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.

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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.

 

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

LIEBSTER AWARD

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I got a comment from the lovely Angela Leese from one life, recorded letting me know she had nominated me for the Liebster Award. My first reaction was, what?! Then I thought she had made some mistake, I only just stared the blog, then I thought please let this not be a mistake, and low and behold, it wasn’t. Yippee!

So if you’re not sure what the Leister award is, and neither was I, I found its basically a recognition award for bloggers by bloggers and it has its own set of rules, of course. One the first things I did after receiving this award invitation was to seek more information from the oh so knowing google. And I found quite a bit.

Continue reading LIEBSTER AWARD

“Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world.” ―Napoleon

The imagination is the greatest gift we have, I believe. I love books, I love films. I spend my best time in my head dreaming up stories, people, lives. When I read a good book I am in transported to a different world, conjured by my capability for wonderment. I’m living another life, seeing different colors and feeling a multitude of emotions and sometimes not feeling at all.

I get crazy in a bookstore, my heart beats faster my mind almost unable to contemplate the possibility of falling into another world, of having that exhilarating feeling you can only get when you discover that the book your immersed in is REALLY good. Your mind half convinces you that you could never find a story like the last mind-blowing one, yet the conviction at which you search story after story says otherwise, perhaps. I do love books. And films.
Films are books come alive. The interpretation of a story in someone’s mind, which tells of the interpreters mind, yes, but it also tells a story. A good film also transports you to another world, its leaves your reeling form the lives being played out in front of you. And at a good juncture you no longer exist, as in books, you forget your world, your problems, your life, you become one with the story being played out, you feel what they feel, you taste what they taste. I love films too.

Click the Menu bar above to read Reviews on books and films, and the Poet’s Corner for a collection of words that matter, in my opinion.

Happy Reading!

“Books are the most quietest and the most constant of friends, they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors and the most patient of teachers.”  ….Charles W. Eliot.