Every time I am asked about where my favourite place in the world might be, I close my eyes, I smile, and I am instantly transported back to the metropolis of my dreams: the one and the only, New York City... no other city compares, no other place is more special in my heart, no other city do I remember every second of and every experience that I had while being there, no other place shines brighter - because to me it will always be an inspiring constellation of 8 million stars each with their own individual story to tell about how they choose to leave their mark. It's been 8 years since I was last in the city that never sleeps, but there isn't a day that goes by when I do not think about all that I saw and all that felt while I was visiting the city filled with so many buildings literally capable of scraping the sky... it's been a long time since I was walking down the various avenues and streets from one side of the island of Manhattan to the other, but I always find comfort in the fact that, though I am far away, I can return to New York City any time I want, in my mind - and when I am there I see things, I remember things, I see details, I remember people who make the "Big Apple" the place that it is: like no other, special, powerful, and one of a kind. I would love to go back to New York City one day... I would love nothing more than to wake up, to get dressed, to head to my favourite Starbucks cafe on Fifth Avenue - where I used to eat breakfast, lunch, and enjoy a late night caramel latte or a machiatto on a regular basis, and during the daytime, as well after dark - and also revisit the places that I love and feel like I know so well, which got under my skin from the instant that I saw them and I immediately found myself in awe. I would love to go back in time... I would to get back in that yellow taxi and once again return to the pools of rememberance that lie in the shadow of the Freedom Tower, and once again pay my respects to those who lost their lives on 9/11... I would love to go back to the place that I could never get enough of and rediscover and explore the things, the places, and the feeling of unbridled kinetic energy and electricity that New York City has that has the ability to gift to those who are lucky enough to be able to visit it, or call it home - because, take it from me, no other city on Earth leaves its mark upon you after you have been there like New York.
No matter how much you try to hold on to something sometimes you lose things, sometimes you lose people, sometimes you lose time; however, one day you unearth a piece of your past and you look at it for the first time in years, and, to your amazement, it does not not mean to you what it once meant - where before you would have done anything to not be parted from a particular thing, now, all the feelings that you once felt for something, you discover, seem to have evaporated, seem to have become lost, seem to have left without you knowing - and though, before, you might have told yourself that you could never live without that particular thing in your life, you come to find that time appears to have helped you more than you realize to get passed what might have been holding you back, because now you find it easy to walk away from what was never meant to be, because what once was is now gone.
Moments of contentment - a time to breathe, a time to be... moments of reverence - a time to look, a time to listen, a time to think and not to speak... moments of openess, moments of exposure - a time to dream, a time to imagine... moments of both stillness and complexity - a time without a worry in the world, a time without four walls around you that can at times feel like those of a prison... moments of me, myself, and I - a time to close to my eyes, a time to find a treasure within my mind that I know will transform the more that I give it my time and my attention... moments of heart pounding exhilaration - a time that feels infinite, a time that feels enough to see all that I need to see, to hear all that I need to hear, to do all that I need to do to fulfill my heart and my soul before my last day on Earth is through - and it is because I feel such energy in every moment of time that I always choose, whenever I can, to take the time gifted to me to smile at the light of the shining sun, to open my arms high and wide, and soak it up.
Everything changes... everything evolves... everybody doing every thing has their own process... new things have naturally arisen over time to replace other things and other ways of doing things; however, some things never change - and one of the things that will never change is the way that artists are inspired, the way that artists seek out new sources of stimulation, the way that artists wake up every morning and want to create art, the way that artists cannot settle down to sleep without first either thinking about or doing something about the nugget of an idea within them. There is something inherently human about art and about attempting to capture the sometimes incomparable, about the need to express our inner most thoughts, feelings, emotions, dreams, hopes, fears, and our natural insecurities... there is something primal about the experience of having this overriding instinct that we feel compelled to act upon... there is something almost genetic about how people young and old seem to have the same unconscious ability to be able to go to the same places that other people are unable to, because there exists this continuity of connection that crosses generations like some kind of universal melody. All my life I have created art, I have witnessed art being created, and I have come to recognize the look in a fellow artist's eyes when they are deep within that moment when the inspiration and the art within them are in full-flow, as if it were a sixth sense of mine that I have slowly but surely developed over time... all my life I have looked at the natural beauty of the world rise like waves upon an ocean and literally change the geography of a well known place or monument... all my life I have witnessed something come from something - and I have come to believe that "nothing" is in fact a type of "something" that we have not yet given a name to, because certain things are like energy and no matter what they will always exist. Looking for an answer to a question that may have been asked for centuries and expecting to find what has not occurred to anyone else before, at least to me, is not in any way a sign of madness - in fact, I believe the art of being inquisitive and never asking the question "why create art in the first place?" and just feeling this need to create some kind of art is the most powerful gift and the most fulfilling way of every artist.
One of the most beautiful and truly breathtaking sights that we mere mortals get to see is the last glimpse of daylight when the sun slowly disappears below the horizon at sunset, when day becomes night; and to me, for some reason, a sunset sometimes has even more of an impact upon me than witnessing a sunrise - because, for so many reasons, seeing the sun set reminds us all of how precious time is, how short life is, and how one day we will all see a last day when we will all close our eyes for the last time and day will forever become an eternal night. Sunsets happen too early for some people - however, everybody has at least once in their life enjoyed the experience of sitting, or standing, like a statue or a monument, as the last rays of the sole star at the centre of our solar system touches us and allows our shadow self to be caste upon the ground behind us... there is no more astounding moment like sitting upon the infinite grains of sand of a beach as the bright sunlight retreats to its source, as the temperature drops, as the air grows cold, and as the song of the sun is replaced by the crashing chorus of the waves of the sea, as the ocean tide recreates the shoreline, as above the clouds the stars of the cosmos sprinkle down a healthy dose of stardust to inspire the dreams of countless. Sunrises remind us all of new life... sunsets remind us all of how far we have all come and what we have done - and, in my experience, there is no more perfect time to sit and reflect upon life and our place in nature than on a summer's evening in June... sunrises remind us all of how amazing it is to be alive... sunsets remind us all that sometimes when something is over it is over though an echo of what was might in some form remain - however, I am sure that we can all agree that the journey of some things and the journey of some people are sometimes over way too soon.
Everybody wants to live in hope when they are awake... everybody wants to dream of infinite possibilities when they asleep... everybody sees things that for some reason they instantly take to their heart and love... everybody - whether they remember or not - experiences internal moments of freedom during which they may have imagined that they had the gift to be able to fly, or perhaps talk to someone living or dead - someone who they may know, or someone who they may have always wanted to meet. Everybody is sometimes their own worst critic... everybody, most of the time, wants themselves to be a winner... everybody has something that they are meant to receive and to give... everyday everybody comes up with multiple ideas, but to be able self-actualize an idea and see it jump from someone's mind onto a page, and then perhaps become tangible and seemingly "more real", sometimes creators need to risk a part of themselves if they truly want to see their dreams delivered. Everybody will succeed, and everybody will fail... everybody will find themselves throughout their life in need of something or someone, and everybody will sometimes find themselves inextricably walking in circles and figuratively chasing their own tails... everybody has to eat... everybody has to drink... everybody has to breathe... everybody has to sleep... everybody sometimes has to be the chaser and everybody sometimes has to be the chased... everybody sometimes has to be the embracer and sometimes everybody needs to be the embraced.