Walking Cross-Town. With Rubik’s Cube.


The First train arrives at Grand Central. 5:55 am.  I slide on my gloves and exit onto 48th.

I walk.

The Streets are free of the morning rush.  No horns. Light traffic. A handful of us are on the streets. One sneaks into a diner for a cup of coffee.  Another stands huddled along the wall, ember glowing from his cigarette, stomping his feet to stay warm. Millions sleep in the hulking towers looming above.

NYC, my kind of town, pre 6 am.

There boils the paradox. The craving for quiet, for stillness.  The Need for the warming salve of Solitude. And, yet, the wiring is to stay in Motion. A spinning top turning and turning and turning, only to teeter at dusk and collapse into bed.

I stand at 6th Avenue and wait for a delivery truck to pass.
A trace of snow falls.
Wind gusts lift and swirl the flakes.

And, here it comes.

The ache starts in the bones and works outward.

Regime change.
Imposed from where?
Above? Within?

I jaywalk across the four lanes of 6th Avenue. And as I glance left to measure the distance of oncoming traffic, I reflect on the words of Robert Reid, the author of Mountains of the Great Blue Dream:

“How many people spend just one minute a day listening to the quiet? The quiet of their minds, the quiet of the universe.”



  1. The eternal, internal reaction formation – ‘come here, go away’…crave stillness while wondering where the noise is…

    Liked by 4 people

  2. “There boils the paradox. The craving for quiet, for stillness. The Need for the warming salve of Solitude. And, yet, the wiring is to stay in Motion.” Right there with you, Dave.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. To reach the quiet among the welcome madness…always a goal. The picture, the touch of color…perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “A spinning top turning and turning and turning, only to teeter at dusk and collapse into bed.” Brilliant. Such a strange paradox and so much a part of conditioning, I think. When I first moved to the city, I heard every ambulance siren, car horn, and shouted greeting. Then it all coalesced into a familiar background murmur. When I moved to the country again, the silence made me jittery. As Mimi says, a pendulum swinging from side to side….

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m just so glad you see this.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is beautiful David …your writing , your thoughts your choices are inspiring and so I thank you this morning ….love , megxxx

    Liked by 2 people

  7. shhhhhh…..

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Standing in the garden before dawn, that’s my quiet time, the silence broken by the occasion too-wooing from a tawny owl or my dog’s scuffling in the undergrowth. No cars. It’s cars that make too much noise. I can’t imagine living with that almost constant traffic noise in NYC, but I suppose you get used to it.
    Your writing is very beautiful, David. When are you going to write a book? I’ll be first in the queue to buy it!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It always amazes me how many people feel a need to fill every quiet space with noise, be it from TV or some other gadget, or even their own voices, nattering away to fill a quiet space they’re uncomfortable with.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Great writing as always!. It is a paradox. It is a choice everyday. Choose silence. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Only place I can’t at night sleep is New York city.
    I fall asleep early when I’m there after a long work day but no matter where I stay, and I keep moving my room few floors higher, the sirens and lights get to me.
    The life of that city seeps through anything and I just can’t sleep past 2am while there.
    I sleep for a while day when I get back home.

    It kinda felt like a bird sitting on your shoulder reading this.
    The details are alive.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Early morning is so beautiful…before the pandemonium of our lives swings full force into motion. I started photographing sunrises (as well as sunsets) and I’m always so amazed at the sounds of the world before we humans break the peacefulness with all of our “stuff.” It’s usually only me out there…with the beautiful sky and the birds. I can’t give it up now and I’ve become accustomed to leaving the house every morning just before sunrise to go to a beautiful spot looking over the hills…day after day. Thank you once again, David, for words which remind us of what is so important.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I love your writing David. You capture that feeling of pause and reflection before allowing the the top to start its frenetic and dazzling spin.
    This is the place where clarity emerges.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The not as stubborn, as the past few days…fog lifted, thankfully a few minutes ago I Am Privileged to read your fine piece of writing as the sun’s reach, streams through the window, touching, warming my hands as I type…having just finished my more than normal, breakfast of three scrambled eggs with Swiss cheese, a small piece of gluten free toast spread with cashew butter and graced with the freshly opened last May or June’s homemade Cherry Jam …this was after half a banana two hours previous… fuel for the long, busy day ahead…the pup came up beside the computer chair announcing his presence… I reach out and pet his thick, soft silkiness, extra soft as he’d been bathed the evening before, I looked him in the eye and told him what a good and pretty boy he is…on the earlier morning, grounding walk we were blessed with watching a group of Mallards, three pairs in a seasonal pond, somewhat screened by the emerging Indian Plum.. the school bus lumbers up the road, almost home…as I shut the front door I look north and barely east up at the hill, I notice the sea of blue sky over the old growth… “A spinning top turning and turning and turning, only to teeter at dusk and collapse into bed” in the photo to the right and slightly forward of the building displaying a “W” logo, is a taller skyscraper with four square very light blue-green chalk colored appendixes (only three visible) I can imagine, they appear to be starting to rise, lifting, slowly rotating, spinning, momentum gaining, the imbalance weight’s fueled by the wind gust , forces list, leaning, tilts, ringing nosily as the tall giant tries to gain balance to stay aloft as the descent increases, careening, crash, burn, tangled heap of strength having exceeded the steel’s tensile capacity, askew… impacted the concrete jungle’s hard, cold, gritty labyrinth of confusion… daily equilibrium long parted way with sustainable energy…”The ache starts in the bones and works outward”…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I finished writing that today…having started yesterday….

    Liked by 1 person

  16. You write in the daily rhythms — the car rides, the train rides, the city streets before dawn… Inside those rhythms, we find the stream we all seek to navigate, (though some are unaware); that place in the center, where the noise goes dim, and we float, observing the smallest things, like the trace of snow, or the ember glow. Thank you for taking us with you.

    Liked by 2 people

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