POV: Upright.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

POV ("point of view") is a series that addresses many of the same themes covered in my Equals Record column: growing up, saying yes to adventure, learning to embrace a quarter-life crisis. Each POV entry will include a photograph and a short reflection based on what’s pictured. While my previous column focused largely on ideas, POV will focus on moments - glimpses, glances, tiny stories.


I went ice skating last week, on a Sunday night, ten minutes from my apartment in McCarren Park. A small portion of the swimming pool had been converted into a rink the day before, and, on this drizzly evening, a small crowd had gathered, circling the ice in gray twilight.

I hadn’t skated in years. To my relief, it appeared, neither had anyone else. Clusters of high school girls, giggling behind curtains of long hair, slipped and slid their way around the rink. Children clung to the walls all around, lurching forward in single-file, like ducklings.  

My skates, feather-light when passed over the rental counter, now felt unwieldy and enormous. I teetered. I tottered. I made faces, unwillingly, out of unease and laughter and flitting bursts of panic. Yair, my companion in adventure, coaxed me along.

Earlier that day, he'd attended a friend's baby shower, and on our walk to McCarren, we talked about what it was like to be twenty-eight and to feel far from adulthood, to not know what we want. At this point, I reasoned, I don't have very many wants - only to stay inspired and to avoid boredom wherever possible; to make things and share them; to know good people and to love them. If I'm going to feel my way through adulthood without a picture or a plan, I want to do that happily, and without clinging to walls. I want to feel free and I want to remember to be thankful.

Around me, other skaters took spectacular dives, spinning on their backsides or slamming with alarming force into the walls surrounding the rink. A girl in a faux fur hood whizzed past, arms flapping, inviting collision. I leaned forward with arms outstretched to keep from falling. 

“It’s easier to stay upright if you just keep moving,” Yair called from up ahead.

"That's so metaphorical it's almost embarrassing," I said, but I did it. 


I tried drawing pictures in the ice with the blades of my skates, to make S's and O's, to glide gracefully backwards the way I'd seen figure skaters do (this, it turns out, is much more difficult than it looks). I tried tracing the shadows of the lights strung overhead; I grabbed the arms of children wobbling by to steady them. I circled and circled, turn and spun, looked wooden and ungraceful and didn't care, and I laughed. I forgot, for whole minutes at a time, that I was even moving at all.

---
You can find my previous POV entries, here, and the archive for my personal essay column on the Equals Record, here. Thank you a million times over for reading - wishing you the happiest Thanksgiving.

Photo via my Instagram.

20 comments:

theshellhammer said...

"...only to stay inspired and to avoid boredom wherever possible; to make things and share them; to know good people and to love them." -- this should be printed and framed for the world to see. Struck a cord to what life is. Have a good holiday Shoko!

--alex

Rachel @ Existation said...

I concur with the person above me. Lovely, lovely, lovely. Also, ice skating terrifies me. Metaphorically and otherwise.

julie said...

You look so at ease on skates. Yair seems to be a good companion to have around. Most of all, you are a gem, Shoko. Have a fun Thanksgiving!

max said...

so so so so good. happy thanksgiving!!

Lisa Sperling said...

Shoko, I could read your POVs over and over...:) Yair sounds like a great friend and I love his philosophical reminder! I was just telling someone today how I've been trying to tackle moments of fear by reminding myself to just keep moving. It's really helped! Happy Thanksgiving to YOU!

dee said...

This: "It’s easier to stay upright if you just keep moving."

Wow, just wow.

Raquel R. said...

Your POVs often articulate exactly how I’m feeling.

Momo Y. said...

I love this. I am surely going to wait for your next POV.

Anonymous said...

stunning.

girlseeksplace said...

I want to be real life friends with you, Shoko. Staying upright, in ice skating and in life, is tougher than I ever anticipated, but I am figuring it out. I am thankful everyday for all that I have and all that is to come.

marie said...

I love these. Love them.

Shoko said...

Thank you so much! So thankful for all of you :)

Brianna, I would love to be, too!

Trish said...

Fun! It's nearly impossible to not smile and feel like a kid on a pair of skates! Great post!

Trish said...

Fun! It's nearly impossible to not smile and feel like a kid on a pair of skates! Great post!

Paw said...

Makes me smile.

Hena Tayeb said...

beautifully written

angela said...

I love ice skating! It sounds like the start to a magical season. I agree keep moving, that's the important thing.

Akiko said...

Your column always makes me smile and I have no idea how you do it! Great writing as always - xo akiko
Style Imported

Shoko said...

Thank you all so much, as always.

Sarah said...

I just found your blog and am so happy to read this POV entry. It's always helpful for me, as a 29 year old feeling stuck in a quarter-life crisis, to see others navigating similar waters. My attitude has been that of remaining grateful and trying to enjoy simple pleasures...despite having no idea what my career will look like yet. Nice to see you've come to a similar conclusion...

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 

sho & tell © All rights reserved · Theme by Blog Milk · Blogger