Ode to the City

Ode to the City Part I

and today
I am reminded
that you will never be mine.

the child who’s nested in her mother’s skirt
the light that bounces up down
up down in central park
there was that one good cry on my way uptown
and the skinny man at the deli

I cannot steal you because I cannot see you
and you are not to take

you offer us all that you have
and it fills up our eyes lips hands
hands swimming
in your eternal sky

Ode to the City Part II

Ode to the City Reflection

When I set out to create this piece, I started with paints. I changed some key details in my second version amidst my growth and realizations of my place here in the city. In the original version, it also depicted a wrist reaching into a set of buildings. However, the wrist was bound by silver chains. The hand was grasping a melting shape representative of an earth. Living in New York City has been one of the greatest gifts – though with many gifts, we worry that we aren’t consuming enough of it. Receiving all of it. I often build up physical locations, romanticize them, wait for them to change me. This results in disappointment and fulfillment.

I aimed to capture this anxiety in my short poem at the beginning of this entry. And I aimed to capture that in my second version of the picture.

These key changes shift the attention from keeping the city to myself to acknowledging the way the city gives itself to us. There is a spirit that lives here, that follows us wherever we go. Once I leave this city, I will not have lost anything. It will be within me. When looking at this in a more spiritual context, it expresses the boundless love and impact that the love of a God offers us. While we often make efforts to hold onto physical and visible beings, this will never be ours. However, the love that exists beyond our grasp is what will be ours forever.