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a vision quest.

when i first arrived at school (juilliard), all those years ago, my father would say, i went to school right here. right across the street. and never did i dream i'd have a daughter who would end up here.

from my first year dorm room the words Fordham Law School sat in perfect view. situated right there on the stone-white building. and my father would look out at them and say, all those years ago, i didn't know. things come full circle, don't they?

again and again he would say this.

and then again.

so often did he speak these words, i stopped listening.

now, though.


sometimes we'll speak on the phone and i'll say, oh i'm downtown trying to find such and such and Dad will say, oh my first job was just around the corner.

and something is illuminated. and i feel connected.

because i stopped listening, i never actually heard what my dad was saying. it never occurred to me that i was crossing paths with his younger-self. navigating the same terrain. standing on the same corners. experiencing the same late-afternoon sunlight.

yesterday i headed up to the bronx near riverdale (which is where my father was born and raised) to run some errands, and there on the platform i thought, perhaps my father once stood right here. perhaps he waited for the same train. perhaps, perhaps...

these thoughts come to me now. not too often. but just often enough.

people ask me why i don't just leave new york. there's no reason to stay and clearly i'm not in love with the city. and i think the answer--more than anything else--is that i'm not ready to. there is a reason to stay, even if the reason is unclear at best.

in some ways new york is my version of the vision quest. i am looking for an answer. trying to figure out where i come from. to piece together a history.

i'm looking for an answer, i'm just not completely sure of the question.


Melissa said...

I love this post (as I love all your posts). I hope you find whatever it is you're looking for.

Marisa said...

"i'm looking for an answer, i'm just not completely sure of the question."

oh how i feel just this way...just now.

Hermione said...

Hm, I recognize a lot in this story and how you feel about New York. When I lived there, I was searching too, and once I left, it all became clear, after much numbness. It couldn't have been clear without New York, and it couldn't have gotten clear had I stayed back then. Now I want to go back, now that I know who I am.

Taylor Norris said...

oh, what a glorious writer you are! i guess i won't get my hopes up then, about you coming to Chicago. i fully bless your vision quest. i am painfully nostalgic myself.

courtney said...

you write so beautifully.

laura marie said...

having gone to my father's high school and grown up in his same neighborhood, i completely understand your thoughts... it's very surreal, isn't it?

Jo said...

I'm so happy you're experiencing this....it's magical!

iheartkiwi said...

my dad would do the same thing to me when we passed his alma mater...

now that i am a college grad myself i get all nostalgic every time i pass by campus... i am going to be the exact same way with my kids.

good luck with your quest my dear, i know you'll find your way.

hawthorne girl said...

Meg, I hope you realize just what an amazing person and writer you are. I love this post.