Sunday, May 11, 2008

Ode to the City

A myriad of lives reside here. With every walk of life the City buzzes with the energy of those living in their Park Avenue homes (while a house awaits them in the Hamptons) and those working 2 to 3 jobs with barely enough time to see their child to bed in between. There are representatives from virtually every corner of the globe, each creating its own pocket within the confines of these five Boroughs. Each one holds a special story, a tale of misfortune and luck, a story of love and loss, legends of faith and betrayal. Each charmed, if not at first, yet ultimately, by the City in which they dwell.
What could, to an outsider, seem difficult and too much hassle, the average New Yorker writes off as a small price to pay for the larger gains. Although seemingly different, they unite in their appreciation for what the City has to offer. And what I speak of is not the lights and noise that the herds that fill up 42nd Street on any given night may experience. It is not the expensive shops on 5th Avenue, the myriad of museums and cultural experiences, the endless options for food, the theatre and musical performances. It isn't even Lady Liberty in all her glory that distinguishes this City for those who call it home.
It is something much more meaningful. Something that breeds in the very fabric of its infrastructure, something easily overlooked by the visitors and superficial spectators.
It is in the man on the corner selling flowers who begins to know your name, your favorite restaurant that knows your order just by hearing your voice on the phone, the salon owner who sticks her head out the door as you walk by just to see how you are.
For within the masses and the craziness, the need to create a community begins to form. Out innate desire to connect and have witnesses to our lives begins to take precedence as we continue to interact with those in our immediate community. Slowly the large masses that surround us become more familiar. Friendships begin to form and we find ourselves connected to people and lives that we never imagined existed.
And in that connectedness, a deeper appreciation begins to form. A love and attachment that will never be replaced, for it was born out of true experience, out of feeling, and being.
And if you ever leave this place, it etches a memory on your heart that only you understand. No matter how you try and explain its validity to others it will only ever be felt by those who, like you, were once New Yorkers.


It's an incredibly beautiful world we live in. Filled with people who care. Care about the earth, the people around them, the general well-being of humanity. Their hearts feel love because they have been shown love. A certain light shines from them.

They are the people of the earth that smile and you feel better, they care to ask how you are, they lend a helping hand. The world is filled with them.

And then there is the nature that surrounds us all! The pure beauty of the mountains, the ocean, and the fields of vegetation.
This landscape that has created all that we are, all that we appreciate. It is all so simple. So lovely. And yet we complicate it.
We choose to focus on the things that make us sad, the things that create hatred and anger. And in doing so we overlook the simple beauty of life. We stop appreciating. We stop loving.

Tired of the race of life. Tired of the responsibilities that are so doubt pressing. And it becomes so all consuming that enjoyment ceases to exist. Just sitting in that moment when your heart is free and you feel unattached to the ropes that usually hold a tight reign on you allows reflection. And in that moment of freedom and peace you begin again to look and appreciate.

If only those moments came more frequently. If only being was more simple - as is the simplicity found in the glistening of the oceans water and the rustling grass after a mornings breeze.

If only...