Putting Things Into Perspective…

Outside the skating rink at Bryant Park

Outside the skating rink at Bryant Park

I was going to do a writing post this week about how important it is to be in the right place at the right time. Imagine if you wrote a great book, sent it to an agent who just happened to be looking for that genre and wanted something fresh and new. Imagine if he picked it up, read it and got excited, then had lunch with an editor at a big house that day who happened to be looking for a new voice… and it morphed from there.

Imagine you tweet and post to Facebook and all your thousands of followers actually see it, not the small amount that ekes through. I imagine all sorts of things about my writing and then something happens that takes all this and reduces it to mere folly. Why? Because real life can crash through this dream-world and put all of it into perspective.

Fountain at Bryant Park

Fountain at Bryant Park

Last night I was in NYC with my husband and friends. We saw a show, had dinner and then walked around Bryant Park. It’s this beautiful park right behind the NYC Library. In the summer people lay out on the green lawn, musicians play and it’s just so nice. In the winter they set up vendor stalls and a huge skating rink. I sat out with my friends near the rink and the fountain and we had hot chocolate and hot apple cider. (Trivia: That is the same fountain in the opening credits of the TV Show Friends where they’re playing on a couch in the water)

At 10:30pm we left the park to get our car and then at 11:00pm someone opened fire on the skating rink. People got hurt. WHAT? It had been the most idyllic, lovely evening. Cops were everywhere. You felt safe. For us: Right place at the right time.

Then, we got our car and were trying to leave the lot when the crowds from the Broadway Shows converged to get their cars, too. It became absolute pandemonium in this very tight garage – there were hundreds of people, angry people, and no one could get out. But we already had our car and were in the queue to leave (if the people would just move, which most selfishly didn’t.) If we can’t get our cars out of the lot, there’s no room to bring their cars UP from the lower garage. Reason is lost on mob mentality. Still, we were ahead of the game. Had we been on that line trying to get our vehicle, we would have been waiting hours. Again: Right place at the right time.

We were very lucky last night. Fortunate we didn’t get involved in the sadness in Bryant Park, fortunate we didn’t get into the numerous fights I’m sure happened in that garage. Fortunate that while it still took us an additional nearly forty minutes to cross town (2 miles) to get on the bridge, we got home safely.

I need to remember things like this if I ever get frustrated in other areas of my life. I have to remember that life is fragile and while I want my writing career to explode, I’m a very lucky person. I’m healthy, my family is healthy, and I have another day to look forward to. Other people are not given that gift, simply because they are not on this earth any longer.

My perspective for the day.

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6 thoughts on “Putting Things Into Perspective…

  1. Elyse, what a shocking experience! My kids and I were recently part of a similar event. As it turns out, we were in the same store as a gunman. Here is our story: http://ediblefacial.com/2013/11/05/on-gunshots-unity-and-the-state-of-our-country/ We write stories, then we live stories. Sadly, some people die in those stories. Then the life itself becomes a story. Perspective, as you say, is everything. Happy to hear you are alright. xo

  2. So good to keep things in perspective, such a great reminder, thank you. I was feeling this same way when I turned on the news this morning and saw the devastation in the Phillipines. Thankful for all blessings in my life right now.

  3. First, you, Steve and friends were very lucky. Perspective is an interesting thing. Back in 1968 I was stationed in Pearl Harbor. We were out on K (I think that was it) Pier, the closest one to the Arizona Memorial. Some of us not on liberty were sitting on the fantail (back of the ship) goofing around and we realized, some of guys who are serving now, their fathers were aboard that ship. I told my dad about it and that’s when I learned, his ship had left port from Hawaii early that morning and had just made it almost to the other side of the island. His ship had been next to the Arizona that morning. If they’d not left, it would have been the ship he was on that got hit. I wouldn’t be here or at least, not have him as a father since my parents weren’t married at that time. Now, remember the moment and in something you write in the future, use it. You have the emotions of the moment to use.

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