For about 7 months, my boyfriend and I lived outside in the woods. We slept on the ground, watched the daily runs of the animals each day rather than television, we slipped gently into sleep each night beneath a starscape, conversing on consciousness and what it meant to be alive as a conscious human being. We professed dreams and lived them; we undertook a journey of mental acuity and adeptness, while learning the potential aptitudes inherent in humanity. We thought that we possessed a nature lifestyle and that nature should be our home for the rest of our days. We thought only in the embrace of nature could we enjoy meandering through the timeless channels of higher consciousness . . . we were mistaken. Although, nature had become our mountain, like Zarathustra we had never left it.
In the wonderful words of Mr. Feynman, we decided to find out whether city living was as oppressive as we supposed it to be. We chose our next adventure to take a bite out of the Big Apple (what better atmosphere of City can there be on the East Coast, pray tell). We landed at K-Pax’s surprising arrival point on a tachyon beam after a 3 hour train ride, and exited quickly for the streets. Punched full in the face by the pace of the city and the volume of human bodies moving uniformly, like some kind of concrete ballet, in both directions (was this some sort of nondualistic play?), it was easy to slip into the stream and ride the current from one point to the next. We walked to Times Square (a place so vivid it seemed constructed using CGI), and suddenly I understood the sheer magnitude and bravery the director of Vanilla Sky demonstrated in this famous scene. There were people occupying every square footage it seemed, somehow innately aware of their space and the space of others. I only saw people bump into each other once or twice, as the idea of congestion simply did not exist here. Only motion, sheer motion, wave after wave of people, moving as one undulating body. To see truly this phenomenon we had to find higher ground.
After purchasing Metro Cards, we rode the subway to Union Square,
where we emerged from the tunnels directly into an open air Farmer’s Market. The fragrances of free wine-tasting, colorful fruits and vegetables, and bouquets of spices, herbs and roots swept us into the flow of the Market. Around the corner, a chocolate restaurant titillated us with their cocoa aromas. Once around the Market and adjacent Park, and a brief chat with an Australian, we were pointed in the direction of The High Line. Stopping briefly to admire what sounded like rain dropping on a wind chime emitting from a fellow playing a hang drum (one of my favorite scenes of the adventure), we continued along the Line. From this vantage point, the full aspects of this city could be gleaned.
As in nature where the animals have their daily runs, a well-worn path taken each day to their preferred spots of food and water from their homes, as it is in a city. Humans leave their homes and meander through the concrete paths towards clothing and food, or social habitat. Rather than trees, there are buildings and in them house living beings. Around every corner and down every street, there is an adventure to be had, a sense to be expanded. In one direction from the Line sat the Bay, the Hudson and the Statue of Liberty, in the other shops, cars, and buildings as far as I could see, as if they disappeared at the horizon, like I was a star on the Truman Show. There was a network here, a living organism reciprocating with one another. I had never seen such efficiency, the same as nature. I wished I could have stayed longer.
Our trip ended with a small amount of time seated on a bench in
Battery Park (where a bird so tamed by humans’ hand-feeding, sat beside me and waited for its treat), talking about what we’d seen. The subway rides, the food, the perfumes, the interesting characters and caricatures of people, the subtleties of life . . . we marinated in it. This was an adventure wanting repeated . . .and we are eager to give in. It wasn’t until this moment, that I realized I do not have a specific city or nature lifestyle; I go with the flow of things, for I am a flexible being. Adventure can be found wherever I roam, as adventure is housed not at the place but in the spirit of humans. Whosoever has the notion for the wild life (and by wild that can be anything adventure-some or just out of the ordinary, or the ability to see uniqueness in the mundane or not being bored because one is always looking for opportunity to be bewildered…to see life as a playground) will find adventure.
Whosoever is willing to step off the precipice wearing a wingsuit will fly.