Every time I am asked about where my favourite place in the world might be, I close my eyes, I smile, and I am instantly transported back to the metropolis of my dreams: the one and the only, New York City... no other city compares, no other place is more special in my heart, no other city do I remember every second of and every experience that I had while being there, no other place shines brighter - because to me it will always be an inspiring constellation of 8 million stars each with their own individual story to tell about how they choose to leave their mark. It's been 8 years since I was last in the city that never sleeps, but there isn't a day that goes by when I do not think about all that I saw and all that felt while I was visiting the city filled with so many buildings literally capable of scraping the sky... it's been a long time since I was walking down the various avenues and streets from one side of the island of Manhattan to the other, but I always find comfort in the fact that, though I am far away, I can return to New York City any time I want, in my mind - and when I am there I see things, I remember things, I see details, I remember people who make the "Big Apple" the place that it is: like no other, special, powerful, and one of a kind. I would love to go back to New York City one day... I would love nothing more than to wake up, to get dressed, to head to my favourite Starbucks cafe on Fifth Avenue - where I used to eat breakfast, lunch, and enjoy a late night caramel latte or a machiatto on a regular basis, and during the daytime, as well after dark - and also revisit the places that I love and feel like I know so well, which got under my skin from the instant that I saw them and I immediately found myself in awe. I would love to go back in time... I would to get back in that yellow taxi and once again return to the pools of rememberance that lie in the shadow of the Freedom Tower, and once again pay my respects to those who lost their lives on 9/11... I would love to go back to the place that I could never get enough of and rediscover and explore the things, the places, and the feeling of unbridled kinetic energy and electricity that New York City has that has the ability to gift to those who are lucky enough to be able to visit it, or call it home - because, take it from me, no other city on Earth leaves its mark upon you after you have been there like New York.
Each of us can find contentment doing things that make us happy... each of us can find hidden secrets about life, about people, about every day things or situations that can make us all take another look at the world, and at ourselves, and allow us to realise that there is more seemingly "small things" - simple gestures, simple tokens - that mean the most in the long run and down the line when a smile on a face is all that we crave. Each of us need things to explore... each of us need one another... each of us need both windows and doors... each of us need the feeling of being included and not excluded from what is going on in the world, in the galaxy, in the quest of humanity and all life everywhere to find the next check point on the journey that is their purpose - whether that is to be found in a forest, on a mountain top, above the clouds, or below the waves on the seafloor. Each of us can do extraordinary things - even if we might not innitially recognise our gifts for being as profound and as impactful as they are... each of us make mistakes, each of us do things that we regret, because each of us are human - and I believe our failings should not forever be considered mortal sins by some from which we can not move on from, learn from, and change as a result... each of us are a miracle, worts and all... each of us are soulful individuals who over our life will feel feelings and emotions from love to guilt - but, to me, the spectrum of what people are capable of symbolises everything about life that nobody can do anything about: some things just are what they are, just as each of us are who and what we are and have always been destined to be since birth - as were, and as will always be, the best of us.
Everything has a vibration... everyone knows if and when they are on solid ground... everything is what it is for a reason... everyone, whether they realise it, or not, has a sound: a gift to be able to break the barrier of distance and air between two points, just as unmistakable as the language of touch generated by making contact with a drum. Some people have an innate ear for what sounds right... some people have an observant eye for what looks out of place... some people have an natural ability to be able to pick up new things just as fast and just as easy as it was for them to learn how to ride a bike... some people have the skill to be able to never forget a face, while some people are better at remembering particular numbers and names. Some skills that we acquire are self taught, while other skills come over time and take a steady recurrence of repetition in order to assimilate the necessary muscle memory... some gifts are passed down from person to person, from generation to generation, as effortlessly as driftwood floating upon the surface of an ocean before finally coming to rest upon a sandy bay... some things are meant to be, while some things are not the right fit; however, all things and all people have a reason and a fate meant just for them: something that they are good above all else, which they might describe as being their forté.
During the chapters of our life we encounter unforgettable characters who influence us in many different ways - and, just as in a book, some chapters, some encounters, and some experiences may be brief; however, sometimes, some indellible impressions never end and never stop being like a breath of fresh air through the sometimes cluttered interior of our brain. "I'll see you again", "I'll see you on the other side", "I'll see you before you see me" - life does not always conform to how we might want it to play out: sometimes people move on, sometimes people lose touch, sometimes two becomes one, sometimes you can have too much and sometimes you cannot have enough; however, no matter the struggle, no matter the pain, no matter the scars that people sometimes have to sustain, if you are lucky, one day, a reason for what you went through will reveal itself and give you an answer that may reveal something about yourself that will be just as revelatory as the truth that all life is a cycle and everything on Earth has a connection to everything within the blue or the black sky that we sometimes see above. You never know what you are going to do, you never know who you are going to meet, you never know what or who will become important to you - because no one can ever know the outcome of anything until they choose to try... you never know if you will ever do something again, you never know if you will ever see someone again - but sometimes something can last a long time, perhaps a lifetime, before the curtains are drawn, before we reach for our jacket, before we walk through a door to the world beyond our periphery where and when we will say a simultaneous hello and goodbye.
within the village where I live,
there is a convergence, a meeting,
a gathering of runners and riders
who, for some reason, feel drawn
to my home’s crossroads
of paths and directions…
people of every walk of life
set out of their homes
and eventually find themselves
at the same place, at the same time,
marveling at the journey they took
to be where they are and sharing
within their conversations their
mutual appreciation of what
always makes their thoughts race
and their heart beat faster and faster.
I, myself, am a walker…
I, myself, like to stop
and literally smell the roses…
I, myself, am a daydreamer…
I, myself, like to be unbounded to idea
of exactly where I am actually going
and let fate take me where
and when it chooses.
I have been both a runner
and a rider in my time –
and I can still recall the exhilaration
that I used to feel every time
that I pushed my body to the limit
while I got to where I needed –
however, nowadays, I am more of a free spirit
who goes with the flow.
I have been someone
who has had near misses –
and if the universe had had other
plans for me then I would not
be talking to you now…
I do not know how to be any different
than who I have become as a result
of all my experiences and adventures
that I have had over my life –
every so often dancing with
the flames of fate’s fire –
which is why I always feel
a genuine kinship with all of life’s
many and varied runners and riders.
There is always a reason, there is always a why, there is always a motivation for the myriad of actions that people sometimes take and for the many decisions that people sometimes make that they have no trouble in being able to justify. Where there is a spark there will always be a flame... where there is touch and proximity there will always be intimacy... where there is language there is will always be consideration, interpretation and loss - because truth and reality are not always the same... where there is the evidence of stories of the past there will always remain mysteries. Myths, legacies, stories, records, chronicles, cave paintings, rock carvings are important depictions of a mixture of both fiction and fact all rolled into one... sometimes it doesn't take anything more than someone saying that they heard a voice tell them to do something for them to immediately act seemingly without thinking, nor without a fight... symbols, signs, warnings, lessons, cautionary tales are vital for any civilization to learn the merits of what is right and what is wrong... sometimes it takes the bravest of the brave to stop something that they know is going to happen before it happens - so that some day someone won't have to look back upon a choice that they made and have to justify to others and perhaps to themselves the answer to the question: why?
The language of thought is the same as the language of light... the language of stars is the same as the language of life... the language of music is the same as the language of the soul... the language of dance is the same as the language of the natural world... the language of a sunrise is the same as the language of eternity... the language of a sunset is the same as the language of gravity... the language of connection is the same as the language of purpose... the language of love is the same as the language of trust... the truth is that there will always be a universal language: the language of touch - which is more complex than any other language in the universe but which is inherently every other language combined into one.