This is good enough for me I said to Jon as the train pulled into Penn Station. We could turn around and go home now.
One of the things I was looking forward to going to New York was the train ride. I didn’t bring a book to read or a sketchpad. I had plans to sit by the window (which Jon was very generous about) and do nothing but watch the landscape go by.
And that’s just what I did. I watched the Hudson River grow like a snake from its narrow tail to its full belly as we reached the city. Getting wider and wider, the shallow ice edged waters with islands of grounded tree stumps turned to lake like expanses of smoggy water deep enough for tug boats to push barges through.
The eagles turned to housing developments and the cement plants were a constant. Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, Sing Sing, West Point and the majestic Palisades.
But we didn’t go back and my eyes and brain got what they were begging for, why we decided to make the trip. I needed to get out of my environment. I needed to see something different something that would jog me creatively. Something to stir the cauldron.
So we walked on the High Line, a converted elevated train track, getting a unique view of the city from three stories up. Looking into apartment buildings, and rooftops, the path bordered by old train tracks and winter gardens. It took us to the new Whitney Museum, Mexican food with Jon’s daughter Emma, the Dia Art Foundation and some galleries.
I walked past the art that didn’t grab me, hung around some of my favorites, happy to be in their presence for a little while and gobbled up the new stuff, my brain clicking and ticking with new thoughts and ideas. My eyes decadently overstimulated. It used to take drugs to get me to that place, now just living in Upstate NY and visiting the city does it. Coming from the quiet of the country the assault on my senses knocks me into an altered state. And I love every minute of it. I crave it.
The train ride home was dark most of the way. And I slept. Letting my body absorb all it had experienced. Letting my subconscious do it’s work with what my mind was trying to process. Trusting that I would remember, in some way, what was important. Knowing that when I go into my studio tomorrow, my trip to New York will be there with me.