vendredi 31 décembre 2010

Welcome 2011!

I was just thinking, I should write one more post for The Bridge before the end of 2010 and before the beginning of 2011. And yes, it has been decided without much thinking that something like it deserves to be done at this moment and time that I'm writing this - 9:55 PM local time - as a courtesy to all of us.

And this is it.

It's very good to finish a year and start a new one with a bang. Right?

First of all I want to thank Sophie for being such a terrific partner in the execution of this experiment and I want to thank all of our followers as well and all of our readers that are not our followers for supporting and standing behind us all the way since the beginning of this bridge.

So far it has been a great honor and pleasure for me to contribute with this project. I must say that there were a lot of things that I wouldn't have done if it was not because they'd ended up in a post in The Bridge. Let me add that it was always a joy, it was a lot of enthusiasm that I felt doing those things; I never thought about the plan, our plannings as if it was a hard thing to do or a burden, a task that had to be carried out. But quite the contrary. Because The Bridge has been more than a blog for us, it has been a way to experience life like it is and beyond; it has been a way for us to go out and discover things and later transforming, translating those things into words..and into The Bridge.

Right now I don't know what the future of The Bridge holds but I look forward to bring again some more highlights of the way I see life, my 'uninteresting' life, the things that interest me here in NY in 2011.

One thing won't change though and that is my search for all things harmonious, all things beautiful, that old idea of beauty and symmetry that should be present in all of us for making our existence meaningful, valuable and livable altogether.
Interesting that recently I hosted a famous Latin American novelist and while we traveled the city she was discovering and complaining about all the bad things of NY. Dozens of things and for me none of those things she was pointing at really bothered me at all even if I had to concede that she was right most of the time.

Maybe I am an insensitive person! No, no, I prefer to think that I'm more interested in discovering the good side of life, the good side of New York than the bad, the ugly side of anything. The same with the world. Because there's enough sadness, enough pain, a lot of unhappiness, why should I focus myself in bringing out more of the same?
That's what differentiates Fernando from the rest. He's trying to bring an alternate way to see things, to counterbalance what is obvious in this world: the big mess. So I prefer not to see certain things, not to speak in a certain way, and to avoid people or stuff that is distasteful to my senses.

I'm more willing to focus myself in other matters, other issues, other ideas. For example: the idea of beauty seduces me. And let me explain a little bit. You don't have to be beautiful to appreciate things that look, sound or smell beautiful. In fact since we don't make ourselves, so there's no merit or discredit for possessing or not some of the features we find in things that are (or we think they are) beautiful. What is remarkable, however, is our interest to cultivate, to have the ability to appreciate everything that looks good to the eyes and ears, that looks good to the heart or the mind. What is important then is to have the beauty inside, to have the capacity to if not producing something that is beautiful, at least internalize the mechanisms that allow us to appreciate what is magnificent, fascinating, admirable.

That should be one of my New Year's top resolutions for 2011: to continue looking for beautifulness in all the big and little things life bring to us and trying to avoid at all costs the ugly or misery part of life that is always lurking behind our backs. Not very different from the previous one. Not very different from any other year. Because our priorities in life don't really change that much for the passing of one year to the next.., to the next but for other reasons..

         Far away and from the distance the Empire State building wearing blue and white colors the night of December 5th.

mercredi 1 décembre 2010

¡Feliz Cumpleaños 'Bu'!

New York City, Saturday, 27th of November 2010.

It's the following morning after a night of unrestricted liberties at home. Letting myself go freely has its consequences that I have to pay today as a result of experiencing too much of Jameson induced good feelings.

As you can imagine the brain doesn't respond easily to the commands coming from the mind. Neither its counterpart, the body, can work its way out of its sluggishness. Both the body and the mind are trying hard to find the spark that would set them in motion just for facing the light challenges of an worry free day like it is the beginning of the weekend.

But suddenly the woes start eventually to fade. A couple of  SMS had the power to shake things up. All the lassitude of the world leaves way to some clear path of action that was not so clear just moments ago.

Exactly between 11:06 and 11:16 AM:

"In one hour? Nice hot drink. What do you think?"

"One and a half! If you mean chocolate or tea or coffee"     ...

 .... "One and a half then," .....

That was it. That was the most important part of the exchange that provided the leverage I desperately needed to jump start my day and after a very hot shower I was more than ready to move around and go out and encounter the world. That meant not staying at home and instead walking from my house for ten minutes in the direction to the Yankee Stadium, home of the most successful Pro-team in the world but not to see the Yankees or anything related to sports but to the Hard Rock Cafe branch inside the Stadium. They must have something hot in there.

As soon as I leave the house I'm welcomed by very strong winds that make the cold feel really cold. It's not a joke, a slap in my face is how it feels like but I don't complain. It's true that those winds get through my 4 layers of clothing (which resulted insufficient for the occasion) and pierce my body but they make me feel alive too.

Around 1:00 PM, I'm already at the counter of the Hard Rock Cafe. Only coffee I can ask to the young lady that is serving me on the other side of it; no chocolate, no tea as I'd have preferred. You know, coffee is the first thing useful I make in my mornings and today was not the day I was going to miss it. This is one of these days I need it the most.
Anyway, just regular American coffee is what she has, not a fancy one like that showing in the menu, but it is hot and meets all the requirements I had agreed to share with Sophie! So, I go for it, not once but twice with a refill that the lady pleasantly offered herself to bring.

A couple of sips of my second coffee and I want to trade it for a beer. I'm just listening to Paul McCartney on the many screens of the bar..., Bob Marley follows Paul.

People come and go on my right side of the counter. Others occupy tables to my left. Entire families or just couples rejoice themselves taking turns and pictures around a huge guitar behind the reception desk on the right side of the door.

The tourists: I like them, I like to see the excitement reflected on their faces. They're in the Hard Rock Cafe. Not any Hard Rock but the one at the Yankee Stadium, the home of the mighty Yankees of New York. I envy this people because I don't have what they have: I left my emotions behind....I'm now a local guy who can't feel what they feel and has to relive the experiences through their eyes. They have to live and show their feelings so I can live and experience them as well.

Oh gosh! What a complication of life!

What is not a complication for me is to find a reason to trade the coffee for a beer or for something else, something stronger or much more 'poisonous' as you may be tempted to think. Here I have to confess that I can spend days and weeks without drinking anything besides water but once I start it's easy for me to continue for days or weeks as well.

Last week the Irish coffee opened the gates, Thursday was Thanksgiving day in the United States, a special holiday where people show their appreciation emptying the merchandise in the Liquor Stores and I was not the exception. I just followed the trend.

Yesterday was Friday and today the 27 of November it's Pichiplayas or Bu's Birthday. How could you not celebrate? Even if you were not in the mood you put yourself there. And now I'm just not ordering a beer but a Mojito because that goes much better with the lively spirit of this beautiful Spaniard that today celebrates her 19th birthday.

However I think one Mojito is not enough so I'm asking for a second one because the occasion is perfect to recognize how important it is to count on her in our lives, the enchanting and always cheerful friend who day and night makes our life less stressful with all her charm.

If you don't believe me just take a look at her here!

Isn't she like the sunshine? Or like the sunrise and easy as a Sun-day morning? I won't get upset if you want to compare her with a full moon in the middle of the sky at midnight.

For me, however, the most important thing I admire in her it's that at her tiny age she's like one of us, a real person, curious and thirsty of knowledge, looking for wisdom, meaning or answers to life questions with always a smile in her face, always... Add just her love for music and you just have the complete package.

"Another Mojito, please"  She really deserves that in her name I drink this third one!

Yeah! For her, in her name, we wish her a very Happy Birthday (Dear B......)!

Cheers Sophie! ...And thanks!