Saturday, July 31, 2010

beat 121 - graceful

"My heart dances between fear and fearlessness, always with a subtle nod to compassion. I hope."

-Lilli Ross

Friday, July 30, 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

beat 119 - kinship

"My heart is Brendan, Sabrina, Vanna and Olivia. My heart is love."

-Jackie Bellantoni, Valhalla, NY
wife, mother, grandmother

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

beat 118 - colored

"My heart flutters ferociously.
My heart is made up of thousands and thousands of little butterflies. One day, they will flutter all over the world, spreading the colors of love and joy into the darkest pockets of humanity's prejudice and greed.
A quote from my mentor:
Life is painful. It has thorns, like the stem of a rose. Culture and art are the roses that bloom on the stem. The flower is yourself, your humanity. Art is the liberation of the humanity inside yourself. -Daisaku Ikeda"

-Yvonne Ng, Singapore

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

beat 117 - new

"I am in love. For the first time ever, I am in love. And it feels so good. At first I wondered, how do I know this is really love? But my heart skipped some beats, that was it's way of telling me to wake up and accept it. It's love. I come from Haiti, and there we don't play games. We love someone, we tell them. Here people are jealous and hate filled. There's no time for that. If you love, love. Go tell that girl you love her. Or you might miss out. But not me, I wont miss out. I love this beautiful girl and I'm gonna love her until my heart stops."

- Jean Jeanlouis, Queens, NY
New York City taxi driver

Monday, July 26, 2010

beat 116 - shared

-My name is Raymond Valentine but I changed it to Sharing and Caring because I share everything I have with everybody and I care about everybody, NYC

*a very special thanks to Michele Vakiener for going out of her way to talk to Mr. Valentine*

Sunday, July 25, 2010

beat 115 - happiness

"I have a pure heart. I don't know how I do it but I do. I make people happy. That's what I was born to do. I love watching little kids dancing to my music, going crazy. A lot of people they have a bad day, their girlfriend left them, their family don't want to be bothered with them but when they get off the train, they're coming up them steps, breathing hard, I'm right there. Making them happy. It's a gift from God."

-Charles, aka Crazy Beats, NYC
Street performer

Saturday, July 24, 2010

beat 114 - searching

"I was raised by my mom, my dad was always in my life but things were a little rough around the edges. I was always playing sports, my mom was the one at every single game while my dad was the coach. He was always hard on me, always wanted me to be the best. My mom was always there to support me, she always understood what I was dealing with and going through. Which was really important to creating who I am. Now-a-days I wander around, I have some amazing friends. Like that kid over there, Jake. His my best friend, we grew up together. A lot of the good decisions I made in life were because of him. A lot of the bad decisions he made were because of me. So, basically I wander around the whole country, having fun all the time, but always looking for a girl exactly like my mom. I would marry my mom if I could. So, I wander around, sometimes with the wrong head, but I'm just looking for a girl exactly like my mom. That's my heart."

-Chris Proctor, Big Bear Lake, CA
Student/football player at the US Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland

Friday, July 23, 2010

beat 113 - recognized

"I love 5 things in life, really, really love 5 things: singing, dancing, acting, dogs and my family. And I mean all of my family."

-Ali, 5th grader

Thursday, July 22, 2010

beat 112 - loving

"My heart, you cannot contain it. I like people. I've never been in a relationship. Ever. Because there are so many people out there, I just want to love everybody. Why do you have to like one person forever? Who made these rules? Why is it I can not like 5 people? Or 20? Cause that's how I feel. I like people. Love them. It's not sexual, it's just about liking, and loving a lot of people for all different reasons. I find the great in everybody."

- Ariel Tweto, LA, CA
48 Below, reality show

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

beat 111 - taken

"I grew up in Kentucky but I've been living in Farmingdale, Long Island for 53 years. The same amount of time I've been married to my husband. The same amount of time my heart's been stolen."

-Harriet, Farmingdale, NY
Supervisor of photo shoots at Old Westbury Gardens

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

beat 110 - fresh

"I love animals. All animals. I have a mini hamster named Heidi, she just had babies. They make me sooooooo happy. But I love all kinds of animals and I love taking care of them."

-Alexa, 4th grader

Monday, July 19, 2010

beat 109 - empathetic

"Whenever I have the chance to make a wish, like before blowing out candles on a birthday cake or on a shooting star or on a penny turned heads up on the sidewalk, I always wish for an end to the suffering in the world, always. My heart often feels heavy knowing there are beings whose hearts will never know happiness, comfort or equality. There is however a lot of happiness and light in my heart."

-Jenny McLaughlin, Brooklyn, NY

Sunday, July 18, 2010

beat 108 - caring

"My heart is caring. Too caring. I think I care for everyone unfortunately. Because some people you shouldn't care about and some people no matter how much you care and try, you cannot do anything to help. So it's unfortunate because I care and then its sad."

-Emmelyn Quinn, NYC
actress, waitress

Saturday, July 17, 2010

beat 107 - black

"My heart is filled with charcoal."

-Trisha Lobo, Hoboken, NJ
teacher, world traveler

Friday, July 16, 2010

beat 106 - unconditional

"My heart is happiest when I'm with my little boy. Unconditional love and happiness. Even when he's screaming his head off."

-Bryan Goulart, Brooklyn, NY
Photographer, digital tech, father to Hudson

Thursday, July 15, 2010

beat 105 - absent

My heart's in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer.
(Robert Burns, 1789)

Dan Bailey, Brooklyn, NY

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

beat 104 - confess

"Sometimes my heart reveals the secrets my mind wants to keep."

-James Burger, Brooklyn, NY
Photo assistant

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

beat 103 - lyrical

"My heart is like everyone else's heart, it's been through a lot. Every year or two it skips a few beats and scares me, reminding me that I wont be here forever. I miss people, I love people, I hate people...I hope they all will forgive me."

Slippery Slope:
hang on the slippery slope
your sliding down into your lust for pain
not again
railroads from here to there
bring lost and stolen hearts here for the mend
a tragic end

and when you wake he's gone
so much for the nice love song
love has always been a bit of pain

he held her and she believed
and fell asleep for the first time content
and off he went
down goes the slippery slope
when she awoke, oh what a joke its gone
her brand new heart

tossed up with the rest
he left his by the bed
love has always been a little game
your wasting time again
its not the only way to get to the park
don't go after dark

"Slippery Slope" was a poem I wrote when I was 19. It was realized 10 years later as a song for the Wicked Hemlocks

-Ned Shatzer, NYC

Monday, July 12, 2010

beat 102 - peace

"I'm happiest where it's warm. Sitting here by the shore, listening to the water coming in, this is heaven. There's nothing like it."

-Joe Gianta, Arizona

Sunday, July 11, 2010

beat 101 - damaged

"my heart is broken. I bet you hear that all the time. But that's the first thing to come into my mind. It's broken because I'm lonely."

-Elyse, Harrison, NY
Waitress, Gus's Restaurant

Saturday, July 10, 2010

beat 100 - sincere

"my heart. oh my god, my heart.

my heart feels everything. everything. it's like a sponge, soaking up all the highs and lows and triumphs and tragedies of the world.

it hurts a lot, my heart. but it swells a lot, too.

it feels it all, this heart of mine.

my eyes get teary and my face goes red--the physical, visual manifestations of what my heart is experiencing--when i hear a certain song--it could be from 'the sundays' or mozart or 'm.ward' or an opera aria or 'the brian jonestown massacre'--, when i read a sentence in a beloved, dogeared book (the catcher in the rye, written on the body, elegy, sophie's choice...), when i see a gorgeous flower bursting with color, when i see the cambodian sunrise over the verdant, green rice paddies, when i smell apple pie baking and it conjures up memories of my mom.

i can feel my heart melting--drip, drip, drip--when my nephew hugs me, when a cambodian child squeaks, "hello! hello! hello!" at me when i ride by on my bike, when i touch my friend lisa's ever growing belly, her baby safely and warmly tucked inside.

my heart shatters into thousands of shards when i recall in my mom's last moments how she struggled to kiss me--and she did it!, when i see the gravestone of my never forgotten but long gone sister, when i look at my now ringless wedding finger. crack!, it echoes. crrrrrrack!

this heart freezes solid when i am faced with judgmental people and snobbery and elitism and racism and homophobia. it's icy cold and makes me shiver.

it pounds loudly from kisses, from sincere and real hugs, from emails and correspondence from people i adore, from gratitude.

i once felt it flip upside down and inside out from simply looking at someone right in the eyes.

oh, this heart of mine.

it feels, it feels."

-Elizabeth Kiester, Siem Reap, Cambodia


Friday, July 9, 2010

beat 99 - guiding

"Let your heart guide you. It whispers, so listen closely."

-David Leibowitz, Forest Hills, NY
Print Production, Delias Inc

Thursday, July 8, 2010

beat 98 - clarity

"Something I read when I was trying to make a big decision recently. It clearly led me in the right direction:
I only know that, as the hero of my own story, it's for me to find out. I'll know soon enough where following my own feet has landed me on this curious venture. The blissful frailty of unwritten conclusions and unguarded access sweetens the desire. So despite familiar warnings, irresistible promise draws my eyes wide open and away from domestic comfort zones, with only certain inquiry, hope and faith to recommend my course. I'll never know until I try."

-Heather Pizzarello, Philadelphia, PA
Buyer, Anthropologie

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

beat 97 - melancolic

"j ai bien reflechi a la question et la je me suis rendu compte qu une question aussi simple pouvez etre boulversante et difficile a repondre tu doit savoir que je suis plutot d une nature melancolique et que je n aborde jamais les choses avec tranquilite je ne pense etre une personne torture mais voila je fais de mon mieux et cela se transforme en bouquet ;les fleurs sont un peu un refuge depuis mon enfance depuis la naissance de mon coeur car c est le debut de la reponse donc tu peux compter sur moi pour ajouter ma presence sur son blog, je developperai en restant le plus simple possible et voila et comme chaque chose qui se dise ou se fait vous etes deja sur mon coeur."

-Thierry Boutemy, Brussels, Belgium


very rough translation:

"I thought about it fully and u realized that a so simple question could also be distressing (or moving) and difficult to answer, you most know that I am a rather melancolic natures and that I never abord things with tranquility, I don’t believe that I am a tortured person but I do my best and that translates into a bouquet: the flowers are a little bit my refuge since my childhood since the birth of my heart because that’s the beginning of my answer so you can rely on me to add my presence on her blog, I will develop by staying the simplest possible and voila and like every thing that says or made you are already in my heart."

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

beat 96 - virtuous

"My heart is passionate and genuine. But people don't usually get to see that because of my tattoos. They judge through my tattoos. I enjoy my "tatts" as I love when I have people either move closer or move away in an elevator. It is eye opening to their possible life outlook."

-Andrew Deady, Chicago, now living in NYC
Student at SVA

Monday, July 5, 2010

beat 95 - belief

"For all the things I don't have right yet in my life, I know God gave me a wonderful heart."

-Karen, Carmel, NY
Nail Technician

Sunday, July 4, 2010

beat 94 - solid

"For so long my heart was buried down deep in the dark abyss of fear and pain. Numbed out by alcohol, I found there to be little access, if any, to my heart. I lived each day under the clouded misdirection that if I kept my heart hidden and closed off to the world, there was no chance for me to be hurt. I was a lonely soul denying myself and anyone else any access to my heart. The problem with living in a self protected coat is that I ended up shutting myself off to the grace of God's light and the blessing of joy and happiness that comes with an open heart.
Today, I am one of the few fortunate individuals who has embraced a program of recovery. As I headed into the journey of recovery, I slowly begain to shed the protective gear of self centered dishonesty, false pride and fear. I learned that my power ended precisely where my fear began. I learned how to be vulnerable and take emotional risks. I began to feel comfortable in my own skin and each day my heart became more accessible to myself and others. Today I live my life with an open heart and can look in the mirror and be happy at the woman looking back at me. In good times and bad, I can find peace and serenity.
I recently lost the one true love of my life. She was the only person who I was able to love unconditionally with an open heart. Without the grace of sobriety, I would have used her untimely death as a reason to dive back into the darkness that had imprisoned me for so long. However, I know today that both of our hearts are at peace because we lived richer and more meaningful lives because we were not afraid to love one another freely.
So, as I reflect on the condition of my heart today, I feel peace and love. I know today that light always trumps the dark. I live with an open heart so that I am available for life today. When fear enters my soul and I contemplate going backwards, I look at the gifts of love and friendship that surround me and gain the courage to always move forward toward the light. I cannot go back and make a new beginning, but with an open heart, I can start today and make a brand new end."

-Kelly TIerney, Prospect, CT

Friday, July 2, 2010

beat 93 - memories

"Right now my heart is very sad. But I know that in life you must go forward and you always have the strength within you to do so. With loss, it's the glory of having them and the grief of losing them. So you hold on to the happy memories and move forward. And yes, my heart is sad, broken, but yet I am still happy - I am very fortunate. You mourn and grieve in your own way and your happy in your own way. Good memories my dear. Good memories of a lovely husband and a great, great son. It's about those memories...and your heart goes on."

-Dotti D'Angelo, Rye, NY

Thursday, July 1, 2010

beat 92 - wealth

"Because my heart has always felt love and been loved, I am love based. And for that I am fortunate beyond anything else. We all feel our hearts beat fast and racing when we see someone we love and I feel that is what keeps me going and finding more to love in life. I have 4 kids. I cannot afford them monetarily, but I can afford to give them love. So it will be ok."

-Rachna W., Queens, NY
Waitress, painter, mother

*I took this photo of her smoking a cigarette as I was waiting for my taxi driver to give me change for my fare. I got out and she smiled at me. I asked her if I could hear about her heart. She immediately teared up and spoke without thinking. now I wish I had a picture of her beautiful face...