United States | East

The darkest hour

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_MG_7803 _MG_7800 _MG_7809 _MG_7812 _MG_7814 _MG_7817Caught downtown in the rain.

To set the scene : a soundtrack whilst reading

It’s been six weeks, a decent number of thunderstorms, and I still have not bought an umbrella.

I can’t quite figure out why, I guess it’s a bit like taking out insurance; you don’t need it until you need it. Maybe that it won’t rain anymore if I buy one. I like to live on the edge a little.

After a shoot on Monday in Tribeca I step out onto the sidewalk and the sky has changed from blue to murky greeny grey. It’s heavy and darkly dense.
Barreling down the avenues of lower Manhattan the drops begin to brush sideways, swept up in wind gusts. If you look down between the concrete corridors you can see it coming. The busy streets empty out and the wet cobble stones collect light on their surfaces.
The big fat drops fall thick and fast and I’m soaked, The sweltering heat is replaced by a dull warm mugginess and that rain on hot concrete smell.
People huddle in the subway opening behind a curtain of water.

I catch the train out to Brooklyn and then another one in the wrong direction two stops because my mind is distracted thinking about the poster mum gave me for my tenth birthday. I still remember each handwritten phrase separated from the next by a change of colour- ‘How to be an Artist’ – it’s times like this, getting lost, that remind me of those little sayings. The runaway train takes me to an outdoor station somewhere south, where in the daylight the windows are beaded with rain drops and backlit for a few minutes before we go back down into the underground.

“How to be an Artist.
Stay loose. Learn to watch snails. Plant impossible gardens.
Invite someone dangerouse to tea. Make little signs that say “YES!”
and post them all over your house. uncertainty. Look forward to dreams. Cry during movies.
Swing as high as you can on a swingset, by moonlight. Cultivate moods.
Refuse to “be responsible”. Do it for love. Take lots of naps. Give money away.
Do it now. The money will follow. Believe in magic. Laugh a lot.
Celebrate every gorgeouse moment. Take moonbaths.
Have wild imaginings, transformative dreams, and perfect calm.
Draw on the walls, read every day. Imagine yourself magic. Giggle with children.
Listen to old people. Open up. Drive in. Be Free. Bless Yourself.
Drive away fear. Play with everything. Entertain your inner child.
You are innocent. Build a fort with blankets.
Get wet. Hug trees. Write love letters.”


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  • Reply
    Super Foodie
    July 22, 2016 at 2:42 am

    Beautifully written, Emily and the rain soundtrack certainly sets the scene. The very same poem was on the wall of the toilet in my first flat here in Berlin (in German) and I thought about it often! It’s nice to see if in English and fully understand all of the words 🙂

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