Sunday 3/31/19

Sunday 3/31/19

March 31, 2019

On Sundays I reflect. 
I did not drink alcohol this week. 
Today, I write from Manhattan as I wrap up a quick weekend trip. The views aren’t quite the same, but equally as astonishing. I see the skyline out the window, instead of my mountains. 
I remember years ago when I arrived here, terrified. After the wedding, I went to my drummer’s in Brooklyn where he offered me a few nights on a couch. I joined his band that day; Shackers. A day or two later I got a train to Long Island, where I got a job in a glass studio. I told Yoni I may be living in New York and he insisted I come stay with him in Manhattan. He met me at Penn Station where he helped me carry my bags on a train to 14th. I remember that was the most afraid I’ve ever been, and he showed up and told me not to worry. When he introduced me to his roommate, I was told I was welcome at the apartment any time as long as I didn’t move in for six months. I spent most of a year on that couch. 
Yoni did everything he could, to allow me to pursue my passion for art that year back in 2014. He fed me, he gave me a key to his apartment, he took me out every weekend and never let me feel bad about how broke I was. Yoni was one of many people who took me in and provided me with the opportunity to just be me. 
I felt like such a failure back then. I couldn’t take care of myself, and I wasn’t sure If I would ever be able to do so while following my dream. I contemplated giving up many times, and were it not for people like Yoni believing in me I think I might have. He must have talked me out of giving up over a dozen times that year, insisting that I was not a financial burden nor having a negative impact on his life. It was one of the most selfless things anyone had done for me. It forced me to keep pushing. 
So I arrive at Newark Thursday night, already late for dinner. I walk from a few miles from Penn Station downtown and it all comes back to me. The smells and sounds, the chaos and the madness. Dinner is over a dozen courses, Omakase style (chef’s choice). Everything is taken care of, as always and I remember feeling so grateful to be back. 
After a few mile run, I spent Friday morning with Whiskey Craig, another man who took me in years ago. When I overstayed my welcome at Yoni’s and Craig was out of town, he would give me his apartment as my own in yet another selfless act to help me follow the dream. We had brunch and caught up, before gallery hopping in Chelsea for a few hours. 
An ex lover saw I was coming to New York, and asked me to get coffee. We had not seen each other in ten years. She’s married and living in Brooklyn, thinking of having children soon. We caught up for an hour or two that afternoon, reminiscing on our childhood and catching up on the past. Friday night I had to lay low, in preparation for a big day yesterday. 
I woke for brunch with family Saturday, to meet my cousin’s new daughter and she’s beautiful. I spent a brisk half hour catching up with cousins before jetting to Joel in Brooklyn. Joel is another of my best friends, also known as the courier. Yesterday’s mission was to drive me to Philadelphia to try his friends sandwich shop and to see my friends art show. 
The reason I came East on this trip, was to attend the opening of 1000 Glass Cranes, an art installation by my friend Jeremy Grant-Levine (GERM). You can learn more about the project at 1000glasscranes.com Jeremy set out to make 1000 glass origami cranes in the Japanese tradition of folding paper. He attempted to accomplish this feat in a year, and it took him two. The work he put in physically, as well as on a personal level is truly an inspiration. I’ve been struggling to find a balance between routine and the spontaneous way in which I live my life. As artists, I think we all do. Jeremy committed himself to a routine, and a project so much larger than any one days work. I admire his tenacity and hard work in making this vision a reality. I would not have missed this show for anything, and I’m grateful to the people that helped me make it happen. 
I remember when I used to hate New York, before I lived here. I had visited a few times briefly, and I was not a fan. Now this city holds a special place in my heart. I think my favorite thing about the city is running, but my legs will disagree for a few more days. 
This trip was one of the last distractions I had to keep my mind off the immense amount of work I have to do. When I get back to Colorado, I’ll continue to develop my routine. Like my friend Jeremy, I am in a constant battle to balance work and my personal life. As an artist, one must self motivate in order to succeed and to me that is one of life’s greatest challenges. Over the last year since leaving New York after my 28th birthday my only focus has been on developing a healthy lifestyle and routine for myself. It’s been hard, and things have gotten a lot better. 
As this trip wraps up, I’m preparing to submit myself back into the process. Today I’ll head to brunch shortly and then spend my last hours here with people I love taking in as much of the city as I can before returning to my mountain oasis. These trips are integral to my process, and help me realize just how much I love “Home” and the life I live. 
I’m grateful as always to everyone following my journey, and especially those that participate first hand. I wouldn’t be who I am without the people I surround myself with, who bring me up and encourage me to keep being me. 
Thanks for tuning in, and enjoy your Sunday. 
Ben


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