Walking thru the day. That's the theme. But I'm going to leap to sitting on the subway, watching people dive into Crushing Candy on their smartphones as intensely as any artist dives into a painting. I do not reflexively think that's any worse use of Mind than reading Proust on yr smartphone. The human desire for immersion in SOMETHING knows no bounds, and I think we are out of bounds to suggest how anyone should aim her or his attention. Let the mind go where it wants.
Walking thru the day, as I just did, using (as a random picture of the act) this young man walking his bike thru the day after seeing numerous other East Village 20-somethings walking their own immersions & daydreams & missions thru the day to & fro, fro & to - I do live in YouthLand over here - I underwent a sort of sense-memory of a time when I believed that there were more beautiful and less beautiful places to be than the one I was in. You know how you feel when (if this is yr choice) you imagine yourself at a favorite shore in deep July evening, right after sunset, that magical rhapsodic realm of lapping water and the scent of something rich & strange & all of it somehow sexual & inviting: what better place than that to be? As with Candy Crush or Proust on a smartphone, we typically choose our beauties, choose the flames to flutter toward, and we - like (I daresay) this boy walking his bike - often don't really see where we ARE when we're dreaming: we mainly see the dream. Perfectly understandable, more power to us. A slightly dissociative state, but sweet, full of allure. I'm presuming a lot to project this dissociative state onto Bike Boy, but, well, I could see it in the way he walked. You just know some things. And it was fine he was in his dream! If that's where he was.
But here, for me, is the odd psychic transmutation - whose lesson I double-learn every time I'm with Donna. In fact, let's just go there: to Donna & me. Donna & I have been to England! It took timeless eons for us to walk down almost any street (it's a wonder we ever got thru Regents Park) -- so completely regaled were we by every detail of London & Rye. But Donna & I do the same thing in Astoria, where she lives. Donna can't be conscious any other way (mostly - I mean she's HUMAN, so it's a matter of some degree even with her) - and I'm learning, albeit more slowly (bringing up the spiritual 'rear' as usual), that I can't be conscious any other way either.
To say this outright is to spew the worst kind of platitudinous banality. "Everywhere is beautiful." (Or at any rate deeply deeply interesting.) But it is! And so it was for me, just now, getting twenty 30 gallon trashbags & haagen dazs strawberry ice cream (damn, that's good) at my Avenue A supermarket & walking in the warm dim rainy evening back home. It was many subtle versions of paradise.
We all want things. Shelter, food, friends, somewhat manageable health, some sense of liking being in our own skins, a kind of basic wherewithal. But we don't have to be anywhere but where we are to be amazed.
I'm gonna throw Gary Hilborn into the pics here, too, because man does HE ever know what I'm talking about. (I love seeing these pics of Donna & him, after one of his many wonderful performances as an actor, this one back in 2012. Donna's telling him secrets, & he's listening.)
(dupe of facebook post)