Tuesday, July 16, 2019

NYC adventures .... orthogonal: (as in) statistically independent

These pictures (above) are from last night.
I discovered the 'food' mode on my smart phone and it makes
food look deeper/brighter... before you even take the picture... intriguing... 

I went in to NYC with Mr Husband... and had breakfast at the diner near
to Trader Joes (and Michaels, and TJ Maxx)... 

That's me with my shopping cart and my fun bag hanging
on the front of the cart with the fragile scones from Trader Joes! :) 

I bought a sketch book, washcloth yarn, and a made-in-Japan blue sparkly gel pen at Michael's
and a planner, little wallet / card case at TJ Maxx + 2 summer tops and 1 skirt. 
Trader Joes was for hair care, Cleo Wet Cat Food (that she loves), olive oil and they had
their scones again! So I carefully brought those home (they break easily and I got them home
with only 1 small break! Yay! 
The sign "you got this" is a common phrase now... 
I never know what I think of it as sometimes it seems to ignore either the
enormity of the personal hard of someone's life or the loneliness they may feel
in whatever it is that they 'got' and need to deal with... 
But so it is and I don't hate the phrase, just think it is lacking a lot of nuance.

Lunch.  I love that Kombucha! 
I wrote my sister-friend a letter over lunch... that was nice... 

This park was so still and beautiful... 
a girl walking by explained to me that it is a private park,
owned by the ones who have houses nearby... 
as she walked on she said she likes it as it's like
the secret garden and I said to her, that is such a good book,
The Secret Garden... 
She agreed and cheerfully walked on... 

I got my library card.
I was feeling pretty tired so I did not really do much research,
but I have what I need now to do it...

I love seeing the backside of apartment buildings...
the inside corners that are mostly hidden...
all those lives, all those homes... 
I love how it is like seeing many books that are hidden...
and that there can be beauty there, as well as suffering...
and how people eat, what furniture they have, 
what beauty they create... 
I love seeing people in stores and seeing what they wear...
(had a strange incident when I walked into the outer sink area of a woman's bathroom
and there was a woman in a beautiful skirt and blouse, with rose gold coloured flats,
I complimented her on her beautiful outfit but she completely ignored me,
it was startling but I forget that in NYC there are 'all kinds' as they say)...
later I was walking on 5th Ave... if you don't know, as I did not before I moved here,
esp. since I don't follow fashion or pop culture that much, 
5th Ave has a lot of expensive "fashionable" shops and is a really fancy street,
with a lot of well dressed people with fancy clothes and hair cuts (etc)... 

I had a pretty well priced meal (10$ for the eggs and toast, a bit more than some diners,
but better tasting)... the lemonade was under 4$ which I thought was really reasonable... 
It was a 'French' place, with French butter and jam... I liked that... and it's good jam!
I met a librarian (who was setting up my library card) and we got talking about
how we are both librarians and how hard it is to get a job in libraries now,
esp corporate ones.... that they are (the jobs, the libraries) disappearing... 
It got me thinking back to when I was in Ottawa and 
about how fortunate that my Husband has a good job and because we live 
in New Jersey (i.e. it's cheaper, way cheaper where we live than Manhattan!)
I don't have to work outside the home
(this also makes me an anomaly here, it's very rare in this part of the States)
and I have SO MUCH to be thankful for,
a loving Husband, a lovely home, lots of dishes ( :) ) and books and all the things I love...
but I struggle at times, with that experience that I think is more and more
prevalent today: the word that no one wants to talk about or that can make a room
go silent if discussed.  Loneliness
I get to have days in NYC and I appreciate them. 
But most of them I do alone.
I don't have (and don't think I will ever have) 
the community I had in my years in Ottawa.
For various reasons, practical and otherwise, I am not going to have
even a PT job outside of the house 
(though those who have read long know that I keep busy without this!...
it's one of the things I appreciated so much about our Candle Desk Man...
he always saw how busy we are, between 2 churches and all else... he commented about
this again when we visited him in the nursing facility rehab place 
that is trying to get him walking again...)
but this and many other factors has meant that I don't always
have the community I once had or wish I had. 
I was telling Mr Husband about how blessed I realize I am
but how it is so puzzling to me that I can have 'everything' on many levels
but am still lonely at times, sometimes a lot.
And he said it is not surprising, rather it's 
orthogonal - (as in that which is ) statistically independent of each other.
You can have one thing and still have the other, 
they don't necessarily meet up and change one to the other. 
I am so glad that I have the Lord in my life and that the Church provides so much
comfort (esp when I look for it!) and that even in the times
where it seems a bit hard in the loneliness aspect, 
I still have so much to be thankful for.
And I am aware of suffering so much more because I have time alone.
And I don't regret that.  I think being aware of suffering of another,
even of a stranger, makes one less alone and feel more in common with
or even in communion with others on a larger scale. 
I saw a lady tonight, older, her hair seemed to be unkempt in a way that told you
that it is just hard hair to keep 'tamed' as it were and she walked with a limp
and was older and I just felt for her... that life was not easy for her,
that she was worn... 
and I see so many in such difficult and lonely situations.
I am not alone, ironically, in this and I know it.
And so, I find again and again that I can echo what our 
camp director, Uncle Al, said so many times, even after he lost his 
beloved wife and best friend to cancer:
we have a lot to thank the Lord for
Praying that no matter what your own personal hard is,
that you know that God is with you and that you are not abandoned...
leave you comfortless. 


Granny Marigold said...

Such a moving and lovely post today. So many of the things you mention are my exact feelings...having a loving husband, no need to work outside the home, having lovely dishes and lots of books yet feeling a kind of loneliness. As you say, the Lord is with us always and will not abandon us nor leave us comfortless.

Diana said...

I had to chuckle at the great cat perch... cats are somehow able get themselves comfortable in the most unusual tight/narrow/small/high/etc. of places and still look graceful. All this food is making my tummy rumble – and it's after midnight here. LOL! I never have liked the phrase "you got this"... it just seems flippant and ignores the deeper goings-on a person might be dealing with. I understand what you are saying about loneliness. I understand so much that I can't even think of the words to explain. I'm truly thankful that God is the biggest part of my life and helps me deal with the everyday moments of loneliness I might have. Hugs and blessings to you, Elizabeth! ♥

Nancy said...

I love going with you on trips to NYC! The $10 breakfast would cost $1.99 where I live. Not French but casino. Of course, casino could be French in origin.

As for the signs, I prefer "Today is a good day for a good day". It is all about your attitude.

Blessings to you and yours!

Lilly's Mom said...

Greetings dear Elizabeth. I know your feeling exactly. I'm blessed in that my life has been good and the Lord has given me so many things that I'm grateful for. But, when I moved 9 years to California, I too, felt lost after leaving my community of friends and my church family. But now, I see that it was a blessing. My life is different now yet very fulfilling. God has our path mapped out and sometimes it can be a bumpy road. I will continue to pray for your healing (eyes) and for your continued happiness. You are a true friend. 🤗🙏🤗

Sophy said...

Hi Elizabeth, I also do not work and my husband works in NYC also. I understand the feelings of loneliness that you describe and the other feelings about suffering that you mention. My faith in God helps also, as well as the church and celebrating feast days. I'm glad I have your blog to read.

Lisa Richards said...

I know I feel lonely living alone sometimes. Even now, with family living with me it can happen. Though I now feel like my part is to be an encouragement to my son, which helps me take my mind off of myself. Do you know any people in your apartment building? I know, as an introvert, I tend to like my own company and often I don't make the effort to get out and mix with other people. When I do, it's always fun. I just don't do it often enough. I know there is an artists group in my area, but I just haven't done anything about joining. I've been watching a lot of videos on YouTube about the epidemic of loneliness among older people. I should try making friends with someone older. Anyway, I seem to be rattling on! Wish I lived closer. I'd love to run around NYC with you! :)

GretchenJoanna said...

I think one of the sources of loneliness for older people (which we are all becoming ;-) ), is the feeling of being cast off as obsolete and unimportant. Our society is so youth-focused, that we who are obviously not part of that culture seem irrelevant and superfluous.

I experience so little of this in the Orthodox Church, that I forget how it is the culture generally, and am surprised when people brush me off. Then I remember, "Oh, yes, I'm a second-class citizen, one of the 'despised ones.'"

God lets us have these experiences so we can understand the shame that Jesus experienced, being "despised and rejected of men," abandoned by His friends, unappreciated. There is no doubt He was, as a human, lonely. But He was truly left alone, and cut off from His Father, on the cross, and we need never be! The feeling of loneliness is painful, but it is not an indicator of reality: God is with us.

Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with your blogging friends, Elizabeth. We are a community against loneliness, for sure. Glory to God!