“Still in the City”

23:44 Sun 11 Dec 2011. Updated: 00:48 12 Dec 2011
[, , , , ]

At Clay and Gough, after I crossed the street, there was something. No cars in sight, no car sounds, not even from Franklin. No people in sight. No people sounds, until a man in Lafayette Park broke the spell by speaking to his workout partner.

Until then, however, I had felt as if I were alone.

The sky was pale blue blending into chalky white. The sun suffused everything with a strong yellow, and the dominant colors were blue, white, yellow, the grey of the buildings, the green of the park.

That awareness of my surroundings came suddenly. It didn’t jar me from my thoughts, but rather I emerged from them into it, unprepared. My consciousness hung there, its relation to the world altered.

Not oneness, not a communing with nature. A glimpse of a natural state, what it might be like to have a place in the world—what it might be like to not face that question, for it to not be a factor in one’s existence. That is what surrounded me, even while the thought itself, once it came, underscored its impossibility.

But it wasn’t a thought, not at first. A sense, requiring unravelling, reading. Everything was still and beautiful—that beauty merely a fact of the situation—and for a split second I fit into my surroundings, leaving conscious thought aside, until that thought caught up with me and it was gone.

Gone, but leaving a trail. What are such moments, if not hints at how unlikely belonging, in any sense, truly is? The experience required that the city be busy around me in the broad sense but yet for me to find in it calm solitude. This was not wilderness stillness. This was a fleeting gift, chance, unlikely, and all the more precious for it.

2 Responses to ““Still in the City””

  1. Clay Says:

    very nice.

  2. Graham Says:

    I understand that for you this piece may simply be about the piece itself and not some narrating style or connection to other pieces. However, for me it’s kind of related to the words you wrote about foxes in Dublin and equally satisfying and serene in tone. In short, I’d like to spend more time with this narrator – not something I say lightly, because while I do sometimes feel affection for narrators it’s never happened with my own work or when reading the work of someone I know.

Leave a Reply