Reminiscences for my Friends by Manatita

State Capitol, Austin

Source

Temple-Song-Hearts in Songs of The Soul, NY.

Source

Texas

It was a joy for me to visit Texas recently and to give social time to my loving younger Sister and family. I also got the opportunity to see my first Sister, whom I had not seen for 41 years. My Younger Sister, Laslyn (Mom called her that because she thought, unluckily, that she was going to be her last child. Anyway, she has stage 4 cancer, and so I devoted some quality time to be with her.

She is sociable and kind and empathetic and self-giving, just like mom; perhaps too much, in her current state of health, but there you are. When mom passed two years ago, my older Sister, Pearl, was in Houston, dealing with some immigration issues, and so she could not come for the funeral. Also, she was abroad on my first visit to Grenada in 1986 and so we missed each other then.


Texas as you guys know is huge and so is its road too. Everyone drives in Houston, but Austin – only 3 hours away – is different, cooler, bustling with life and full of vibrancy, like a flower. There are many youths there, and the University and campuses are buzzing.


The Library is huge and full of excellence and the State Capital building was full of tourist and pretty immaculate, too. In Austin we drove around and walked all day. In fact it was while there that my sister showed her first sign of illness. We had just climbed the steps to the first floor of the Library, when I suddenly missed her. I turned around, and saw her sitting down trying to recover. Those steps did take their toll!

Apart from spending a lot on doctors as in New York also, nothing much else happened but to spend quality time with my Sis, and so I travelled to NY on the 16th August, for the Sri Chinmoy August Celebrations Golden Jubilee, my main reason for travel.

Songs of The Soul, Skirball Center, NYU

Panchajanya's Orchestra
Panchajanya's Orchestra | Source

New York

I went to Manhattan only once and that was for our Songs of The Soul Concert. Following this I went to the Nuyorican café, to recite poetry, and left about 0130 hrs, I believe. Their style is very different from London. They really know how to enjoy themselves.


There was a bar and a DJ system and even a hired MC to entertain in between poems. They were also much bigger with lots of seats. There was a slam going on which I missed. These guys and girls were good but dealt in the mundane so I would not have stood a chance. I have found in London that my poetry is too sublime; too profound for many.

Mostly I was in an enclave in Jamaica; Queens, with 1100 – 1400 people just singing, meditating and praising God. We visited the Aspiration-Ground Temple from about 4a.m to 2400hrs, although functions ranged from 9 – midnight with breaks in between. Our sweet enclave is an epitome of beauty.


Originally a clay court, one would not think so now, as it is adorned with beautiful vases and pots of flowers. It also has pretty green overhanging trees, is full of fragrances and seems shut away from the mundane. It is a welcome oasis for peace and tranquillity. Every day we have different countries performing their songs, verbal and instrumentals, plays, videos, recitations... and we do have walking meditations also.

Well guys, enough for now. Needless to say I came away fully charged spiritually and raring to go and I’ve since answered many letters, written a few Hubs, and done a full weeks work. Welcome to the real world, Manatita! Wake UP! (Smile).

  • Manatita, Bard of Solace, 7th September, 2014

Skirball Center, NYU, 2014

Manhattan, NY

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22 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

I'm glad you had a good visit to the States. Never been to Manhattan...never been to Texas. I'll experience them vicariously through your travels. :)

blessings always

bill


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london Author

Thanks Bro.

You've beaten me to it. I was still editing. Anyway, of to see a play on the life of the mystic Rumi of Persia. Much peace this Sunday.


jhamann profile image

jhamann 2 years ago from Reno NV

What an adventure. How exciting to be at the Nuyorican Cafe a part of American Poetry History. I am so happy to hear you feel spiritually refreshed. Jamie


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

I spent five years working as a nurse in Houston. TX. New York sounds wonderful. Happy you enjoyed your visit. I am sorry to hear of your sister's illness. Many blessings to you both.


taiwokareem profile image

taiwokareem 2 years ago from Salford

thanks for sharing your experience on visiting Texas and NY. Never been there but i've heard reports US is a lively place to live. Take care bro


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london Author

Thank you, Jamie.

Yes, it was very lively and entertaining. A peaceful Sunday evening to you.

Ruby I really appreciate your sincere support. God bless your loving heart.

Taiwo, yes Bro, most definitely lively and noisy, too, at times. Glad you did not need the dictionary this time. (smile)


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS

What a great travel article!

I am deeply pleased that you found my state interesting. I agree that Austin and Houston have very different personalities - and climates. I worked in Houston half a year after I graduated from SMU here in Dallas. That was interrupted by my sister and her family's deaths 6 months later. But then I spent the next spring semester in Austin attending University of Texas, getting some graduate work and earning my lifetime Texas Teacher Certification.

I've never really disliked a Texas place, except that Abilene, where I finished High School and began college at Abilene Christian (now it's University, then it was College); and I admit that I found the incessant year-around wind a bit tiresome bitterly cold in the winter and fiercely hot in the summer. But it's a pleasant city otherwise.

Your stay in New York sounds pleasant too. I rather enjoyed my brief visit there in 1976.

I just regret that you weren't able to squeeze a stop in Dallas, but I fully understand why. There were many personal and family reasons for your U.S. visit having the precedence, but it would have been a delight to meet you. Perhaps another time!


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london Author

So sorry, my Dear. In fact you remind me that I was going to mention you in this Hub. I was rushing a bit. Went to see a play on the life of Rumi, the great Sufi Poet and Mystic.

Anyway, I really wanted to see you, too. Frankly, I still do not see how it can be done. There is one way, and that is, instead of my Sister to take me, I would need her husband as he is much stronger and fitter. Just always busy. The other thing I thought about is the possibility of some kind of train that will come straight to you.

Austin took three hours and you were still 120 miles away. In short, another two hours plus. Besides, I knew it would help for my sister to look around Austin, and so it proved. But then the time disappeared as one would expect.

Anyway, how is the hand? I guess that things are improving slowly. All my love to you Dear Nellieanna, and wishing you God's peace this morning (0044hrs) from the UK.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS

It's perfectly understandable. I understood at the time. I was honored that you wanted to come by! I know how out of your way it would have been. I'm just thankful you're home safely now!

From Houston to Austin and then from there to Dallas increases the miles. Actually from Houston straight to Dallas is 140 miles. That route is like the hypotenuse of the triangle formed by the legs Houston to Austin and Austin to Dallas. To me that did seem like it would represent a lot of extra miles for you, if you still were to come to Dallas to here from Austin after getting there from Houston. Most importantly, though - was spending the time with your sister! That was a major point of your visit!

I’m pleased for you that you had a good time seeing more of Austin together. It is a lovely city with a very individual personality. My George’s two granddaughters and his only great-grandchild live in Austin and vicinity. George, Jr. graduated from UT and I loved that semester I spent there. Times have changed a lot since then, of course. Even more change since my folks took me there from Del Rio for my ophthalmologist, Dr. Hillgartner, when I was very young till I was about 10. That ancient trip was 233 miles, - but in a Model T over narrow 2-lane roads, it was a full day’s sojourn! It was during that period which has been the only time I’ve actually climbed up to the top of the Capitol dome!

Thanks for inquiring. My CTS has improved significantly. About the only residues of it are tingling and slight numbness in the fingertips. I’ve had more focus on the rib bruise from the fall in the back yard, but it was about 2 weeks ago and the doctor says it could be expected to run its course in 3 or 4 weeks, so it shouldn’t last too much longer. It’s improved somewhat already, though was a bit of a challenge on the 500+ mile trip down - (doubled returning) - to and from the ranch over this past weekend in a big pickup truck. I did have to resort to a pain pill or two during the weekend. We went down on Saturday, did a day’s work that evening, went to Del Rio (100 miles) for the night, met with our more local helper Sunday morning and drove back to Dallas that afternoon. So it was a very busy 2 days, racking up over 1000 miles travel, the last 50 or so miles over rough rocky ranch roads. So was challenging, but a most productive trip, so well worth it. It’s part of recovery from mismanagement over the former couple of years, while I misplaced trust in an unscrupulous individual.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london Author

About the individual I understand. So much of life is like that now. Humanity has all but disappeared for many.

You seem to do the work of two or more people. How do you manage? Should you not be taking things easy? (smile).

Your reminiscences are better than my own and so good that you are familiar with Austin. Pretty vast, Texas. You need help.

Good news about the hand and careful about falling as the cold weather draws nigh for December. Did you see my poem here. let me know your thoughts.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london Author


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS

I guess I do manage a generous chunk of work and activity. It keeps me active and alive, perhaps. I'm terrible about wanting to do everything myself, "my way". haha -and as long as I can, why not?

My precious nephew was here visiting this afternoon and insisted on inspecting the area where I fell, so that possibly he could provide something to help me avoid it in the future. So he intends to put up a handrail on the brick side of the house along that path of the stepping blocks I use to reach the outdoor water faucet to turn it on and off. Needs the stepping stones because it can get muddy back there. It's close in behind a large japonica bush or two. He's so kind and dear. I know he'll do what he says. He's both a man of integrity and a really good Christian. He also went out from leaving here and came back with a balm for my aches; one which he's found quite effective, called Arnicare Gel. It's based on or derived from the herb arnica, which has long been used to treat bruises and such.

I'll be checking your poem and will let you know my thoughts, for sure!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS

Just a reply to your comment about my sad experience with that individual. It's sad that too many people seem to have lost the word, "decency" from their vocabularies and its concept from their guiding principles. But no doubt, it's not the first time in history its lack has become noticeable.

Principles seem to run in cycles a bit. Seems that after enough bad stuff goes on, humanity grows burdened by it and seems to pull itself up by its bootstraps and rediscover goodness and godliness, along with the initiative to put their principles into action. Perhaps it's on the verge of such a resurgence currently.

It's always a matter of individual willingness, in any time and place, though. There really are no mass movements without sufficient individual willingness, and for those individuals with it, it's become internalized; it's 'in there' in their hearts and beings, with or without the company of and support from others.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london Author

What a loving nephew! God is looking after you. Arnica I know and sometimes I use it as a medic in our races or for my fellow devotees. A handrail is an excellent idea.

Yes, we are on the verge of a resurgence. That's why the Godman or woman keeps coming. Their hearts are filled with God and pave the way for the Higher Light. Om Shanti! (I wish you deep peace within)


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS

Thank you! He really is a loving nephew and a godly person. He's my one brother's only son, so is the only direct descendant in our branch of the family who bears our family's surname.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london Author

Thank You, Nellieanna. Yes, I thought so. Loving thoughts.


vkwok profile image

vkwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

I'm glad you enjoyed your time in the United States, Manatita. Thanks for sharing!


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london Author

I appreciate this Victor. My sister was not her best so I am glad that I went. New York was just inspirational! Love and Light!


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 2 years ago from Canada

I'm enjoying listening to the concert, while reading your New York/Texas adventures. And I see all my friends are here! I've never been to New York, but have always been interested in what goes on there, and have at least one friend who is a New Yorker, and written stories about it. I have been to London though, way back in 1972/73. Just finished reading a novel about Victorian London (The Streets by Anthony Quinn) a couple of days ago. Nice to meet you.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london Author

How interesting! Good to meet you too, Snakeslane. My pleasure. Thanks for your great input and look forward to meeting you again.

Visit NY. Its full of vibrancy and light. Glad you like the video. Antony Quinn is one of my favourites. Loving thoughts.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

I wish I had known that you were in Texas. You were not far from me!


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london Author

Oh! I wondered if there was anyone else than Nellieanna. She was about 5-6 hrs drive away. I'll remember if I go again. Thanks Deb.

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