Sunday, 17 May 2015

An Ant In New York City

Being away from home for so long was like taking a long hot shower on a long cold day. Except the showers were actually cold, and the days were hot. In the afternoon sun, my clothes stuck to my body - I welcomed the dusty navy evenings with anticipation. There was something in the evening glow in my East Village bedroom for the night - perhaps it was the orange lamp by the bed, perhaps it was the faint mumblings of Simon and Garfunkel playing quietly beneath my sheets.

It had taken me a while to adjust to the magic of somewhere new - the first couple of days my music didn't sound right in my ears... Perhaps it was the strangers' eyes all over me in the streets, could they tell I wasn't from around here? Did I look like a tourist? Did my clothes look new, unworn? Perhaps I needed to venture out alone, in old jeans with pockets still filled with earlier memories...

I found the swing of things more when I spent the day in the garden. The pressure, when travelling, to see see see, and do do do - the days become so filled you can barely move. So I stopped moving. I stretched out my legs and let the ants crawl up some old metal chair and onto me, we formed a civil friendship. I thought about space, and those ants. Space ants from Planet Earth. Cool.

"How sad to be an ant..." I thought. Say we only have one life, there is no reincarnation... how sad to be an ant who knows nothing about the wonders of this life, how sad to be an ant who only lives around 45 days - lest he be squashed flat by some fumbling bumbling human before his time. How sad to be an ant who can never understand the depths of this song, this city. How sad to be an ant.

And yet, here I am - an ant in my own right. Perhaps there are some other beings in another galaxy far, far from my garden and far from my fellow ant friend and I, just sunbathing together in New York. Perhaps these beings live their realities far more beautifully than I could ever imagine, perhaps there are sights and sounds and songs that would cause my eyes to widen and never shrink back. I wonder, I wonder about all these things I can and never will know, because I am just an ant, passing through in this body - this soul vessel that I really had no choice or control over regardless. Perhaps it is not that bad to be an ant after all.

I flexed my toes and tilted back my head and let the sun soak into my shoulders.
The day I did nothing at all was a fabulous day, indeed.

1 comment:

  1. Simply lovely. I wish I got to meet you while you were state-side. You've inspired my own photography for the past several years now. I hope you enjoyed your trip!