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Tar Beach

June 4, 2013

I’ve been saying I do it for a while, but finally got around to it. This morning, when I woke up to sun streaming through the windows and a cool apartment, I couldn’t say no.

I slipped out of bed at 6 a.m., pulled on a T-shirt and shorts, grabbed my yoga mat and went up to the roof.

The wind was blowing hard enough that the trees on the street below sounded like an ocean. I could see the sun glinting off the East River in the distance and the Statue of Liberty, tiny from this distance. Manhattan was glowing in the morning sun.

Laying down my yoga mat proved to be a bit of a challenge, but I meditated, did a few sun salutations, a short kriya, and then shivasana (which turned out to be necessary to keep my mat from blowing onto the roof next door). After shivasana, still lying on my back, I opened my eyes and saw nothing but a sea of blue sky with a tiny, distant silver plane directly over head, moving slowly toward the park. The vastness of the blue caught me off guard. You don’t see a lot of vastness in New York except for the city itself. Your views are always cut off. I hadn’t realized before that I could lie on my back on the roof and see nothing but sky. At that time of day, even the streets are fairly quiet. I heard only the whispering of car wheels and the occasional horn of a ship passing by on the East River a couple of miles away.

I miss the sounds of our old house — the sound of the spring bubbling up in the back yard, the sound of the sandhill cranes flying overhead in the spring and the fall. It’s much harder to prize sound in a noisy place, but I do love those ship horns. To be standing in the middle of a city with no thoughts of the ocean and to hear those foghorn sounds is miraculous.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 4, 2013 1:57 pm

    Right now I hear a distant lawnmower and a bird calling. Ship horns sound exotic!

  2. June 4, 2013 4:15 pm

    I was thinking about your old house the other day – how much I liked the stepped decks you had on the back of the house. Rooftop yoga might be better, though.

  3. freshhell permalink
    June 12, 2013 7:28 pm

    Glad you still have that rooftop!

  4. June 12, 2013 7:44 pm

    Finally resolved — we have access, but can’t bring furniture or have plants. I’m okay with that, actually. It’s a disappointment, but I’ve been so enjoying going up there every morning for yoga and every evening to play guitar. It’s one place I can almost always count on being alone and that’s hard to come by here.

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