In point of fact, I've been exploring this terrain for over a year, but I finally seem to be getting somewhere which must be Thing of Beauty #56-101 (Explore Beauty - a challenge at realia). Exploring Ft. Tyron Park which is in Gigi's neighborhood has been central to my progress. I've discovered a lovely little glade at the top of the hill and the Heather Garden. The Heather Garden is between the subway stop and the Cloisters Museum. The glade is on the other side of the museum, which is actually closer to home for me, and between the garden and the glade is a particularly comfortable bar at a restaurant called The New Leaf.
You'd hardly know you were in the city at all, and this summer they're making a blackberry margarita filled with smushed fresh blackberries. It's practically a smoothie. The Heather Garden is very peaceful because nothing this far uptown is crowded. I first went there because I needed to cure the essence Gwendolyn Holden Barry, the blender at Ancestor Aromachologie, made using earth I collected from the yard of the house where I lived when I was 15. I got to mix up a bit for myself using the mother tincture she blended, and then she told me to sit in the sun for a while holding the essence and thinking about my healthy self and my healed shoulder and stuff like that. It's a soothing meditative experience, especially in the garden.
Here's the garden:
I wasn't even trying to take a picture of the butterflies. They play there all the time. But I do think I'm going to paint my new bedroom the color of those flowers. The walk up the hill to the garden is pretty amazing too - almost like walking on a road to a medieval castle since the tower of The Cloisters shows through the trees. The city keeps Ft. Tyron park nicely maintained so once you get used to the idea that it's a little isolated except for the gardeners, it's a very pleasant walk.
A couple of weeks ago, Gigi went with me so I would learn the way, and the first time I walked it by myself, I was surprised to find that the the sidewalk is close to the parking lot of The Cloisters the whole time. I was also surprised to be greeted by this tour bus:
Here's the view of the river through the trees. Between the shade and the wind off the river, it's cool even when the weather is hot and steamy like it was last week.
With all this meditating on healing in this kind of scenery, my exile in Inwood is going very well. I have to say, too, that although the book Mr. Wisdom suggested, Car by Harry Crews, was very disturbing in many ways, it wound up facilitating my healing because I realized the reason I was most disturbed was because I strongly identified with the little girls in the book who had been crushed to death in bloody accidents. Once I realized that reading the book had activated a connection to my Wounded Child archetypal energy, I figured out that I was looking for some kind of corrective experience with Mr. Wisdom whose own archetypal energy is very much Father. He's the only man I ever dated who radiated Father archetype. Vampire I was very familiar with from that dang Narcissist. Caroline Myss says in Spiritual Alchemy (and in Sacred Contracts, too, I think) that our personalities are a combination of about 12 archetypes, and all of us have Prostitute, Victim, Saboteur and Child (Wounded, Orphaned, Magical or the Nature Child).
I figure I was wounded in real life with the original trauma in early childhood, and then by the time of that episode with my uncle (who is now my aunt) when I was 15, the Wounded Child became fully Victim. As it happens, the earth Gwendolyn used in the Essence of Tricia came from the house where my family lived when that episode occurred so it's particularly useful when it comes to restoring myself to my Self. There's another Thing of Beauty for you (#57-101) the kind of healing where Emotional Led turns to Spiritual Gold.
Another thing I realized from reading that book by Harry Crews is that it's too bad for Mr. Wisdom that he's still stuck in a car wreck when I'm living at the intersection of Real Life and Fairy Tale. I continue to believe it's significant, however, that I chose to establish a relationship with a man who is, for all practical purposes, a box. My current contemplative life style has convinced me that I haven't been ready for a relationship for years - which is why none of the men have ever made it beyond the periphery of the Triciasphere. As it happens, Mr. Wisdom is the only one who made it as far as Cafe Luxembourg, which has been my most favorite Safe House in New York. Maybe one day, I'll let someone in as far as New Leaf. It's really great right now because there are thousands of lightning bugs in the park at dusk. So far, I've only been there with Gigi.
For now, I'm sticking with my policy of not even thinking about a man in my life until I'm settled in my new place which should be sometime in early August if things continue to progress steadily. I have a feeling that I'm not going to be clear about the man thing until the leaves start to change. I may have been focusing my energy on dating and a relationship for some years now, but I'm pretty sure that I've chosen unavailable men for the very reason that I don't want a man in my life really. I like to feel attractive, and I like to be admired - but I don't like the idea of someone actually IN my life. It all goes back to Buzz Kill, of course. Now I realize that he and his camel toe were probably just as oppressed by that marriage as I was.
It's a good thing I spent all that time in the rental apartment on West 156th Street studying my shadow. In a Jungian, archetypal sense, it's facilitated both my healing and my quest to understand just WTF I'm doing with my Self - and it's also good because Peter Pan is one of my favorite stories anyway. Unlike Peter, however, I never once lost my shadow. I've taken a good look at it and found that it's not a bit scary at all. In fact, Shadows are what you get when you find your Self standing in the Light.