I woke up this morning to this in my RSS feed, a time-lapse video of New York City. It's not particularly epic or mind-blowing (and too much Times Square I think), but it nevertheless awakened the gut-wrenching nostalgia for that once-familiar place and those once-had feelings of belonging and self-affirmation.
I think I figured out the difference between New York and everywhere else - that in New York it is an accomplishment simply to be living there. And the mark of an exciting, high-powered and fabulous life is simply to be taking good advantage of the events and activities the city has to offer. One can simply absorb, or consume, and be amazing by exposure.
I moved here because I wanted to produce, because I found the cost of production (both financial and otherwise) too high and dauntingly prohibitive there. I felt like the barriers to entry are such that you had to either be addicted to producing or living in a community of producers for it to happen.
I needed the kind of no-fault, non-competitive environment that CCSF was offering in order to overcome all of these real/imagined obstacles. But producing things, though a highly glamorize-able ideal, is decidedly unglamorous (and unfabulous, and low-powered, and unexciting) most of the time. It's a lot of hard work and repetition (physical labor) just to get the skills and knowledge with which to be creative, which is, in the end, what it's all about.
So, pretty pictures or not, I'm really learning very slow and ever-immersed in a manual drudgery that seems to be leading nowhere (as being sick and having time to reflect has led me to conclude). It's a hard thing to realize, having left a job and moved across the country to do this, my paltry savings running down as we speak. I certainly miss those New York City days of power-walking from one place to the next, high on potential and the ever-swirling storm of activity, proud and engaged.
But my hands are working now, and I'm feeding people, and I have an easier time convincing myself that life is adding up. In case it isn't though, I have more pretty pictures for distraction's sake.