Monday, September 27, 2010


There are a lot of things about New York City that are overwhelming. The movement, the activity, the noise...and the sheer number of people. And it's not just the number of people, there's a certain quality to them too, a tendency towards extremes. My theory is that the city is so big and there are so many things that you could be into, that many people choose to differentiate themselves by being really, really into whatever their thing happens to be.

But even with all diversity of hair styles, body art, accents, clothing, personal hygiene etc., I can feel myself starting to get a bit numb, developing an immunity to individuals and stories in the face of sheer volume.

This Jane Kenyon poem was a reminder:
Man Sleeping

Large flakes of snow fall slowly, far
apart, like whales who cannot find mates
in the vast blue latitudes.

Why do I think of the man asleep
on the grassy bank outside the Sackler
Museum in Washington?
It was a chill
afternoon. He lay, no doubt, on everything
he owned, belly-down, his head twisted
awkwardly to the right, mouth open
in abandon.
He looked
like a child who has fallen asleep
still dressed on top of the covers,
or like Abel, broken, at his brother's feet.

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