Someone a lot smarter than I am once said that you can never go home, and perhaps that’s true. You can’t go back to the home you remember because either it’s grown and changed, you’ve grown and changed, or it never existed in the first place, outside the realms of your mind.
I love the way this speaks to the Buddhist concept of impermanence — that shit won’t always be the same, be it your luxury condo in Boca, your health, your life or your solitude. Nothing lasts forever, my friend. That’s what made the Buddha a pretty smart dude for his time, and for pretty much forever. I’ve been thinking a lot about how the child of a privileged nobleman would feel about the nonsense going on in the name of Wall Street and the economy these days (the Buddha started out as a prince, for those who don’t know), but that’s another story, for another time.
I don’t get back to New York that much, but lived here for almost eight years in the late ’80s and early ’90s. A lot of stuff has changed, in keepinq with the theme of impermanence. Times Square looks like Tokyo, and everything is screamingly expensive. People look unhappy, and I wonder if I used to be one of them.
Don’t get me wrong. I love New York, as the bumper sticker goes. You can even buy Yankees Chapstick here, and dump it into the East River if you’re a Red Sox fan. But I don’t miss the person I was when I was here — confused, angry, overtired and overworked, carrying an attitude bigger than Montana on my shoulders. As I write this I feel happy to be the person I am now, the person I worked really hard to become. But I feel a little sad, too, for the girl I was. Maybe it’s time to lay her to rest, those parts of me that probably never served much anyway. They got me here, they helped me live, and now they need to go once and for all. So I’ll reframe this moment, and send them off like beautiful Japanese lanterns floating down a gentle river, released forever, never to come back in this lifetime. Thanks for bringing me here.