NYC & Architecture

One of the nice things about being single is the ability to do anything on a whim and have one’s schedule not be dictated by someone else’s availability. Because sad as it is, when I deduce life down to its essence, what it really entails is mainly logistics. And we are all just shuffling and coordinating pockets of time to make it all work efficiently. So right now I’m selfishly happy about not having to share my time or give it up for someone else. But it sucks to plan with married couples. Even if I’m seeing one person, I am planning around two people’s availability. And unlucky for me, all of my friends are married. (sad face)

New Yorkers are guilty of being busy all of the time. Busy with work, busy with life, busy with all the events happening all over the city on every single weekend. Being busy is the way of life and seeming busy is a status to uphold. But as much as I enjoy (and have the privilege of) being busy, I’m glad for days like today to regain my sanity. This weekend was jam packed because of OHNY (to which I am grateful for the volunteering experience and also the access to so many incredible sites all over the city). I only made it out to a few on Saturday but Sunday’s synagogue run around town with A&D was a lot of fun. Getting to see them is one tough logistical nightmare but they made time for it and I’m glad I was able to supply them with a fun event. Being too busy is never a good thing and I’m starting to realize that if I don’t come here and register the things that contributed to my day to day existence, then when I look back, it will seem as though it never happened. Because if you’re spending all of your time being busy, you’re actually doing nothing at all because none of it will have meant anything weeks or years down the line. It will just be another thing that you did but will have had no significance if undigested fully. The (I)ntrovert in me needs alone time to just think and reflect.

I realize a lot has happened since the beginning of September and it’s taken me this long to finally sit down and think about some of the bigger occurrences. This post tonight will only skim the surface. I’ll have to follow up with multiple entries. It’s probably not necessary to ponder each and every one and try to extract out the importance of each. My life isn’t a business and I’m not a strategist, but ever since reading the column about how many weeks are left, I really don’t want to waste time. It’s the most valuable thing we have…till one day it runs out for each of us. And life is a lot more tricky to navigate time-wise after being a student. As a student, the goals and trajectory were clearer. I start at point A and had to do a certain amount of work in a given time period to reach point B. Navigating the job and relationship paths are maze like with lots of dead ends and long stretches of the unknown. Advance 4 steps to retreat 5, go forward 2 to hop backwards another 1. I just hope the net of all this moving forward and backward is that I’ll eventually find a more direct and targeted route.

Not sure why but it seemed more appropriate to visit a bunch of synagogues on Sunday than any other sites. Synagogues are eclectic in design. Jews never had a style so synagogues adapted a lot of the local aesthetics and design methods. I love the Moorish influenced Central Synagogue. The interior brought back memories of the Mezquita in Cordoba, Spain. The beautiful restoration work of the Eldridge Street Synagogue was awe inspiring — especially the contemporary take on the rose window. I generally dislike the fact that all places of worship are built to intimidate and belittle people. I have an issue with the application of architectural scale as a means to manipulate people’s minds but I can understand why it is so effective. I much rather prefer a space where I feel safe where the ceiling isn’t the limit of the sky. But seeing all the synagogues in general made me want to belong to something and have a place of worship in general. I feel like I’ve been a hard line atheist at times and as my friends over at waitbutwhy put it eloquently, “atheist isn’t something. It’s just “not something.” By declaring myself an atheist and calling it a day, I was basing my whole spiritual identity on what I wasn’t. Yes, I’m an atheist, but I’m also not from Uganda. If someone asked me where I’m from, answering “Not Uganda” would be unhelpful. Likewise, if my only spiritual identity is, “I don’t believe in the divine components of the world’s large, ancient religions,” that makes me a spiritual nothing.” I don’t want to be a spiritual nothing but I’m not here to declare that I’m all of a sudden a god lover either. But what does that leave me in terms of spirituality? What and/or who should I be seeking? So yea, NYC’s got great cathedrals but its synagogues are awesome too and more non religious Jewish people should see their interiors every once in a while.

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