The ‘Normal’ Heart

normal heart It is easy to forget the sheer number of injustice and cruelty in this world. What with the default instinct to put a face to oppression be it Hitler or Hussein we easily forget the evil and wickedness is part of the human form. And as sad as those injustices covered by these men where, many more have been held before them and after. Its even more horrific when the injustice in question is shielded under the guise of right or normalcy that it takes millions of death and suffering before the wrongs can even be considered wrong. Morality is as fickle as the human nature in my opinion. I loved this move, apart from the brilliant acting and writing, the story it tells needs telling, and in this day when we are bombarded with many things that don’t require attention, this is one that everyone ought to watch and hopefully recognise as  great tragedy that needn’t have been.

And knowing this was a true story just makes this extreme wrongness an abomination in the highest regard.

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The Streets of New York City

Living in New York City had been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. Like most people who have ever watched any New York based television show, you have an innate sense of what the experience would be; strutting down 5th avenue with three of your best friends as you discuss shoes and/or men or running into a sarcastic witty comedian on the subway as he makes his way to his stand-up show. Finding yourself on the busy Wall street sure that at least one of the many men in Suits is an impostor posing as a lawyer or some such.

new-york dreamsEither way you’re sat there, sure that your life belongs in the city that never sleeps, that it will begin there.

American television has forged the way we think our experience in New york will be like. And in many ways it leaves you apprehensive when you finally have the opportunity to live it for however brief of a time. And the thing is, at lease for me its been even better than the dream.

My time in the city so far has been nothing like I thought it would be. Its not the glossy city from the television screen, full of rude cab drivers and pushy people, well not exactly, it is dirty and smelly, people do push you out of the way and keep on going. People seldom say please and thank you. But for some reason you love the city even more for this. New York is gritty, its real. There is no permission or gratitude handed out willy nilly. When New Yorkers say ‘thank you’, they thank you. You know they mean it. When you say ‘please’ the gratitude on their faces or in their voice is palpable, reminding you how easily you had taken these seemingly trivial gestures for granted. It moves you and makes your day. New Yorkers are real. They are polite, but not for the sake of it. Living in this city makes you appreciate of the little things and the big ones. The homeless man on the street asks how you are, not because he wants a dollar or two from you but because he is genuinely curious about the stranger on the park bench with him. You have a fleeting but meaningful conversation with him and you know that little more about that stranger, that little ore about new york, that little more about yourself. You leave with a sense of serenity, that is what New York does to you.

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I remember walking down the conner of 59th street and 8th avenue, seeing the steam coming out of one of the manholes, cliché I know, yet I swear I could hear a jazzy blues number playing in my head as a yellow cab honked its horn. That is what New york does to you.

Its not all jazz and blues however, New york really is a land of opportunity but you have to work for it. The difference is, at least in my experience, you never feel like you’re actually working, working hard in new york has a different feel to it. Effortless comes to mind. That’s what New York does to you.

I have met loads of interesting people in this journey so far. Many of whom I consider friends. One of whom just the other day made a comment about how one of the things she loves about the city is that the people you meet are rarely ever from the city. I have to agree with that. New Yorkers in my brief experience are not actually from New York. When you’re here there is an almost tangible magic in the air that binds you to one another, the city shapes you, makes you a stronger assertive person, sure of yourself and what you want.

NYC fire ecsape

Even the New York architecture is nothing short of inspiring, very different and unique depending on what part of the city you find yourself in. You can’t help but crank your neck to glimpse the iconic fire escape steps that leaves you with that tingle of realisation that your actually here in New York City, or the grand entry steps of the west village. Or the the awe-inspiring park slap bang in the middle of it all. Everything about this city yields for admiration from the street performers to the museums, the food in the most creative restaurants, the music and musicians, the city is a wealth of inspiration of artists alike.

My time here has been nothing short of exhilarating bliss. Its been a blessing.

This city truly doesn’t sleep, it breathes, New york has a heart beat to it that drums to the beat of yours and you have no choice but to feel alive.

 

And at night the city really does come to life.

nyc street art

I recently found myself, as you eventually do in this city, rooming with three very interesting and diverse people I met a while ago. An actress,  a model and a journalist. I decided to pick their brains as to their individual experience living and working in the city so far… ( article series: Rooming in New York coming soon)

 

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You’re never truly alone in the city even when you’r on your own.

 

We’ll Go No More A-Roving by Lord Byron

So, we’ll go no more a-roving

So late into the night,

Though the heart be still as loving,

And the moon be still as bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath,

And the soul wears out the breast,

And the heart must pause to breathe,

And love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,

And the day returns too soon,

Yet we’ll go no more a-roving

By the light of the moon.

Reading Dance: Bunheads by Sophie Flack

Reading about dance is a surprising unique experience, when you would expect to see a pique or pirouette turn on television or the theatre ,showing you the dancers steps, in reading about dance these actions are usually accompanied with a description of how it felt to watch the dance or how the dancers felt performing them. There is a sense of compensation to the fact that you can’t visually see the act itself, even though you do, however the gift of storytelling means you also get to experience the feeling behind the dance as well as see it in your minds eye. Although having had a visual experience of these steps is important in knowing what the writer is referring to, it is a beautiful thing when you read about dance. Knowing the research that must go into making a good story on dance its a gift to see behind the curtain to what dancers feel when they dance, and to experience another viewers interpretation of the art.

51DeutCFx3L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ Continue reading Reading Dance: Bunheads by Sophie Flack

“Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.  Continue reading “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou

A Letter to Me. A Letter to You.

I see myself I forgive myself.

I see now the flaws that live in myself that stain the vision I knew to be me.

I see now the mantlepiece I put myself on, the burden that strapped me to that shelf.

I see now the part of me I ignored that part that was pushed down because it was flawed, it did not belong.

I see now the choices I had made unconsciously to be what I had been reared to be.

I see now that I was never complete, not because of goals unattained or plans yet to be accomplish but because of the focus on becoming someone that was not me, of fitting into an ideal that was predetermined for me and being blinded by that picture I did not know was not true.

I see now that I was incomplete because I had not accepted all that I am.

I see now that I was incomplete because I had not loved all that I am.

I see now that I am my flaws, I am my good, I am my bad. I do not have to choose within myself, I do not have to choose which part to suppress. I am beautiful because I am flawed. I am light, I am dark. I am strong, I am weak. I am not perfect and because of that I am.

I have lost that veil of innocence emeded deep in me, that scence of unattainable ideal I had always strived to achieve because it was always so. I have lost a part of me, crumbled with the mantlepiece I had put up. The rose coloured glasses are left shattered in the debris.

I see you now, in the mirror, maybe for the first time, but I see you and you are not who I thought you were when I looked at you a week ago. You stared back at me but I looked away. I see you, I accept you, I will love all of you, but as a start, I love most of you.

—Sandra Francesca.

 

Happy Reading

Note: This was written by me, as part of a free writing exercise challenge set by The Daily Post. It is a series themed on loss, and is part One of the Loss series. I hope you stay tuned for more. Thank you.

Lights, Life and Soho

I was tasked to write about something random by The Daily Post, themed on ‘unlocking your mind’, in twenty minutes, so forgive my ‘off my usual subject’ post, I began to type…

I want to write about my favourite walk way in London, a little square called Soho. I love London’s Soho, the people there are the friendliest, kindest souls you’d ever meet. Souls that is what your reminded of in soho that we have souls, there is a variety of people, men, women and every wonderful variations in-between all cooked up in the bustling heartbeat that is Soho. I can get lost walking around soho, not lost as in “geez, they really should put these streets on the map”, lost as in “wow, thats wonderful, oh look something more wonderful” then next thing I know, four hours has mysteriously vanished from the clock on my iPhone. I have favourtiore spots I tend to always stop by when I’m in soho. One of them is La Polenteria.

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Continue reading Lights, Life and Soho

50+ Books Before I Die

I am sure I’m not the only one that collects book they aspire to read. I tend to plan out the books down to the edition, whether I would mind reading it as a hard or soft copy, sometimes where to read them, things like that. On my Pinterest I call the ‘Books in my Library’. Now, I don’t actually own a shelf with books lined up in some wonderfully symmetrical order, but I do have a little collection going, I love to scour little second hand books stores or garage sales in search for not just the my next ‘blow me away’ book, but also to tick off books on my ‘ultimate read’ list.

The other day I was walking down Soho in London, and bumped, literally, into a little corner book store called Bookmark, clever. There I picked up a book on my list, Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. They have an electric collection some first editions too, it was a delight. After losing myself in the mothy alcove I ended up with a few more books to add to the list. The list, you see is always growing I’m always finding new book I just have to read and somehow finding them on the list. But, I never actually read these book, I am not entirely sure why, but I collect them in preparation of reading them. I know it sounds just silly, I really should start reading them, I know this. Am I the only one that does this, buy a book you really want to read and save it? 

Anyway, here is the ever growing list of booksI want to read before I die, there are 57 so far…

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Continue reading 50+ Books Before I Die

Temple Grandin

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TEMPLE GRANDIN (2010) (R)

Director: Mick Jackson

Cast: Claire DanesJulia OrmondDavid Strathairn, Catherine O’Hara

Producer: Scott Ferguson

Screenwriter: Temple Grandin, Merritt Johnson, Christopher Monger

Synopsis: A biopic taken from Temple’s own writing about her life with autism and her journey becoming one of the top scientists in the humane livestock handling industry.

Continue reading Temple Grandin