Friday, April 13, 2012

Start Spreadin' the News...

'Trinity Roots' Sculpture
Trinity Church, Wall Street, NY
Frank Sinatra’s ‘New York’ has been my theme song ever since I came home from spring break. His smooth, jazzy baritone ricocheting around in my mind as I continue recover from five days with my neck craned at a ninety degree angle staring at dizzying skyscrapers. Setting my first experience in New York to words feels somewhat akin to teaching a pig to fly.  But if you insist, I suppose I would have to say I felt incredibly alive and connected to the world, while at the same time haunted by an odd sense of dissonance and fracture. I know it sounds odd, but on the one hand, the constant hum a city that never sleeps, the array of food, shops, and people shuffling here and there gives you the sense that this city is the veritable heartbeat of the nation, even the world. The days we spent at the United Nations especially felt this way, you got the sense that anyone you rubbed shoulders with just might be off to change the world. Yet on the other, it feels like a jungle of concrete and lights bearing little resemblance to life in the true sense of the word. As I look back on my photography, I find as many pictures of artistic tree-statues as I have real trees, which I find mildly disturbing...

I spent the whole of my spring break exploring this juxtaposition with a small group of fellow Mariners who would become the second family we affectionately call, ‘the flock’. Together, we tried to find the balance between the glamour of Times Square and the thought of hungry children. As we met with Isaiah Chabala, the recently retired ambassador of Zambia, and representatives from organizations working everywhere from New York City to Ghana on issues of social justice, I witnessed seven lives change, including my own. Though we will all spend the rest of our lives walking that tightrope, we came away with a much more clear idea of the impact we would like to leave on the world. Yes, we fully enjoyed all that the city has to offer. My inner foodie was in raptures. My shop-a-holic fully completely satisfied. But most exciting, my inner activist was inspired.


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