Linda Cohen's Luminous Lotus Blog

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Sirens of Central Park (for my mother)

 Bethesda Fountain, Central Park 7/2015
Photo by Cherry Cohen

SIRENS OF CENTRAL PARK (for my mother) 


Sirens of Central Park is a double entendre (a phrase with two meanings)… Firstly the lavender, pale violet, white and pink clover hearts dancing in the manicured grass, the cherry pink apple blossom blooms and the O so dripping lush honey-perfumed jasmine plumes that resplend the entire aura of the world’s largest and most delicious park. The sweet delicate earthy scents that bathe the arbored pathways and many little gardens smiling demurely off the beaten track… of the winding – at once familiar yet simultaneously ever new – labyrinths of visionary Fredrick Law Olmsted’s masterpiece urban garden. How fortunate I am to enjoy this verdant treasure trove as my beloved backyard. Finding healing and inspiration in her profuse and hearty, secretive mysterious evergreens… and more simply in a lone wild powder- pink rose…renewal, rejuvenation, restoration, wonderment, unfolding, O manicured jungle wilds smack in the middle of the most powerful and concrete city on this planet. Marvelous! An explosively beautiful series of circumstances and panoramas to explore the outer and inner worlds of conscious creation. One discovers the Goddess in every turn and airy open space, in every stone carving of the hundreds of pristine tunnel bas reliefs…where I go to transform the weekday-working madness. To decompress. To bless. 

Sirens. Black magician, circling Bethesda Fountain, swearing and muttering madness-curses, scaring away all the pink innocent children; shuttering silhouettes in the darkness shadows in questionable gazebos circling the park’s rowing lake where evil deeds have ended lives and rosy dreams; peering into hiding-bushes to discover ragged hungry homeless men and women… and running paths where (mostly) women could not outrun horrendous morbid destinies and all the misdeeds concealed, which we will never know. Central Park is my healing oasis, my only constant commune with Mother Nature, my citified-life’s holy saving grace. I am aware however, that just as in life, there is an unapproachable underbelly I occasionally confront face-to-face but more often just hear about and shudder. The high-pitched ambulance sirens ferrying pedestrians and/or stricken bleeding bikers who day-dreamed, earlier that day, of evening plans which never were fulfilled – this park, so many things to so many people. OM may I cast no shadow in the darkness cracks… but herein fill myself with healing Light in the sweetness early morning rain, in frigid snow-scapes which break the spines of evergreens, snapping them in two like twigs in young boys’ hands. Also in those perfect days, of which there are so many, like today, where I infuse myself with the breath of Spirit… each step a doorway to the new life I am creating in myself. So grateful I am for her sanctuary and her unending commitment to my personal wellness- to be where she spreads wide her soulful panoramas and adventure-Nature for one, for all to cherish. So it was here exactly one year ago I learned of my mother’s frightful diagnosis, for one who had rarely been ill, and the time that she had left. I walked for hours in a dream I could not escape. My only consolation, understanding and accepting that this, all of this, is life. And death. And life. 

I wanted to get out of my apartment at The Century, 62nd Street and Central Park West - facing east towards the park’s majesty emerald mounds, yes, to dash into her resplendent morning ventures, this Independence Day, soon as possible, for I knew I would find peace and many vivid off-color characters, and spots with ever stronger magnetic pulls - directly “down” into the Earth’s iron core crystal center. So just as I “pulled” energy down into my crown from the magical Labradorite (imagine the dancing Northern Lights) sky, so too I centered my healing stance and prance to reach down with my consciousness, down, down, down, as far as Gaia’s elephant-leg sized roots, to will the grounding energy of her up into my earthstar chakra and on up through my spinal segments, to fountain-like exploding rainbow fireworks splashing snow white Light throughout my many subtle bodies. Soon, as I reached The Sheep’s Meadow, I pulled off my shoes and anklets only to find the cropped grass soggy and wet. Shoes back on, I traveled the narrow corridor of Morning Glory Lane, a peaceful passageway wearing bursting bright pink morning glories and deeply royal purple plumes to match, where today I saw a lone cosmic white morning glory flower, something of a miracle I’d never seen before. “Wake Up,” they sing! “Wake Up, to stir the newfound day.” Coming out the other side of the tall friendly bushes, I could see the band-shell in the near distance and strikingly dressed players in high heal roller blades strutting and puffing up like urban roosters while weaving between empty beer cans, lined up a quarter mile, snaking towards the park’s Poet Walk, with Pink Floyd blasting anthems for the bladers to spur this day’s athletic competition… with a splash of wild cherry windblown “blessings” (the sweet shimmering small dried flowers that, but a week ago, lived and breathed in the thinning arms of trees). My granddaughter Bee and I call them blessings, the sheer dried petals whirling willy nilly, carried down from the raining heavens. Now. Running head on into some juicy outfits, I had to snap the irreverent scenes. Cordially, I asked each proud persona if I could snap him or her with my iPhone - and finding that not only was this OK but such delight did each photo subject find in his/her photo, they cooed, they chuckled, they offered smiles of encouragement and good cheer to rouse me on. Amid the rattled high-top skate-boarders. The ivory-draped petite Japanese newly-weds who take ten thousand photo ops each day. The long line of dedicated (in memory of) carved wooden benches giving refuge to breast-feeding mothers, tots eating red white and blue torpedo ices, old men playing chess, young men changing diapers and solar-powered super extra-large diaphanous dragon flies darting with the speed of light between the veils of infinitely shifting dimensions. 

 Next I spied from about 100 yards, a barefoot hatha yoga class - on the moist grass just into Central Park near 67th street - with a major touch of Kundalini yoga in how long the yogis and yoginis held each pose. I witnessed The Tree Pose, a personal favorite. Raise left foot and place on right inner thigh, stand straight, maintaining balance through visualizing “the roots” of your body growing down through your right leg to anchor you. Breathe deeply for five counts. Switch legs. To the right. To the left. Those who held their balance through this arduous series of poses struck a bit of envy in my raw emotional body, as my balance is the last major foundational block that seems slowly to be returning, after a broken pinky toe, with great discipline and full commitment to getting back my healthy stride. In fact, I am seeking all and any “conscious exercise programs” to commit to restoring so much physical prowess I have lost in recent years. And as I grow stronger, I become lighter and more willing to entertain possibilities that I’m not right, with regard to anything I may contemplate, or options that I hadn’t thought possible, for good or for bad. Opening to the songs of life. 

It’s one year in the circling, like the seasons’ processions of the equinox. Walking with my brother, daughter Jo and Anna, mom’s care-giver down the circle-steps to the 79th street boat basin bathing in the July mid-summer heat. Sunrays beaming off the gentle waves of the Hudson River, a symphony of light. Carrying a metal box of my mother’s ashes. True to her Scorpio sign she wanted scattering in a watery domain where she could carry herself far and wide and deep and high, among the rippling tides, the never ending tides’ flow and ebb, where life itself unwinds. Relaxing in the aftermath of a life well-lived, unmarking her new territory in utter breathless freedom. Arriving at a spot on the walkway right above where the boats are moored, we checked our privacy, not to be undone in our appointed mission. Opening the metal box with meticulous care and love, my bro deferred to daughter to inaugurate our proceedings. With no thought of heebie jeebies, Jo reached into the remains and gathered a strong handful of mom, lifted her arm to the sun and holy water to cast the dust so far and wide, disappearing with no trace. Next, I simply had to follow suit. Wondering if the fine ash matter would lodge under my fingernails to travel to my bloodstream? But in a split second it was gone, the handful of my mother. While a serious matter, we joked and made light. Not to be too serious. Where one day we would be, as generations follow in the mystery to recognize eternity in the cycle. 

 I strolled home through the park. Winding. Unwinding. Trying to find the balance. I could already feel autumn in the hot arid breeze. Don’t ask me how I recognize the seasons yet to come. I know them like my heart. I recall with love and wonder how in mid-May she lifted up her Spirit to embark on her soul journey, everlasting, out the still-life hospital window. I remember how she tried to make up for lost time, telling me every day, “I love you.” Here I am today, recalling only the good and life-loving of her. Happy. Sad. Sirens of my heart. Beating steady, as this is still my time. Treasuring my family line. Transcending the ordinary. In the same while, knowing…the ordinary is magical and resplendent. As it ever IS. Awomen. 

 cherry 7/2015

 Cleopatra's Needle, Central Park 7/2015
Photo by Cherry Cohen

All Photos Below
by Linda Cohen
Central Park, July 2015



Tree Pose


Flower of Life

Black Magician

Bee Bas Relief

Park Boat House

Mountain Lion


Angel of the Waters



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