Center of the Universe.
As I made my way through the faces and the speeding cars, I felt more human than fathomable. There's something about the smell of sewage and fresh bread combined that puts a tingle right in the pit of my soul. I walked along, doing my best to notice each face without being caught because, well, you see, eye contact is illegal in the Big Apple.
I love New York City. It never ever changes. But, at the very same time, it can never ever stay the same.
You will never see the same face twice. You have to look quickly, or your chance is lost forever and a face you can't imagine will go unseen. Each face is different; each face is unique; each face is beautiful. My favorite part is to look around at the faces and imagine God carving each and every single one of them. Each face is a masterpiece. The world is an art museum. And you, my friend, are art.
My version of Sweden.
(I stayed in a house full of attractive Swedish boys for a week. Unfortunately, I never knew if they were talking trash on me in Swedish, but goodness... They were beautiful.)
I stood on the beach, hair aimlessly flipping and flapping through the wind. The smell of salt colliding with the SPF 90 sunscreen I relied on to protect me from sheer torture and endless woe. I climbed to the top of a nearby rock, and the wind picked up, raising the hairs on my bare limbs.
The white noise filled my soul, and I found myself in a perfect state of tranquility.
I started to think about life. Not my life, not the meaning of life, but life itself. And how extraordinary it really is.
Have you ever thought about life like that?
You must have. You are human, after all. Don't we all think about that?
Sometimes I think about it so much that, if I begun to talk about it, I would cry.
At this moment, on the top of my rock at the beach, I found myself giggling with tears in my eyes.
(I love teary-eyed giggles. Like the ones I shared with MJP and AK at Cavestock as they played "Fix You." Or like the ones that come out when MAV and I talk about real life matters, and how they are so real and actually kind of funny. Please tell me you know what giggles I'm talking about.)
I looked from my tall rock down at the sand. There was a young girl standing down there, just far enough back from the water so that her toes were an inch away from being touched by the tide. She looked frighful. She was wearing yellow shorts and a yellow Spongebob shirt. I loved her the moment I saw the shirt. She looked around 8 years old, with long dark hair back in a pony tail, giving a clear view of her plump face.
She was about to touch the water, but backed up as the tide came close. She turned around with a look of disgusted unsurity and faced a woman I would assume to have been her grandmother. The woman gave her a disappointed look and said something to her with an instructive hand to turn around and go play in the water. The girl gave a huff and said something back, however the ocean was too loud and I was too high up and far away to hear the discussion between the two of them. Spongebob girl turned back around and touched her toe to the water. She quickly removed it and backed up. Then repeated the exact same motion about four times. Slowly, she got a little more wet, and would allow the water to attend to another part of her body. Before long, she was fully submerged in the water, running into the waves, falling, and allowing the tide to scoot her back up to the shore. She was giggling and laughing and happily screaming all the while.
I couldn't stop laughing.
I wasn't laughing at her, of course.
I was laughing with her. Because I knew she could do it from the very beginning. I knew she would overcome her fear of the water. Just as I knew I could overcome every fear I've ever had.
Moral of the story: Sometimes we have to stick our toes in the water before we can go for a swim. Not all of us were made to dive right in, and that's absolutely okay. That's human.
I did it.
Coast to coast.
In under two day.
There you have it in short, ladies and gentlemen.
And now I'm home.
My homeless version of home.
And it's nostalgically wonderful to be here.