Thursday, July 26, 2007

(why) these are a few of my favorite things..

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens....

Really? Really truly? Kettles and mittens? How strange.

Taking the last two weeks as fodder, my favorite things would be....

Huge pummeling waterfalls and exploding steam pipes,
Lightening &`thunder and the Bloomberg-offices-in-Mid-town...

My father, brother and brother's girlfriend have been visiting. We took a tour to Niagara Falls, the huge pummeling waterfall. It doesn't seem quite so impressive from the top, where the cheesy fairground rides and casinos vie for attention.

But from the drenched decks of the Maid of the Mist the air throbs, the boat tips to and fro and the 'mist' comes fast and sleet-like, sideways as much as from above. The churn of water is white and deep and furious, as if giants have formed a drum circle of washing machines. Through the mist the walls of water come down....and it seems impossible that it won't run out, there is just SO MUCH. Wonderful.

Secondly, there is something wonderful and exciting about a steam pipe that blows up a main road in Manhattan. I walked past on my way to dinner an hour and a half after the first explosion and still the muck and gunk from underneath Lexington Avenue erupted into the street, reminding me of Pohutu back home. And smelling a damn sight better.

Of course I am not excited that someone had a heart attack running away from it. Of course I'd be upset if someone I knew got hurt. But there's something about the uncontrollable power of the steam in the ancient pipes that appeals, something in its flagrant disregard for the 6pm rush hour and people's busy schedules.

In New York, the dog-scented summer air is occasionally blasted by sudden thunder storms. A bright blue sky can turn dark grey in minutes. The rain falls, the winds whip up, and the lightening comes in both forks and sheets, glimpsed through and reflecting off the tall glass buildings. How to not love New York? How would it be possible?

Finally, the Bloomberg building. This one's ultra coolness is hard to describe. from the outside it doesn't look particularly amazing . But from inside, everything from the extensive use of glass to the open, help yourself food and drink bars, to the little rooms with banks of Apple computers, screens and modern, yet comfortable's all designed for movement and light and interaction. All lifts go to the sixth floor, (where the food is). From there, escalators snake down and up - some curving - to other floors. The meeting rooms are open and comfortable and decked out with the latest equipment. If you ask nicely enough, you can be 'beamed up' (okay, that's a big fat lie). I was happy just to take some Soy Crisps and a banana. And my first coffee in more than 28 days. And luckily for me, it was bitter and made me jibbery, so no more of that for a while.

My favorite things seem to have something in common. Snapping my mind from its current thoughts, focusing them on the now. Some people have this natural ability, some of us need to work at it. Buddhist thought and meditation is related, and there is evidence that shows that those who live in the moment tend to be more satisfied with their lives.

So there is the potential to practice so that each moment becomes a marvel. I'm practising, but it's not my natural state. So until then, I'll be glad the natural world, and Mayor Bloomberg provide the odd offerings of wonderful things.

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