what can only be hinted at with words

There was a point when I turned a corner and laid my eyes on Georgia O’Keefe, and I stopped in a door frame, not stepping any closer. Blocking museum goers, I inhaled as for perfume, as for steaming food, and then I cried – that quiet feeling of recognition, something of earth and death and sex and God.

I left and told Seth it was one of the best days of my life, that I wanted to move to New York City.

We walked together through a million people, up one mighty tower of Babel, and we looked down at one kingdom, and one beautifully landscaped park. We ate hailed cupcakes and weren’t all that impressed. The lights stimulated and then numbed. Sometimes that’s exactly what I want. In New York, I was his. I was mine.

I walked and walked and walked and touched shoulders with hundreds of home places, languages the music God loves. I sat next to two bawling men who held each other, and together we watched the Jets and the Sharks remind us of one of the oldest fights. We left and said, let’s love each other better than that.

I ate a most beautiful sandwich, perfect, the size of my head. I dined in atmosphere provided in dreams. I saw exquisite leftovers passed out to street-sleepers.

And then I woke the third day, and I wished for a cow pasture and a pine thicket. I could do without another pigeon threatening my airspace, my hair. I could do without a few unfortunate fashion whims that claimed the streets.

Welcome me home free water, clean open air, the boys and their many fingerprints, the 10-year-used King bed. I am glad to be home, in the art that is truest to me.

About me


Amy at Never-True Tales
Reply June 22, 2010

Wow, I could have written this about NY...and returning home. I haven't been for several years though, and I do need my city fix.

Kelly Langner Sauer
Reply June 22, 2010

Amber, this is so cool. I always get overwhelmed with the recounting of things - I will have to remember this "hinting-at-things."

To Think Is To Create
Reply June 22, 2010

When I moved to the South my soul finally breathed a sigh of relief as I brought it home.

So glad you had such a time!

Reply June 22, 2010

I love vacationing, and then realizing that my heart really is at home-- always has been. :)

Reply June 22, 2010

I was just in NYC last month. This is something of what I experienced too, only I retold it in a much less poetic way. :)

Reply June 22, 2010

i want to write several of your sentences above and tell you how they moved me, but then the next one jumps out and i feel, so suffice to say this was so beautifully written. i can't even imagine being an artist in nyc.
but i can imagine exactly what it's like to return home, where the true art is.

Reply June 22, 2010

Seriously, Amber. You write a vacay recap, and all I can do is shake my head and go "how does she do that? how does she turn a recap of a NYC trip into something so dang gorgeous & inspirational?". You're amazing. Just so you know.

Also? Just a leeetle further north, and I would've tracked you down, given you a big ole bear hug.

Reply June 22, 2010

SO, when I was in Chicago I went to the Art Museum everyday. By myself. I cried, but not over Georgia O Keefe. I cried for Monet and Pollock and decided to hate Picasso.
A homeless guy chased me.
The end.
Thanks for bringing back memories for me!

Tammy@If Meadows speak...
Reply June 22, 2010

I so get this! I too loved New York but by day 3 or 4, I longed for the wide open country roads of Texas. And for spaces where sky and pasture collided as far the eye could see. It was fun to hop subways, pizzeria pit stops, international melding spots, Rockfeller center and on it went but it had an expiration limit. Unfortunately, or fortunately I don't know, it had a very short one.

laura@life overseas
Reply June 22, 2010

I love the way you captured your NYC experience! I totally relate to that feeling of wanting to just be "home". In your own space, with the freedom that comes from being where you feel most comfortable. Honestly, I am struggling a bit with that concept right now. Wanting to "go home" to America, but trying desperately what it means to choose Jesus in the sewage-smelling, fish-everywhere, orphan-and-sex-industry-laden Asian land. All that to say, I identify with you.

Welcome home.

Jane Anne
Reply June 22, 2010

There's nothing like being at home. This is a good reminder to me that home is a great place of comfort and refuge. I live in a small, rural town in Oregon and I long to travel. Glad you had a great trip and glad that you came home appreciating the beauty of home.

Reply June 22, 2010

I am glad that you were longing for home Amber. I've walked those city streets many times and always, always long for peaceful country roads and home.
It is fun for a few days though!!

Ann Voskamp
Reply June 22, 2010

It's your art that makes me cry, recognized and hungry for more.

Kelly @ Love Well
Reply June 22, 2010

True art. Yes. The place God plants us and says "Grow here, child." When we bear fruit out of that, it's the best kind of art.

Could be NYC. Could be Africa. Could be a tiny rock house. Location isn't as important as our heart.

Reply June 23, 2010

Simply beautiful. I so love your words.

Reply June 23, 2010

Wow! You are amazing! You put me right in there with you!

I live outside Chicago. Born & raised. But I do not belong here. I long for clean open air, green earth, space & peace!

Have a great day :)

Adventures In Babywearing
Reply June 23, 2010

Serious tears. As I walked in Chicago last night, perfect summer eve, yet when I came home, I was home. Such a fabulous post, Amber. Love it so much.


Reply June 24, 2010

Gorgeous and breath-taking . . . always.

Lisa-Jo @thegypsymama
Reply June 24, 2010

I missed you. When you were walking those streets and me, driving past your pastures.

I missed you.

Amy Mitchell
Reply June 25, 2010

So glad you had a great time. I was actually in West Side Story. I was "Anybodys" the little chick that wanted to be a Jet. ;)

Elizabeth (@claritychaos)
Reply June 25, 2010

I keep coming back to this post. It resonates so clearly.

Liz Bruns
Reply June 29, 2010

I love the way you describe New York. So glad you had a great time! I can't wait to hear more about your trip. Was that Ethiopian food in that picture? Hope to get together again soon!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *