Grateful to the City

I’m grateful to the City because it doesn’t make me forget about what life is about, what death is about, what money and lack of money are about.

Brooklyn Bridge

The City (and the Subway most of all) doesn’t allow me to forget me what urine, shit, and spit smell and look like when they are out in the open, communication devices as much as bodily excretions. I come home and wash my hands, but I cannot wash my soul clean and blind as I did when I lived in the suburbs.

At night, the City is magnificent, paralyzing in its beauty of lights and skyscrapers, crowds of people and cars, loud noise and incessant movement, a futuristic dance of humans, buildings, and machines.

I’m grateful to the City because it reminds me every moment what being human is about: in small gestures, in the kindness of strangers, in the expressions on people’s faces early in the morning.

Flowers are not boring

In the world of marketing and cool stuff we live in, people and things can become hugely popular in a moment and then be rapidly forgotten. We buy stuff, and then we buy more stuff, and almost everything we buy breaks fast to leave space to the new and improved, version 2.0, turbo model of the same crap. We work too much to earn money that we spend to buy more and more stuff (unless we don’t have enough for the essential things, in which case we work too much just to survive; but where is the boundary between essential and non-essential in a world where appearance and social acceptance are essential part of our success?).

ToweringWe live in a world of marketing impermanence.

Every spring, I look at the flowers and I am amazed. Every year they look the same but they are so beautiful, one can never get tired of them. They show up for a little while, then they disappear, leaving us craving for more, and every year they come back.

Flowers are perfect, short living, fragrant, elegantly dressed up in beautiful outfits (white, yellow, bright red, purple…). Probably everything we humans have learned about beauty we learned from them.

I love bulbs, because they are so loyal and independent; they hide most of the year, and then they catch us by surprise, appearing on their own where there was nothing. And they make us happy like a surprise visit of a dear friend.

Flowers are impermanent too, but in such a different way than a product that is cool one day and useless the next.