And as soon as it’s quiet you are reduced to a thimble.
Find all you can to busy-up your mind.
It’s messy in there and you’d rather not turn on the light.
Hear my words that I might teach you, take my arms that I might reach you.
When I got on the plane to New York, not even my lost-in-time, puffy-eyed, weary traveller self could dampen the adrenalin. In a few hours I would be stepping out into a city full of people that I did not know.
My anxiety would usually step in at this point and tell me that such a scenario is one I might not enjoy. But it didn’t – not when I booked knowing I’d be alone in New York, not when I was packing, or telling my colleagues “just me” and not when I found myself in Times Square in too little clothing for the brisk wind, walking in the wrong direction with the only backpack in New York. Because nobody knew me and that is fucking exhilarating.
It wasn’t about needing to be alone, or not wanting to engage with people, but if it were, I would have been screwed. Somehow being alone, knowing nobody, it was easier to meet people.
Singular human beings, drawn across rooms and cityscapes towards each other’s traveller lights – glowing, uninhibited, curious, and ready for anything.
My mind was ablaze with creativity and excitement at every moment – a hunger for anyone and everyone’s story or portrait.
Where was this feeling back where people did know me? Where was the confidence and curiosity to strike up a conversation with a stranger in a cafe? Why don’t we do this at home? And what are we missing out on by being so blindsided?
I’ve since assigned myself one challenge – and it is sometimes a challenge – to embrace the great colour, light and diversity of each day more promptly, without reservation, inquisitively, with wonder – in its simple moments, its happenstance and its chaos. Ask why, seek to learn, soak up the inspiration you feel, and use it. Be grateful.
Life is delicious. Uniquely captured through the eye of each of us alone, together.