Sunday, November 30, 2008

goldwater



Here are views from under the bridge on Roosevelt Island. I work as a Fellow at Goldwater Hospital with other MFA students at NYU. Past several corridors, we have writing workshops in the bingo/art room. The walls are tacked in construction paper cutouts and you can see out to the river. My experiences with the writers are almost impossible to write about and perhaps wrong to as they should be no different from any other writer. It is however so much more encouraging on the spirit to witness someone who cannot physically write but must still. Many of my friends said the thought of doing this, being around people who are hurt, would depress them. Nowhere else, have I turned a corner to see two men barren of their legs belly down on gurneys racing down a corridor, spinning the wheels with their hands and hollering. Perhaps the most beautiful is my time outside of workshop with a patient paralyzed in lock down who can only blink to communicate and attempt noise but no longer speak articulately and yet she can hear, see, and think perfectly. Reading pages of Dahl and Sexton to her and seeing her eyes light up as if to laugh is one of the cutest things I've ever seen. It really takes all the excuses out of putting off writing and now when I see a pile of dishes and strewn clothes from my morning indecision I can comfortably know that yes, all that silly stuff can wait. It is also a comfort to know that there are programs like this one to ensure that nearly no matter what happens a writer can still write. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

my pretty street






my pretty street and the castle with leaves

Sunday, November 9, 2008

the heart swells




Above are photographs taken by Damon Winter, Staff Photographer at The New York Times, as he followed Obama from the primaries to his victory. These here are my favorites as they really capture America's love and fascination for Obama. It really makes the heart swell that tiny children and a group of high school teenagers in PE class are as enthused as if their favorite action hero or musician pulled up in a limo and yet they are not old enough to even vote. They could do nothing in the election but stretch their freedom of speech and yet they want to shake Obama's hand or see his poised wave before stepping back to play kickball. When speaking of his photographs, Winter brings to attention how Obama has such a distinctive profile and figure that he can be shot in nearly any light and one would still recognize him immediately however he is not the most emotive of candidates. Obama is emotive but when compared with shots of Hillary and McCain one realizes that he doesn't have to scream or flail for attention the way the others have. He quite simply says what he means. Clearly we are in a historic shift and for many Americans (including myself) this election symbolizes a new hope. Non-Democrats voted Democrat this year and often times not even just because of a party shift but some simply wanted someone in office that they believed they could trust. In this last photo of Obama speaking at a rally, the image would immediately suggest a makeshift gospel service were Obama's figure not so distinctive as Winter addressed. I can even imagine his face as he speaks on the other side because Obama consistently evokes a collective calm and confidence, two things missing in our rattled America. His one arm raised hallelujahs are not bellowed as those of Martin Luther King, Jr. but are felt with the same ardor electrified because he has changed the possibility of how we imagine the future. 

You can hear Damon Winter discuss these and other photographs from his coverage of the campaign trail at http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/08/27/us/politics/20080827-winterobama-multimedia/index.html.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

history



I'm still trying to focus after the magic in the streets last evening when Obama won. Let's just say the streets from NYC to Brooklyn were set to the soundtrack of a steady stream of honking and hollering  against hugs and high fives amongst strangers. It was history and not just the basic fact of Obama taking the victory but also there is the miracle of so many Americans regardless of their party actively thinking and caring about politics again. 

I leave you with a quote. Thank you Bethany for sharing it. 

"Oh, let America be America again. The land that never has been yet. And yet must be."
-Langston Hughes