feeling blue and how i got over it

i had been feeling blue for a while. it’s hard to be homebound and work on one’s computer all day, every day. so today, i turned on the music, loud, on my wonderboom, and cleaned the whole apartment. there is something deeply satisfying about being in motion and scrubbing. isn’t cleanliness next to godliness:)

then i put on my snow boots and drove to #lakeronkonkoma. i had no idea if it would be walkabale or not, with all the snow on the ground. lake #ronkonkoma is about 10 min from where we live. it’s the largest and deepest lake in #longisland – 92 feet at its deepest. the indigenous people of this land considered it a bottomless lake, so sacred that they wouldn’t fish in its waters. but they did perform wonderful ceremonies all around it.

i have always, since day one, felt a deep connection to lake ronkonkoma. there is something unreal about the blue of its waters and the translucent light and sky above them.

the lake was particularly moving this afternoon. the sky striated with shades of blue, grey, light-filled yellow and gentle purple hues. something delicate and liquid. the lake covered with ice. still, white, expansive. i walked in the snow and learned to keep my balance, held by the enchanting beauty around me. my eyes rejoiced.

in urdu, there is this expression ‘aankhoon ki thandak’ – the coolness of one’s eyes. those we love give us pleasure, when our eyes behold them, they provide cool relief to tired eyes. i kept thinking of this expression. my eyes too felt relaxed, not just because of the cold weather but because of the serenity the lake offered so generously.

i know all our situations are different, but if u can, go outside, walk in the snow and feel connected to the world.

salman toor at the whitney

why i came to nyc: stunning work by salman toor, born in lahore, at the whitney. his first solo exhibition: stories of queer brown men as they negotiate the distance between new york and pakistan. the expressive faces and hands in his paintings are exceptionally rendered. so many things that strike one as immediately recognizable – the turn of a head whilst sitting down for tea, the passive acceptance of extra security checks at customs and immigration, the anxiety of being questioned by pakistani cops when on a date, etc. am still here. still discovering.
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whitneymuseum #salmantoor #lahore #pakistan #newyork #newyorkcity #art #figurativepainting #oilpainting #queerbrown

JVP in nyc

so i joined JVP’s NYC chapter and they welcomed me w such warmth and love. added me immediately to their cinema palestine team and are super excited by all my ideas (i have too many). the other people on the team are filmmakers, playwrights, artists, an assistant curator at the whitney, and a psychotherapist who’s palestinian american. all activists of course and lots of young people. thrilled to start working together:)

new york botanical garden

back after 17-18 years. we used to visit every weekend when we lived in north woodmere. my son took a gardening class there when he was in first grade:) it was always one of my favorite places in nyc. i remember we’d look at keating hall, fordham’s gothic tower, and wonder what the bronx campus looked like. now my daughter is studying at the university’s lincoln center campus. she was one or two back then. the garden is still gorgeous, a repository of sensory pleasures that does the soul good:)
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botanicalgarden #nybotanicalgarden #bronx #newyorkcity #newyork #sanctuary #natureisbeautiful #soulhealing #gardening #northwoodmere #longisland