New York is a lovely place. I love how busy it is–the city that never sleeps. We arrived in NYC at 10 o’clock at night. But with the interminable queuing at the immigration, we didn’t get on the train until 12 midnight. When we finally emerged from the subway and were hauling our luggage along Manhattan, we were desperate for a restful sleep. Much of our days and nights in New York were like that–walking, train rides, and foot cramping. We had a packed itinerary… so we were working on a schedule.
On the first day we were supposed to encounter Time Square before “Book of Mormon”, but we got heavily delayed at the Rockefeller Center, and only had time for dinner. This meant that we had to miss out on seeing the the LOVE-HOPE sculpture. It wasn’t that special. It may be overrated… but I guess the small time romantic in me wanted to believe in a chance at Love and Hope. Luckily that same night, we randomly passed by “HOPE” and I thought… maybe, just maybe, I’d get to find love here in New York, too.
And I did…
While waiting for the Musuem of Modern Art (MoMA) to open, we found ourselves exploring the weekend food fair and there it was–slightly overrated but it was for real–not elusive.
Once Upon A Time, I Thought I Found Love
We all want to fall in love. I would be a hypocrite to say I never sought for love because as early as high school I dreamt of it. Of course the fairytale image dissolved as I aged and got a clearer taste of reality, but like Julia Roberts, I was often just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her. And once I thought he did–love me. So I gave him years of my undivided devotion and he broke my heart (over and over again).
And that’s the problem with fairy tales and romantic comedies; they paint a picture of happily ever after that hardly has a place in real life. So in the midst of the chaos I gripped onto love, thinking that my story would somehow lead me to triumph. Cinderella the orphan was rescued by the prince. Snow White who was poisoned came back to life with a kiss. I honestly thought there was a happy ending to mine–but there wasn’t.
And one day I realized that the gears have turned once again. I was at the starting point and I understood that I have to do it all over. To find love. To take the risk. To face the consequences (and all that jazz).
In MoMA, I became acquainted with the artist, Louise Bourgeois, whose depiction of love is much too familiar. I don’t know her story. But from her art I could tell that she was a typical woman. And of the many pieces that I liked of hers, this artwork touched me the most.
Painful but true. Her poem spoke to me because I always had my mother’s nagging voice to remind me of potential dangers, but I always turn away to ignore the warning. In denial maybe or simply… stupid and gullible.
My Inner Life #5 (2008)
Translation of Bourgeois’ stitched text:
“My mother was
I am suffocating. I
will he take away?
he will believe I
And I did. I loved him and when I love someone I love completely. I love, giving it my all, even if I will never be enough. Even if I have nothing left to give. Anyway, do not take the poem verbatim–it is not my literal emotion, but I think loss, disappointment, and rejection is the same no matter what your story is.
Going with the Flow
Some people are lucky. They fall in love once and they fall in love with the right person; while there are others who die trying to find the one who holds the missing piece of their heart.
When I had my heart broken, my life almost shattered with it. I never knew I was fragile until I that day I was picking myself up on the floor. Despite the drama, I guess I am lucky to have survived because otherwise I wouldn’t have realized that it is not the end. When you break your heart once, twice, or even more than that, it will beat another time. It will hear bells. It will skip to the music. It will thud nervously at his arrival–because life is love and as long as you live, you can still FIND LOVE (even if you’re not at the corner of Sixth Ave and 55th Street in New York).
So have HOPE…