Part of my evening ritual, as I turn off the lights in my apartment, is to stand at the floor-to-ceilings facing Center City, and look outward. I see windows: dark and lit. All of them representing lives, and those lit ones are still awake, like me. Some of the light spilling out is yellow; some are white/blue; some perpetually wreathed in Christmas lights. Windows to the souls, like eyes. I stare outward and am become a sojourner in a well of humanity. Where I grew up, I knew each and ever light within a few miles of my house. I knew the colors of light. I knew the people inside. Here, it is all unknown. So many lives, dreams, experiences, hopes and feelings defining the spirit that is “the City”. I wish I could describe to you the immensity of that moment.
But maybe you already know it.
Maybe you walk to work/home/gym/grocery/etc, you feel the expectation to look down at the sidewalk, avoid eye contact, get from A to B? I do. I catch myself when I do it; I know I shouldn’t; I should be always looking. The urban world is another experience, and the City is full of beauty : architecture, history, culture, arts, restaurants, laughter, faces. So much to see that will be lost if not captured in that fleeting moment. I wrote once about [link id=’669′ text = ‘a wish to record experience’]. It can’t /shouldn’t be done. These are things meant for you alone: Faces smiling. Faces frowning. Faces averted. Faces wearing headsets. Faces on the phone. Faces painted by warm restaurant lights like jazz-age scenes. Faces under the glow of lights in the park. Faces dancing to music. Faces singing. Faces sharing laughter over a beer. Faces. Faces. Each with a story. Each with that connection to the others in that well of humanity. Part of me wishes I could know them all.