Went to Manhattan today for the first time since Monday night. The first thing I saw, after disembarking at Union Square, was the massive public memorial in the park. Candles, flyers, flowers, photos, poems, postcards of the towers, personal memorabilia...There were boxes of matches available to ensure that the flames would endure til the wax all ran together in a big swirl of color and scent. (Aromatherapy!)
One of the first flyers I saw was Darren Bohan's (no pseudonyms in this entry). Darren is a friend from the Freddy's crowd, a remarkably sunny guy who used to play bass for my friend's band and is always a friendly face at shows and parties.
These flyers, I believe, are less of a practical aid in finding lost people and more a tribute to their spirit, whether they are still alive or not.
After I wandered around Union Square Park, I headed downtown on a pilgrimage...I know they've closed off traffic at Canal St, but I wanted to get as close as I could. I'm not sure why, I just wanted to see the corpse of my old stomping grounds. I'm glad I did, it was helpful somehow. There are emergency vehicles, pedestrians like me gawking, the National Guard patrolling the streets, more flowers, candles, and memorials. Walking down 6th Avenue is unreal: that gaping hole where the towers used to be, and now just a wisp of smoke.
I resisted the urge to buy a li'l flag...As patriotic as I am, these events are not about nationality.
Went to Integral Yoga Institute, my spiritual home, to see if they needed any help. Turns out they did. I got to carry some plastic utensils from the Integral food store over to a N.Y. Cares drop off center at Chelsea Market. I also made some phone calls on IYI's behalf to relief organizations, offering whatever yoga/meditation/stress management services we could provide. Mostly I got voice mail, but it felt good to at least make that effort, and to serve IYI in this small way.
I also got a chance to see the upper dormitory of IYI, and Ramananda's room/office. This was my most extensive contact with Ramananda (the head of the NYC branch), and he is wonderful. He makes whoever he's talking to feel respected and loved. It felt so good to be at Integral--I felt reconnected to my true yoga roots. The peacefulness of that place, the true kindness of everyone there, even the reading material lying around served to calm and center my woogly mind. My heart kinda burst open and I wanted to give up my worldy life for the semi-worldly life of an urban ashram.
I also felt a little embarrassed at how gushingly I offered my services today. It felt a little bleeding-heart adolescent, I definitely was not too cool. But the thing about Integral is, you know nobody cares if you're cool.
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