The day was rich with texture and sound, even though it was quiet or as quiet as this place is likely to get on a workday morning. My surroundings, what I could see of them, moved and pulsed yet the activity that I was attentive to was invisible, internal. It was sensed, not seen, the work of natural forces I walk among endlessly, often without noticing.
On this early morning, I walk through the brilliant streets of this city, at the same time familiar and new. The trees are free of leaves and winter is a thought more than an experience. Today is different. As my physical body gently drops into an awareness of limitations of movement, I become more attentive. With the clarity of this decreased capacity, I slow down. What I notice is that slowing down allows me to notice moments of connection – with my heart, with all my body – so that I can focus more and more directly on what I need.
And what is needed, more often than I realize, is this attentiveness. What it brought to me that day was street lines, the markings made to guide us as we travel or ease the repair of technologies buried deep beneath our feet. To see them as I walked, so familiar, so utilitarian, and yet such odd abstractions as we look down and especially when framed by a lens. Once separated from their surroundings, there is something vaguely geographic about these images, as though we were flying high above them and they were some strange element of landscape or architecture. Or perhaps they reflect some strange, complex language from the future or the past. Street lines.
The walk continued, the din of traffic gaining in intensity. Yet the images have stayed with me and I have continued to see them and capture them with eye and lens. So I pray that I may manifest this sensitivity, this awareness more frequently and more fully in my life, to see what is always there and to see it anew – perhaps not all the time, but often enough to nudge me in the direction of openness, attention, and gratitude.
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