GRACE & FIRE

Like looking in a mirror I see the fiery intensity in your eyes, I feel an echo in your slow cautious movements. Your focused unapologetic dismissal of distraction is mingled with a necessity for both privacy and warmth. I see your explosive frustration in unrealized perfection and a twinkle in your eye that will keep your curious, sweet, sensitive soul tender to the graze of this world. Just a wee little babe, much of you yet to unfold and much of you by now displayed. We are of shared substance, and the parts most familiar seem sharply apparent in both grit and glory.  

This fire we share can run wild, it's precisely what settled me into the maddening magnificent New York City; it was a sense of known comfort not alive in words but in felt mystery of alignment drawing me in by my boundaries only to drill directly into my core. This city allows for that intensity that we share, that toughness, that focus. That tough part is obvious in this city, that limited toughness can last a lifetime here, but allow NYC to do her work.  Allow her presence and pulse to be of felt tolerance and expansiveness.  Enter into her current, her force, which openly allows you the freedom to explore while endlessly pointing you back to the truth of all you are.  In this city it will be the softening that requires the courage, the openness to vulnerability, the subtle strength in allowing.  Nothing is whole without its counter; a spectrum has two ends and somewhere along the panorama is the meeting point from which life arises.  Live in the midst of grace and fire, and in this balance you are truly alive.  Alive like the city herself.     

It was this city that prepared me for you: soft, strong, vulnerable, resilient.  Mother.  Allow her to show you what she has slowly shown me, transforming from a city of isolation, just myself and a job, to a city rich in connectedness, growth, and community.  She is a place of relationship not just achievement.  In truth, the NYC we share as a family is richer than I could have ever known alone.  This is the way of the city, to continue to peel away the layers moving us closer to substance if we are so willing.  We intertwine with her not in isolation but in full vulnerability and coexistence. We conjoin, communicate, relate, share not in the comfortable zone of familiarity but in the fullness of diversity.  Our parks are relationship and our streets are community. Our small spaces keep us close, and the noise is our rhythm.  The city we share is connection.

I see your determination, and I see your delicacy. In you I see parts of myself I have over time both revered and rejected only to find they all have a place in this life.  It is a finding you will have to come to on your own, not by my words but in your experience.  The weight of my word will never capture the density of your reality, my boy.  What New York City has shown my eyes and my heart may seem artless to you, but this city has been the inside and out of my life in motherhood.

In knowing you will carve your own path, is it conceivable that this city could at minimum inspire me as a mother to be your surrounding balancing force?  Can I be for you what this place is for me, the force that tolerantly allows you the freedom to explore all the while pointing you toward the wholeness and connectedness of your Being?  It is my wish that I may foster the balance of all you are, the intensity and sensitivity of your innate disposition, while bearing living witness to the flow of life not written in stone but in the substance of the soul.  For you I pray I may I live each moment from the point to which I have grown in this great city showing you the meeting point of grace and fire. 

JOURNALIST: Kelly Van Zandt (@yourmothernyc)