New York City — Autumn’s Shadow Side

Maybe it's the approaching spirits of Dia de Muertos, the shadow energy of death that autumn ushers in, maybe it's adjusting to the big ol’ city after a few weeks in the mountains.

Whatever the source, I noticed yesterday a pull to the shadow side of the city.

For one thing, I’ve seen a lot of abandoned clothing on the street. Not simply a stray glove or cap, but jeans, sneakers, even the underwear in this photo from a bench in Central Park.

The book about health was nearby, splayed out on its spine, perhaps where the reader left off reading and hoping. Was this before or after he dropped his Reebok briefs nearby?

book abandoned on bench

When I walked through the Conservatory Gardens (highly recommended), these dark purple, almost black, plants made me say “oooohhh, want”.

One of them even has a scar.

dark leaves on plant

I’m looking at writer meetups in NYC, looking forward to them. I notice that writers seemed to be obsessed with creative prompts. They pay money to someone else to hold space and give them permission to write for an hour. Everyone is different, and we all need a shove sometimes. I get it.

Yet as a visual creative, I can’t stop the prompts from coming. They are everywhere. I block time to write. Some people procrastinate to avoid writing. I write when I should be doing other things.

Claiming time to write is about boundaries, not lack of inspo. It's exhausting, but in a good way, most days. At the same time, NYC feels like a rarefied first-world play and I’m trying to remember my lines.

My dragons whispers that soon the show won’t go on. I’ll be back in the square room in the woods, perhaps leaving my books and underwear on the side of the road along the way.

I tell them to be quiet, that they are the reason I can’t think straight. They sulk away, shooting halfhearted fireballs over one scaly shoulder.

Hasta luego, diablitos 👹

Originally published on Instagram, October 8, 2021


Kala is a writer and author of The Way of the Tigress: Inner Journey, Outer Adventure — to help adults of all genders use travel to navigate change and up-level their life, available at
Join our Tigress email list here




I help adults of all genders use travel to navigate change and up-level your life. In fact, I wrote the book on it, available at Join our Tigress email list here

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Kala Philo

Kala Philo

Hi! I’m a Web3 and tech marketing writer and co-founder. I also write about personal growth via immersive travel. More info at

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