Home in the Park

Central Park and 5th Avenue

Jon and I were deeply effected by seeing Death of a Salesman on Sunday.  It was both the play and the performance that moved us.  Philip Seymour Hoffman was Willy Loman. And I felt like I knew him.     I saw the family  I grew up in, in the Loman’s.  In the anger and the lies and the voicelessness, and blind love.  The play was written in 1949 and they complained of the same things we complain about today, how nothing lasts as long as it used to, and there are too many people in the world and how our neighborhoods are being destroyed, how we are expendable in the work place, and how devastating getting old can be.

So needless to say,  we weren’t feeling great when the play was over. We were both kinda stunned and yes, I had to keep wiping the tears away. ( I do cry easily, but even Jon’s eyes were wet).  We had dinner and I was asleep by 9 o’clock.  (sleep has always been my way of checking out of life when I need to).

So the next day, we headed to Central Park.  We were still feeling off and decided not to go to the Francesca Woodman photography show at the Guggenheim (I’m not familiar with her work but read she committed suicide when she was 22) thinking we were depressed enough.  Walking through the park, we found ourselves at the Zoo. (I know that Zoos are depressing for some people, but the Central Park Zoo is one of those responsible Zoo’s that make me feel good) Then I realized it wasn’t an accident, but Jon’s plan all along.  Oh magic! sparks! and fireworks!  I fell in love all over again.  We found ourselves smiling and leaving the Loman’s behind.   Most of the animals were hiding or sleeping out of sight, (that’s how you know it’s a responsible Zoo, when you can’t see the animals)  but it’s didn’t matter.  We watched a snow monkey eat a cracker and saw a patch of polar bear fur and sat by the seals (I think they’re really sea lions) as they glided in joyful circles through the water.

One of the barely visible animals at the Zoo

I’m so glad I saw that play, it went deep inside of me and helped me make sense of my world, which great art can do,   but somehow I always find myself going back to the trees and rocks and animals.  I think that’s where I heal, that’s where I’m home.

Central Park Tree and Rock

8 thoughts on “Home in the Park

  1. I know how you feel, Maria, about returning to trees,rocks and animals. I’ve spent the last two weeks sitting in a hospital room in FL with my mom. Each day when my dad and I returned to his house I sat out in the yard and fed peanuts to the squirrels and blue jays. (One of the squirrels takes the peanuts right from my hand. We’ve become friends. lol) The good news is the my mom is home and doing well. In the next week or so I’ll be able to go home to NC and get busy with some “horticultural” therapy in my yard.
    Glad you had a nice trip to NYC. But it’s aways nice to go home, isn’t it?

    1. When I lived on Long Island it was the Canada Geese that brought nature to me like your squirrel and bluejay. I’m glad your Mom is doing better, Donna

  2. When I was much, much younger the Big Apple would have held a higher allure. Now, I’d rather see Lenore and her fellow farm mates. There is something so REAL about about animals and their stories.
    Glad you are both back at the keyboard of ‘life’!

  3. Love it, Maria. Renewing our spirits is so wonderful, especially when you can do it with someone else. I saw Death of a Salesman many years ago with Brian Dennehy and he was very powerful as Willy Loman too. When someone owns the part, you experience their pain. The beauty (and downfall) of great theatre. But look where it took you – to a MUCH better place!

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