Yesterday it was a fantastic day in New York. I walked cross town for half an hour to meet a couple friends for lunch. On the way back, I choose to listen to some sing-a-long music I have on my ipod and there I was maneuvering amongst thousands of Time Square tourists, all lost in their own worlds and private conversations and thoughts.
At lunch my friends commented on how nice New Yorkers were, how surprisingly helpful and how beautiful the city is.
We agreed that there is so much to be thankful for, so much possibility and opportunity for anyone, everyone, to create and live absolutely fabulous lives. And then I thought of the dark figures portrayed in the news and Hollywood movies who are dedicated to destroying the things they don’t understand and hate. I thought of how closely the forces of “good” and “evil” sustain each other in a dance of misunderstanding, threat and survival that is handed down in language, through story from generation to generation.
I was no longer thinking about such complexities to life as I walked home, just about how good it is to be alive, how fortunate I was to live in a place like New York, and about how happy the music of Frank Sinatra was making me feel. I was smiling at passers-by and many of them were smiling back.
And then, on the corner of 2nd Ave and 34th I saw her. She was crossing the street with folded arms. She was silently weeping. On this beautiful day with so much to be thankful for, this young woman was in acute emotional pain. She was walking from one of the numerous hospitals and medical centers and I immediately went to some story of impending personal loss, but who knows why she was crying.
The sight of her again made me think of the thoughts I described before. At any given moment whatever I’m feeling and experiencing is only one small slice of everything that’s available. Beauty/ugliness, understanding/mis-trust, joy/pain, acceptance/resistance, love/hatred. It’s all here, and each feeling, emotion, experience exists because of it’s opposite.
Tomorrow it’s going to rain.