Goodbye, New York

You come to New York thinking that you have a pretty good idea what it is you’re looking for, only to discover that, once you live here long enough you have no pretty good idea at all. New York is a great instructor that way.

I remember speaking with a man in his early 40s who came to New York a few years ago. He came with his loving partner and he wanted to work on an art/design project. A year later, his partner left him and the project that had once shown great promise was never fully funded. I thought that–just now–he’d come to the right place. Stay, friend. What you will learn about yourself now? He left town, returning home too soon.

You come to New York thinking you know what you’re looking for and, if you’re lucky, you’ll be surprised that you were asking the wrong question in the wrong way for all the wrong reasons. And then maybe you’ll grow up some.

I said, “You are the best answer to a question I never thought to ask, to an inquiry I could never have conceived of beginning.”

She said, “And what answer is that?”

To her I didn’t say till later, “You are my white bird. Neither a pigeon nor a mourning dove. To be neither one nor the other yet akin to both and all.”