Walking Cross-Town. In Vogue.

new-york-city-rain-street

Dawn breaks. The air is heavy for April. I peek into my bag, and I’m reassured by the pocket umbrella. It’s the second train of the morning. 55 minutes, 2 stops. Destination: Grand Central Station. But for the clack of steel on steel, the train is silent.

We arrive at Grand Central. The masses, bees awakened and agitated, pour out of the hive and race for the exits.

A count of the passersby between Madison and Fifth: it’s 6 of 9, 7 of 10 if you include me. The count is Secluded. Sequestered. White cords are draped from ear lobes to pockets, strapped to the Source, private and away.  One smiling. One solemn. One harried, a Working Mom?  One at peace. One head bobs with lips’ syncing.  And the narrator, Madonna in Strike a Pose.

When all else fails and you long to be
Something better than you are today
I know a place where you can get away

“You long to be Something better than you are today.”

And that would be what exactly?

A light rain begins to fall.
I accelerate my pace, there’s three blocks left to the office.
The rain falls harder. I begin to reach into my bag for cover, and then decide against it.

Better than What exactly? For What exactly?

I’m 1 block from the office. The rain falls heavily.  And suddenly there’s Mary Oliver standing in the mist, and in the weeds, taking notes:

But at the center: I am shaking; I am flashing like tinsel. Restless, I read about ideas. Yet I let them remain ideas. I read about the poet who threw his books away, the better to come to a spiritual completion. Yet I keep my books. I flutter; I am attentive, maybe I even rise a little, balance; then I fall back.

I approach the building, and slow before entering.
I pause to look up and the cool rains splash my coat, my bag, and my face.

In Vogue: Searching. Restless. Longing. Unsatisfied. Pressing.
Falling this week, and yearning for a little balance and rise the next.

But, like the North Star,
or like Spring returning season after season,
there’s a reliable constant.
It sits at the center, the core –
throbbing, shaking and flashing like tinsel.


Notes:

Inspired by Mary Oliver (again):

I mean, by such flightiness, something that feels unsatisfied at the center of my life — that makes me shaky, fickle, inquisitive, and hungry. I could call it a longing for home and not be far wrong. Or I could call it a longing for whatever supersedes, if it cannot pass through, understanding. Other words that come to mind: faith, grace, rest. In my outward appearance and life habits I hardly change — there’s never been a day that my friends haven’t been able to say, and at a distance, “There’s Oliver, still standing around in the weeds. There she is, still scribbling in her notebook.” But at the center: I am shaking; I am flashing like tinsel. Restless, I read about ideas. Yet I let them remain ideas. I read about the poet who threw his books away, the better to come to a spiritual completion. Yet I keep my books. I flutter; I am attentive, maybe I even rise a little, balance; then I fall back.

~ Mary Oliver, “Home” from Long Life: Essays and Other Writings

Comments

  1. Reblogged this on rennydiokno.com.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Magical, DK, just magical…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. If we were all that present and aware each day, the world would be a far better place. “You long to be Something better than you are today” and this only happens by doing something different “today”. By noticing the rain drops on our face and the people around us. Thanks for reminding us 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Bright, shiny objects! and commented:
    Love David Kanigan’s stuff. Especially when it’s inspired by Mary Oliver. Read on…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Falling and rising. Like the breath of life itself. At the core, reliable constant. Beautiful writing, David.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve got a new favorite post of yours now (again)…as I nod, yes, yes, yes

    Liked by 2 people

  7. As I read this post, I imagined I was staring from this window, watching the rain, the water streaks on the window pane, the few souls rushing for shelter. I saw the virtually empty streets, unusual in the city. And I imagined seeing you approach the building, pause, look up, allowing the rain to wash over you, catching my eye and smiling.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ” the poet who threw his books away ” … Wow !

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Again. Words that make me quiet for awhile. Reading them once is not enough.
    When I can feel the raindrops hit your face and when I can hear the clack of your shoes, and smell the smells that you smell- then experience the feelings that you feel – you can be sure you have done it — you have written something really good. again.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. very beautiful post, david. i rarely use an umbrella. i like the feel of the rain –

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mary Oliver…she changes lives, I am sure of it. Wonderful, David. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wonderful David.
    Mary saves the day … again and again.

    Liked by 1 person

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