POV: In Hiding.

Friday, February 7, 2014

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 focuses on moments - glimpses, glances, tiny stories. 

When I was little, one of my favorite games involved planning for impending disaster. I’d imagine that a blizzard was coming, or a tornado, or some other weather-related catastrophe that I’d only heard about in books. I imagined hunkering down in some sort of candlelit cellar, with crates of food and a wool blanket and an oil lamp, the wind howling through the wooden trap door overhead. I always made it just in time. Within seconds, the house above would be torn from the ground or buried beneath feet of snow. But I’d be safe. I saw it coming.
Since the beginning of the year, New York City has experienced what seems like near-constant storms. Leaving the house often means preparing for a full-blown hike – and so, because I work from home and share an apartment with my friends, I find that these days, I rarely leave during the day unless I have to.

It feels, we often say, like we’re hibernating. Like our year hasn’t started yet. I’ve taken to thinking that I can use this time to prepare for the months ahead: start a project, work on a book proposal, finally get our under-furnished apartment in order.

All this time, I’ve been preparing for the year to start - but at a certain point it hit me that it has started.  Are there consequences, I wonder, to waiting out the storm? In hiding out, am I missing out? In over-preparing, am I over-thinking?

I woke up at 4 AM the other day to bits of ice hitting my window. I don’t have curtains yet, and the entire pane was glazed in frost. In a half-dream, the streetlights outside looked like smeared stars. People leaving the bar across the street shrieked and shouted in the rain.

Turns out, the world keeps moving, even when we stop. Even when we’re sleeping. Even when ice starts falling from the sky.

Interesting things, I’ve found, happen in the dark.


A couple weeks ago, a friend hosted a dinner at his loft in Bushwick, a cavernous space with nine-odd bedrooms, an indoor garden, a wood shop, and very poor insulation. We kept our coats on, eating steak and potatoes by candlelight in near-blackness, the loft cat swishing its tail at our ankles.

Later, I sipped ginger tea from a wooden stool in the kitchen, watching as everyone else danced in the dark in the space where we’d just eaten, to music that someone affectionately described as cold and soulless. That somebody was now spinning in circles with a pair of flashlights and a sheet over his head, making bird calls.

One of the girls living in the loft came and joined me. We watched together. “I’m so happy this is my life,” she said.

The bird screeched. I wondered if I was dreaming. No one turned on the lights.


You can find my previous POV entries, here, and the archive for my personal essay column on the Equals Record, here. Thank you so much for your support. Have a wonderful weekend!


Rachel Weaver said...

I love these posts. I love hearing your point-of-view. Your words have really made me think about time these past few weeks. And I guess about the place too.
I feel like my life, where I am and what I'm doing, have been shaped by indecision far more than any choices I have made, though I guess that's a choice in itself. And I love that I get to peer inside a different life, maybe one slightly more like the one I once thought I would have, which is not to say that I don't adore the one I'm living. It's amazing to be how different almost the same number of years can be. Thanks for these journeys into a different life.

Paw said...

Simply beautiful.

Sarah Noel said...

"Interesting things, I’ve found, happen in the dark."

It's startling, isn't it, to realize the world keeps moving? I've been struck by that sensation many times, thinking my world has screeched to a halt, by decision or by situation. But thank goodness we have the rest of the world to carry on for us when we think we can't.

dee said...

Beautiful! When you get that book deal (*wink*) please keep us updated on when your book releases. I'll definitely be purchasing a copy. :)

girlseeksplace said...

Stay warm, friend! In some ways, I feel like I'm also waiting for this year to start. It still hasn't fully kicked in that I live in Reno full time now, that this isn't going to end up with me back in Vegas.

burntfeather said...

you always make me ponder and that's a super good thing :) Your words are beautiful!

Neil Landau said...

So evocative. Brrrrr...!

Anonymous said...

lovely, lovely.

Raquel R. said...

You writings illuminate everyday experiences, revealing new perspectives on things.

Shoko said...

Thank you so much!

Rachel, thank YOU for reading! Means the world to me.

Dee, will definitely do :)

max said...

just amazing.

Camila Faria said...

It's funny but I used to do the same thing as a kid. But usually I'd imagine to be stranded in a desert island or a tropical forest...

That loft is quite espectacular and odd (in a good way). I love that every room entry has a color and style of its own.

angela said...

When I was little I dreamed of preparing a row boat in-case of a flood, I was looking forward to rowing down the streets. Beautiful writing Shoko!

Shoko said...

Camila, it's really a special place. One of my favorite apartments in NYC.

Angela, I love that!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

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