If you search a little around our site, you’ll probably notice there’s something peculiar about the pictures attached to the features. What does the picture of a tree trunk have to do with a writing deeply meditation? Or the image of a rundown business have to do with computer issues? You get the picture. They don’t always quite reflect the writing… in fact, they’re completely off.
And that’s very much true.
I’m a New York City writer. Born and raised in this city, except for the brief stint my parents moved to Rhode Island. My mother fled the city afraid, that after the 90s riots took over the inner-city hoods, her kids would take to the streets.
We returned a little over two years later, when my father unable to sell off (or better yet, give up) his small business, stayed behind to support us from afar. My mom had enough of living in the suburbs without a car, in a place so far removed from the Big Apple.
Those two years, which when you think about it, is usually a complete Mars Return (the warrior planet, of anger and fierceness)… was enough to reinforce my love for where I was born. I’m always in awe with how much New York City changes, yet how much it remains the same. The energy and grit and fog (dirty air, y’all) is the one thing travelers immediately pick up as soon as they arrive. The tone of the city, as well, which is often confused for “attitude” but really is just a distinct mark of living here… and one, if you’re fortunate enough, can pick up in pictures.
Finding Your Place
In astrology, as in writing, place has a very important role. You can’t pull a chart without a location. And the same can be said about writing. You can’t quite create a storyline without telling your reader a little something about where you’re planting them, whether through details or an exact location.
A lot of the pictures on Orbit are about place. Where I am currently in life, whether of my current 9-to-5 work (picture featured here), or the walks I take in New York City with my kids, you’ll see my lived experience through the images.
Revealing Your Lived Experience
And that’s important, because a lot of what occurs in writing is about our placement. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally, and how we’re able to integrate that through our writing. Do you need to write about things at the moment, when it happens and where? What’s the value you find in that? How is that different from waiting, going someplace else and finding other pieces?
I’m very impulsive with my writing. And I enjoy discovering through writing where I am one place – in time – living through an experiencing and also waiting and revisiting those experiences later on with time.
Writing Aligned With the Stars
Those versions in time is how we can connect our writing. That tree stump from a feature of not so long ago might not be there a few years down the line. Just like what I wrote that day might not feel the same along the line. It could’ve been the moon for the day, a retrograde planet or even something I ate, that inspired me to write about whatever I needed to write.
But it was a necessary writing. It was important that it happened. And it was valuable that I was there, walking along that street in the city, to come across that once-upon a tree. It mattered.
And you’ll find all that mattered to me through the images on Orbit. Yes, not always perfect, but important to what is here in this place.
“This young character returned to New York City with her family, the memories of where she was becoming more distant with the passing of exits along highway 95. ‘Only 20 more exits left,’ her mother softly whispered in her ear, wanting not to scare her into the new welcoming. The young character slowly glanced to her side, the shadows of trees looming high before her. The car sped through them as if escaping a history already wanting to be forgotten. It was a little after midnight, hours already past her bedtime. The young character wondered how her eyes would adjust to the city, what will this new look like… and is it something she was meant to see.”*
*Excerpt from Pieces to Normal draft.