Friday, October 19, 2007

Another often unsettling experience is the counterpoint of existences that intrude upon the awake mindset. The apartment fortresses decked along the periphery encase us as set apart from all that is within. They observe us as they, perched from their extravagant aeries view lazy-headed outlanders. But they themselves will be nibbled away in time. We come to realize this in time and tend to counter act this intrusion least we feel diminished by the weight of what they have. Around this invasive force we must be vigilant. A rich man cannot enjoy the earth solitude of the park. The edges, the paths, the very nooks and crannies we seek out are not mainline and secure. All is sidetracked and ephemeral. They are side-neural paths, wary, luminescent, safe open enough and benign enough to lead to good feelings. There are ideal spots and angles that open up city vistas and experiences that are hard to find and easy to ignore. After all we are our own escapees who in a vacuum recognize our own powers of embracing forgetfulness. The ephemeral time-sliding city spires are a study in power and submission that repel and beckon simultaneously. This luring and corralling of nature by brick and mortar, and deceitful, blinding glass. The tinning, infinitesimal, electronic universe intrudes yet we strain to stand aloof although the very energy of what we are escaping charges our retreat with a memory-mad sleep that can be unsettling. Escaping for the serene green, sleeping in the midst of the tumultuous, mad high-wire act of decaying grandiloquent, commerce churner of men. It could be the heat of the city that we are trying to discover. Moments are so fragile and this very fragility lends its importance, a nurturing timeless quality that is both refreshing and sad. It is a repository of action and rest, a place for sport and retreat. Yet being surrounded by dense facts should not detract from the very essence of the forgetting past or the forgetting future. As a man made entity that feints; we are invited tending to participate in and remaking our subjective mold. But this very mold has a unreal quality that is captured by our knowing how to roam, to be still in stillness is the essence of change. In this stillness we can appreciate life and its vagaries. There are number of precious spots that I can recommend. I will delineate them and the preferred angles that I attempt to conform to fully enjoy and reckon with the experience. These angles will change from day-to-day and season-to-season according to our moods and malleable tastes. Light is important; perspective is important; angle is important. We will not excoriate the rich tapestry of doing nothing. In this we must be patient. (If not we will invite speculation and inquiry and we will by necessity have to respond). His could be goose as all good things are not planned anew the expires we have will in no way be predictable. Unpredictability is the essence of what we do. A person can rest in the most improbable spot and never be noticed. Invisibility enshrouds the supine. As throngs swarm so the laying creature endures and hides at the same time. Resting is respected in its invisibility. This allows perfect moments for spying the goings on. The homeless have this vantage I and I’ve been told the untouchables in India have this perspective. I’ve seen it in many places even among the robust. Every shantytown with the heavy weight of hopelessness describes the same attitude. Sullen, expectant defiant, watchful. The park is transparent in the winter. No leaves and nowhere to hide-to lay in wait. Cold ground a coldest hue that heists the preferredd starry heights of trees from which to peers and stare predator like and unseen. I do not. It is rude and deviant. Rather my invisibility hovers in plain sight and there is no separation.

There are surprisingly limited numbers of ideal spot from which to view the tempo olive fee nod from which one can extract any meaning. Starting fro 5th avenue. The spot near the lake has recently been reseeded making for a fine bed of grass comfortably astride the glimmering lake. There is abundant tress yet too not too many to obscure one’s vision. There is a steady flow of people from all over the world in types of dress. Many are families traveling and open to experience but there are also a fair number of Manhattan residents just taking some time off format he city tempo. Many times I have lain done. I prefer near the edge of the grass facing the lake. This gives one a westerly view with Central park South building to the left and the west side straight ahead. The city skyline has changed considerably in recent years going as far back to Trump's building then Bloomberg’s changed things again and finally the new mid-twin Towers of the mall on 59th street. Just across the lake is a bird sanctuary and there are any number of easily coursing ducks and geese in the lake to amuse ones self. The magic tunnel that few know exists makes it easy transversing from the zoo to the lake. Even the restaurant allows one fee entry into the zoo. Not as a thief would but as a denizen and keeper of the memories of the park. Only an ambler would know about this and this is its just reward.

Of paramount interest are the people and their conversations many of which would be inaudible on a busy day. Sting or lying here is in the pocket of the roiling city air. Amazingly near to the hub-bub but sufficiently far away to create as separateness feeling. Just sitting still in the grass by a lake with live ducks in the middle of the This is the only space where the lighting is good the cover is good and the grass is thick and green and where there is sufficient traffic for interesting observations both natural and social. Have fun and good rest. Further on there an are a few good spots for either sitting resting for sleeping.

Sleeping is a magnitude of difference than sitting. Sitting is restful but somewhat impaired and hesitant. Sitters smoke, read talk. Sleepers approprate a space and surrender themselves to the space. There is total immersion and solidity with the ground whereas the bench or chair is a half-way comfort. We are cradled in the womb, suspended, and go from body-to-body never touching the ground which is more death than lifelike. University settings are often done in parks away from the bustle of commerce and daily cares. We can be too much with the world and the world too much with us, a fixation on the seeming now and an obsession with the past will only smudge the moment of discovery. Ancient orators and thinkers discoursed in open green spaces. It is rare that anyone in the business community would hazard a spot in central park to propound new investment strategies or the synergies inherent in minority financial lending, SIV, CBO's or leveraged hedge funds the darling svaviors of the capital class. Businessmen tend to be locked in and out of thought by mindsets and habits that are closed looped and goal oriented, usually in lockstep with the proper method of the moment.

The division between the open and closed space is stark. This demarcation makes interior and exterior spaces palatable. It is when you enter the park you are both freed and constrained. Constrained about what you don’t have privy to and free in what your shun. High-rise building extol and sell a park view but is behind a window, ararchealogical or an object d’art in a museum. This is curious.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Central Park is a radical departure from the buzz-saw, jarring streets of New York. It is a radical, counter-point to action and memory, the most part a physical idyll, a roamers haven and lastly a good place to sleep.
Not all spots are safe or desirable. Only a few places will fit the criteria that I as a non-homeless person would consider suitable for my partisan bearing. Safe, pleasant, nestled but still randomly frequented by some, and not too afar uptown where the safety factor diminishes, as one gets closer to 110 street. A true but unfortunate reality.
The border sets it off akin to a punctuation mark. Entry is clear unmistakable off set. Most of profoundest memories are miserable the sunny days do not rate. Misery is more fungible than happiness. Misery disappears with relief and happiness never lasts enough and we don't realize it until is gone so this makes us forget about it until our dotage and then that reflects its own sadness. Misery is a wonder place in that it is good to be near a source of food and a place of shelter in case of rain. But this happens infrequently or at the very least can be avoided. Physical discomfort is not a goal or pursuit. A good resting place should be on a full dry patch of grass preferably near a clump of graceful trees allowing a leaf filled view of the sky. Traffic routes either pedestrian or auto should not be too close It is annoying and dangerous. One must determine the likelihood of a freak accident, wayward car or bike; one must ascertain the likelihood of a falling branch or an errant baseball of Frisbee. Finding the ideal spot also had much to do with feel and perspective-trust your instincts. A major factor in finding an ideal spot is the casting of the sun. Too much shadow leads to cold clumps on the back unless a blanket is handy. But planned outings are not part of my routine. Rather I prefer random walks depending on the time of day, the season and the mood I'm in. I rarely retrace earlier routes and never know where I will eventually settle down. Too much sun leads to exhaustion and over heating. Carefully extend the necessary time that is necessary to fully explore the physiological ramifications of the spot. It is the spot as a unitary posture but ever changing experience that we are out to capture. It is nature in contemplation but not set aside and isolated in non-city environment but informed by the very cosmopolitan presence than we are trying got escape although after all is undesirable and impossible. We are not on an event track nor are we trying to learn about anything in particular: the birds the trees the species of plants are incidental to what path we are trying to achieve non –achievement. Blankets though are for picnickers and to for escaping city refugees because that is what we are, refugees from the normal albeit healthy money churning world of New York, globalized. How better to protest that than to a take a nap honing in on the steady humid drone of a city consuming itself and the world for heady glory consumer satisfaction, power and gain.
Memories are seared into place by bright light. Dappled leaves on the blue canopy wrench tears. Reflecting water reverberates with damped frolicking sounds of children. Children’s playground are for children and their parent only. A lonely person doesn't need to be near them, Adults are like foreigners to children only loved ones should be near them. War contaminates them with our presence. The lazy man is an aware man. A sensate man needs all the time he can gather in nature the poetic mind-sense of sleeping. Sleeping in the part is not the end goal. It just happens as a trance imbued with presenceness. Try to stay in one spot for at least two hours. You will notice things that are not obvious to a causal passersby. The barks hew and texture, the incidental sound sleeping adventures are all about our surroundings and what happens around us. Non-interface is a prerequisite of enjoyment. Contentedness like at a fixed focal point like a tree or weed is the proper attitude for really seeing beyond what is patently obvious and trivial. So much happens on small scales the scale of a child or dog. We are age erect and relatively tall. Just as good camera angles are above 6 feet or below good experiences can be found at ground level. It is important to be looking up. Your back to the earth brings you closer to your ashen genesis point. We are set between 2 points- our creations and our death- in this we contemplate our lives by thinking little about anything else. We are learning how to die as we are living. Book' s a hindrance, a ball a distraction; a blanket or a food basket is a happening, a spectacle a bad photograph and unhappy memory, a false image, a frozen snapshot upon which we can pour out maudlin emotions and half-baked recollections. We are a fractured incompetent creature. Only the unintended aspects of your experience will have lasting benefit and uplifting effect and you necessarily store carry them in your head and in your head alone.