Friday, June 24, 2011

Spin On My World*

Ride at Luna Park, Coney Island

I knew I needed a break.  After a rough few weeks and a really rough weekend, I needed a break from routine and the ol' beige cubicle.

So I cashed in some vacation time, took a Tuesday off, and went to the beach.

(I don't like much about summer, but day-trips to Brooklyn's beaches are one thing I could file in the "Pro" column of the season. Another "Pro" would be flip-flops...and extended daylight...and iced coffee...That's pretty much the extent of my summer "Pro" list.)

The subway ride out there takes about an hour.  By the time I stepped off the train onto Brighton Beach Ave, the blue skies I left behind on the Upper West Side had turned dark and menacing; it was starting to rain.

"Not on my day off!" I said to the stormy skies. (I said it silently, so as not to appear crazy.)  Anyways, the skies took heed of my scowling threats and cleared up.

I picked up Russian pastry and coffee at La Brioche and then sat on the beach for awhile.  Watched a man do push-ups on the boardwalk, watched a bikini'd woman take a quick dip in the cold water, watched high schools kids work on a photography project, watched life guards watching all of us. 

I read my New Yorker, I read a poster about rip tides.  I saw a horseshoe crab (deceased). I walked down the beach towards Coney Island, where I observed a yeshiva class riding roller coasters and I ate a hot dog.

But mostly I just spent the day sitting, being.  I didn't even think much (though there's much I could/should be thinking through) - just sat. And be'd.

Madeleine L'Engle, in her book Walking on Water, talks about the importance of taking being time.  Why is this so hard!?  Maybe because I'm so easily distracted and dissuaded from being by the golden idol of doing. 

Productivity has a powerful call that is hard to ignore.  But being - just being - is so sweet if we allow space for it.

I'd like to find a way to do a lot less and be a lot more.

*Check it.

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