Today I spent most of my day in Central Park. Part of my time was spent people watching, and the rest strumming my guitar. I was able to find a nice little nook on a rocky incline that overlooked a pond and a skating rink, as well as the busy people below. It was odd that I was chosen at random, for many people to take pictures of. Most of them were tourists or what would appear to be photo-journalism students from nearby colleges. I don't know what it is about Central Park, but it seems like the ideal place to observe and capture images of regular people going about their lives.
In the heart of the city, lies peace and serenity for those willing to seek it.
My intention was not to be seen, but considering my location on a rock wall, which was just in front of an even higher rock wall, I just can't imagine these folks were taking pictures of anything else but me--unless there was a picture of Jesus carved into the stone that I was unaware of. I didn't mind. But I wish I had shaved. At least then I wouldn’t have looked so much like Ben Harper.
During my people-watching session, I noticed a lot of similarities within the crowds. As I've touched on before, the citizens of New York are either visibly happy-- being coupled up or in groups--or visibly alone and wishing they weren't. I still can't get past the notion that in this city, being alone is like a curse. But I find solitude has its benefits. Whether it be self-reflection or self-motivation, being alone can be just as rewarding as long as you aim yourself in the right direction. This of course does not mean I am against meeting new people and stimulating myself with philosophical conversations. Quite the contrary. I met a few people today that enjoyed my songs and I thanked them. We exchanged pleasantries and then parted ways.
After a while I laid back against the grass, the warmth of an unusual winter sun caressing my face. I closed my eyes and took in all the things that I have missed since I lived in the suburbs. Children laughing. Dogs barking. The last of the winter leaves blowing and crunching underneath feet, the smell of cool air, and the sounds of bicycle tires stretching and creasing against the pavement.
I almost forgot I where I was...
When I opened my eyes sometime later, the scene had changed. The air was colder, the people had begun to disperse and the faint sound of children had been replaced by taxi cab horns. The dogs replaced by police whistles and crackling leaves replaced by the clopping hooves of Clydesdales. The moment had past and I was snapped back to reality yet again. It was a good day however. Once again a reminder of what spring may bring, and how so many others, like me, are aching for physical change in order to--hopefully--beget a personal one.
Posted by G. Shaw at 5:52:00 PM