Walking past Washington Square in New York on a Sunday afternoon, I heard beautiful, haunting music and discovered this man sitting at a piano outdoors playing for money. Further in, there was a guy making an elaborate chalk drawing and another one helping kids blow enormous soap bubbles with just two sticks and some string. It was magical to stumble across this after a spur-of-the-moment weekend that included falling and hitting my head hard on a plate glass door, having a subway turnstile boomerang into my thigh so hard it brought tears and bruises to the surface and getting my flight home cancelled. Add to that the knife-edge cold which my blood is not used to, and I was feeling worn down and done in by the city.  And starting to really hate everything about it and wishing I’d stayed home.  I didn’t even want to leave the apartment but finally dragged on clothes and dragged myself out. As I watched this art being made, I started thinking about how we are here for a fleeting moment like the iridescent soap bubbles, or the notes of music that disappear as soon as they’re struck, or the chalk that’s washed away by rain. Instead of worrying about whether I have a concussion or complaining about the bruises all over my body or the inconvenience of traveling, I want my life to be like a work of art that is intensely there for the moment it exists and possibly leaves a vibration in the air after it’s gone. I know for a fact that I will forget this tiny transcendence and fall back into despair or irritation or ordinary kvetching because that’s just being human. But I hope the surreal image of a man and a piano out of everyday context will return to me at odd moments and lift me up in the same way it did on a Sunday in the park.

2 Responses to “Sunday in the Park with Gorgeousness”

  1. This morning Phyllis Theroux introduced the Nightwriters who are going to meet in North Fork, CA in May to your blog. I was so pumped up when I began to read it at 6:30 AM I could only read for ten minutes or chance completely derailing my day. The site is so clean and fresh and your writing shares the honest feelings we all experience in a lovely personal way. It’s what I aspire to on my blog and sometimes even find possible. This afternoon I returned and so far it’s only cost me the expense of one book. Did you ever read the Molly Peacock book? Would love to talk to you about it.

  2. nikki says:

    I have her book and haven’t finished it! I have the very bad habit of starting a book and then picking up another one before I finish the first one. But I will try to get it done before May. N

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