The brownstone stands tall against the city streets, Its original wooden shutters folding in from the walls to pull us in for the night. I’m sitting at an antique table, covered in a glass top because the owner, Sarah, says guests don’t really think about the furniture. The city dump trucks are driving furiously down West 95th, convincing my ears a bomb is exploding only a few feet away.
The city is alive, and we coil in for sleep.
The room around me is old, but pieces of it feel new and restored. The trim immaculate, the mini red fridge a retro nod, slightly out of place. What I feel more than anything in this space is energy.
I feel the need to sit at this old table covered in glass just so my fingers can find the keys, my mind to find the soul of what it is I might be feeling.
Escape. Experience. New. Different. Inspired. Fresh.
It is so noisy, and yet I feel quiet.
Andrew nods off to sleep beside me, in the antique four poster, and the thought occurs to me…there is something so normal and so abnormal about this place. This city that never sleeps. There are lights on every porch across the way, one leading into a speakeasy I’m almost sure we won’t get into. There’s a man walking his dog at 11:12 pm, even though for me, it is an hour earlier. The street is moving, reaching, all but hollering to the heavens above, “we’re not finished yet!”
We are here for my birthday, with some of my oldest friends. In this house, Sarah’s house, we find rest and hospitality and comfort and energy. I look at the balcony ironwork outside my window. There is another couple walking their dog, and I wish for this moment, I could fly above this city.
I wish I could soar.
I would see tiny lights, people walking hand in hand in the cold, dogs barking, couples fighting, people hurting, and hear laugher for miles. I would feel the tears that stain pillows and I would be reminded that we are all in this together. Tiny specks of dust and light and soul and we are in this together.
If I could soar, I would see fathers love their children and mothers love their babes, and I would see the little ones who are not so fortunate. Soaring means seeing it all. Soaring doesn’t come with only the good, only the easy-on-the-eyes.
Soaring means seeing all of humanity, for what we are now and all we will be.
I wonder why we long to soar so badly. The soaring is magnificent, magical even.
Those places where the world feels somewhat removed, and we are gliding effortlessly in the sky. We are flying above. But even with the soar comes the landing. Soaring brings with it perspective. And perspective can only lead us to truth: it’s not only easy laughter around a fireplace, burning with the warmth of love and care.
There is hurt, pain, joy, grief, sadness, hope, walks with dogs, and dumpster truck clashes.
So soar, my friend. Just remember that soaring is for the brave, and for the full of heart. Soaring doesn’t mean less pain. Soaring requires perspective.
Soaring grants you the ability to witness it all.
Let us be witnesses to this life.
Let us soar, through the good and the bad.
Let us soar.