England Thus Far

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Photo taken at Mottisfont, UK

In a few weeks it’ll be six months since I’ve moved from NYC to Southampton, UK, holy crap has the time been zipping by. It should be a crime for time to be going to fast—write time a ticket!

Being a lovely place to live in, Southampton is a great place to ground yourself off of the super fast paced city life. It’s wonderful to be able to look outside my window and see a field of grass and trees. The house I lived in the Bronx, looking out I would see the white, dingy exterior of the house next to me. If I had a long enough stick I would knock on the window and ask for some Grey Poupon; NYC is place I will not miss.

Although a lot of the English people appear shy in the beginning of meeting them, nothing a few drinks wouldn’t fix— I don’t find that appealing on a regular basis. Meeting many of my wife’s friends, I can see plenty of good support she has. However, still not being able to create my own friendship network, its taking its toll on me. I’m really starting to appreciate having friends of my own, trying all the time to keep in touch with friends in NYC; it’s just not the same if I can’t see any of them in person. As my life progresses I’m starting to see that the normal social patterns of the past are changing a lot, or maybe it’s just me. You know, getting a job, making friends, so on and so forth. It appears that just the job element alone condenses the opportunity to create friendships down to nothing. Of course, reaching out to friends of my wife are there, but they haven’t been as successful and well established as it would if I made them myself; maybe another six months?

Living with my wife is an adventure in itself. Learning how to live with a person you have sex, argue, laugh and cry with, is the most challenging things I’ve ever done in my life. Now I’ve seen war, women running the streets topless, children telling me they love me, and having a person shoot a gun right next me in the club scene— peace of cake. Living with a woman you love, yeah, that’s like taking a shuttle to Mars and making a civilization.

Overall England is great and I’m enjoying it as best as I can. Of course it isn’t perfect but what else in the world is—well, other than morning sex? Through life here in England, and on earth, good and bad things exist and taking those two together equally and appreciating them will enlighten the experience much more that focusing on one or the other. Staying neutral is the key.

Calm In the Mist of Chaos

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Photo taken at 233rd St, The Bronx, NYC

Standing at the platform edge in a tunnel, a man with a blue knitted hat leans over the edge to check if a train is coming. Only darkness is seen, he steps back and shifts his weight to his left leg. He looks around and sees the long faces of his fellow train riders, waiting, as they type away on their mobile phones, one woman looking at her face from the front camera. He shifts his weight to the other leg, something pinches him in his pocket. As he reaches in, he frowns questioningly at a half bent paper clip. The screeching of iron on the tracks grabs his attention as a train pulls into the station. The people and the man gather by the train door, they make a small opening for people coming out.

The train car is filled with all types of people, lucky for the man he’s entered a train that has no air conditioning. A small baby crying in the distance from discomfort, laughing teenagers discussing Pokemon cards, a woman with a disgusted look on her face — most likely from the heat. Holding on to a tiny portion of the handrail, an asian woman with a large backpack rocks back and fourth hitting his chest. The man’s frustration slowly escalates as there is no where for him to move to, no air to breathe. He notices the tension in his right ankle as he stands awkwardly to keep his balance— the train swaying this way and that way. The smell of armpits in the air, he tries hard not to breathe too deeply. Swirling the paper clip in his other hand he hears angry chatter of how hot it is in the train, as if it’ll make it any cooler he thinks to himself. He closes his eyes.

He feels the thinness of the paper clip, following the curves with his thumb, the muscles in his shoulders release as they drop a little. Slowly his feet position themselves in a way that he’s able to keep perfect balance— slowly moving the paper clip between his pointer and middle finger. He begins to see a light pouring out of his chest like a small waterfall, bouncing off the ground, the light flows, filling up throughout the train car. The light streams out of the windows, like fire blowing in the wind. A puncture of light comes out of his back, flooding the train car more. The white light, seeping through the connecting doors, finds its way, filling up each of the ten train cars. He can see the entire train as it appears to be blaring down the tracks, spraying white light at each station. Ripples of light radiating from his body, each person drenched in brilliant white light. He feels tingles in his toes as his fingers on the handrail loosen.

The man opens his eyes. Only four people are in the train car, lips hanging from their face, fast asleep. He realises he missed his stop. He looks down to see the paper clip on the floor, no longer bent but in its perfect form. He sits down, picks up the paper clip and rides the train until the end of the line, allowing his day to end when it feels like it.

How Quickly Life Can Change

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Photo taken near the country side of Mottisfont, UK

Of all the many little things I’ve noticed in England, driving has stood out the most to me recently. Not that fact that they drive on the left, but how drivers don’t heed to the people walking. This of course increases your awareness when crossing the street, however, it made me reflect on how your life could end in an instant.

Taking a shower one day, I came to a strong realisation— a lot are buzzing around these past few days and weeks— that we are living so tightly to our rules, standards and how we want things to go specifically, all for it to just disappear when we die. Some of you may think this will turn out to be some cheesy blog about living your life to the fullest and such, but the hell with that. Take a good look at life, go outside and just look. Watch carefully how some people walk right out into oncoming traffic, how some walk directly to the crosswalk and wait until that blaring beep noise goes off in order to make it across the street safely — its like that in England. I know, I know, it’s for the blind, but I think it’s more for the seeing. I have to question: What the hell are we doing in life? More importantly, what in the hell am I doing in life?

Asking myself these questions throughout my life, I’m trying so hard to do the things I love to do in my life. Doing my mediations, staying focused, keeping myself light, calm and clear in order to reach the goals I set for myself. However, many reasons are floating around in the cosmos as to why I haven’t been able to do what I love with full force. I honestly just don’t want my life to end without doing everything I can to make it the best. Also the chronic urge to help people within my reach and send out love to all — the low key humanitarian in me. Well, even that isn’t going as well since many backs have turned.

Writing this, I’m thinking how this is turning more into a journal entry than a blog. I know for a fact that many who may come across this writing may have been asking themselves the same questions. Of course they’re answers, but no one can give them to you other than you. As for me, I understand the old ways of thinking are falling away, transitioning into new ones. Facing my fears and breaking new ground is really showing me the possibilities of reaching what I want in life. They’re becoming more and more apparent, kind of like when a shark shows it’s dorsal fin on the surface of the water— you know it’s a shark! As the situations, people and opportunities in life, they’re there, right below the transparent surface. How interesting it is to have to go through so many experiences and meet so many people in order to do the very thing you’ve desired from childhood. I consistently think: what a waste of time. Then, realise when you do get to the destination, it was a great ride to get there and all you want to do is go on the ride again.