Wednesday, January 28, 2015

But when it works

I read this via the ever excellent Meg Fee, who always manages to pluck out just the right words whenever I need them - this is a snippet from an essay by Rachel Syme, which after some snooping I found is in 'Never Can Say Goodbye: Writers on Their Unshakeable Love for New York'.

As a friend was moving away, he told me he wanted to go somewhere where he can still build things.  "What," he asked, "am I building in New York?" I didn't know what to tell him then, but this is what I would tell him now. 

In New York, you are demanded to build yourself. The environment calls for it. You build on pure speculation, a foundation up from the salty bedrock built upon something that was there before, as many stories high as you want to go, as fast as you can get there. It is possible to fail, possible to outpace yourself, to not turn a profit, to remain empty inside with your lights still blazing for show. But when it works, what you build becomes a beacon. Here is our poetry. Here are the stars bending to our will. Here we are touching them.


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