The best place I ever found to write was in New York City’s Grand Central Station. Seems strange, I know, but I spent countless hours during my college years, sitting on the cool marble floor of that beautiful building, back pressed against the wall, writing page after page as the bustling crowds passed by and never even seemed to notice me.
The thing about writing in Grand Central Station is that there is never an uninspired moment. Trains arrive and depart, crowds swell and taper, announcements echo through the speakers. An endless parade of potential characters plays out an impromptu performance that moves and changes with a life of its own.
There, in that space, I never seemed to have trouble tapping into something greater than myself. Call it God, the Universe, a muse, or even just inspiration—whatever name you want to give it, that’s where I found it, my own tiny corner of calm in the chaos. It was there that I lost myself, that I found myself. It was there that I found the courage to keep going.
New York will always be the city that saved my life.
There, on that dirty floor of the train station, my pen would fly across the empty pages on its own, filling the void with words and ideas from a place that I never even knew existed.
I’ve never found another sacred space to write quite like it. These days, I try to find space to write everywhere I can. It doesn’t always work, but when it does, it’s magic.
And now that I’m finally feeling like the dust has begun to settle in my life, I’ve been able to create that space I need, that space that has been void from my life for too long as I focused WAY too much time and energy on everything but my writing and my family and myself.
I wrote pages today–pages–filling in one of the many holes that has been gaping in my memoir for far too long.
And it felt so fucking good.
And I’m finally starting to believe that it’s true–maybe God has to slam a door shut on us every now an then, because He knows it’s one we will never shut ourselves whether we’re too afraid, or too distracted, or we feel like we’ve already gone so far and we’re too invested.
So He trips you up and kicks your legs out from beneath you and He slams the door and locks it. And He makes you pick yourself up and dust yourself off and breathe as you gaze around in confusion and wonder at all the possibilities and opportunities that were right there in front of you the whole time, things you never would have taken the time to notice because you were too busy sprinting for that door with your blinders on, ignoring all the whistles and sirens and red flag warnings as you blew right on by them.
But all is right with the world again, and I’m excited for this new chapter because I know something really amazing is going to come out of it. I’ve got a story to write and a pen in my hand and when I close my eyes I’m channeling Grand Central Station. And I’ll keep writing, keep writing, keep writing because that’s what I do, and it’s never failed me.
Always a great place to photograph. Thank you for your addition.
Thank you Tim. Unfortunately, the only photo I could dig up for the post was this one I snapped quickly with my iPhone. I just popped over to your site. Beautiful work!
You’re welcome. Sometimes that one single image can trigger nice memories. True in this case.
Lori, thank you for wandering around my blog and then deciding to follow it. That is much appreciated.