane last night and I didn’t have to think about finding a favorite. It’s always the summer of ’83. Actually, I’ve dubbed it the summer of ’83 but it covers around 8-9 years. It was during that time when I went back to college and finished my undergraduate, went on for the masters and PhD. It was also the time I filed for divorce from my 2nd husband and he refused to sign the papers (have you ever heard of a 9 year divorce proceeding)! It was also the time I accidentally fell into my career and became successful in spite of myself and dancing became a real priority. There’s nothing like working a 70 hour week, going to school 3 nights a week taking a full load and closing down the bars 3 or 4 nights a week. I guess I call it the summer of ’83 because I met Tom on Nov. 11, 1983 and my life changed forever and I became sane:)
    Tom likes to tell the story a bit different. He’ll tell you we dated several years and throw in the detail that I was street legal a day and a half before we married. It was scarey as our wedding date drew close and invitations had been mailed and people had already flown in to celebrate our special day. We thought everything was final until we went to the courthouse to obtain our marriage license and they still didn’t have everything they needed from the ex’s attorney – – –

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    • Wow, Sheri … you need to write that story down for everyone to enjoy. I absolutely love when you tell me the time when you and Tom met and fell in love. It’s like kismet … that magic that happens to some of the lucky ones out there. Not me for sure. But to some.

      Thanks so much for sharing it again. How completely nuts you must have been going down to the wire on your wedding day !! Give Tom my regards and please try to get some rest … we all need you 🙂

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