Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Delicate Balance of the Skyline

Sometimes I feel so excited about the future, and sometimes I feel absolutely terrified because I don't know if I'm making the right steps to achieve my desired end. It's so easy to feel like a failure, similarly easy to feel, temporarily, like a success, and so common to confuse the things that constitute actual happiness. There are times when your creations become like living extensions of your being, creatures that need to be coddled and groomed, looked after and evaluated. Measuring healthy growth and development is an abstract and arduous process, often resulting in a severe form of tension, which rests just between the shoulders.

But then there are times when it's easy to shed that sense of self-importance and confused priorities. This evening I was crossing the Queensborough Bridge, a journey which, at night, affords the most fantastic view of New York City. In that moment I recalled a thought that often clouds my mind-that the skyline is such a delicate balance. Trains, nightclubs, school systems: trust in these common commodities requres a blind faith that there is somebody at any given stage who is willing to fill the necessary occupational roles. If a train breaks down, somebody must know how to fix it; eventually the people who contain the intial, primary knowledge die off, and a new generation must inherit that reponsibility. We always trust that somebody is in control, that somebody can be depended on, and so it goes that the fabric of daily operation is so fragile, and if one role were to suddenly become universally undesirable, perhaps a small piece of that fabric would die, creating an eventual domino-effect deconstruction.

But who knows, perhaps society moves forward and the very chemical composition of the fabric morphs and adapts? I certainly hope so. I guess the point is that, in moments like this, we are required to remember that we all depend on each other, but there are always vast inequalities, and thus the world is thrust into a permanent cycle of sacrifice, loss, hope, and resignation. As Cassie (who I was heading to meet) confirmed, when we look at the skyline we think of it as a beautiful vast thing, a single object, by which we are preparing to be consumed. Rarely do we consider that we are actual constituents in its composition- things go on inside the skyline; we are part of its electricity. It and Us are essentially the same organism.

This evening, as I was heading over the aforementioned bridge, I thought to myself, "I am trying the best I can, and I am so lucky to be seeing this beautiful city, and to be melding with its kinetic force." And for a moment, I exhaled, smiled, lost the tension in my shoulders, and felt really young again.

I finally reached Wes(a friend I know through Cassie)'s house for a little photo shoot, consisting of Cassie, Anthony, Wes, and myself. Upon arrival, I shed my coat, sunk into a glass of whisky, and instantly began to feel a kind of relaxed warmth I haven't felt in quite some time. Occasionally, it's important to let go, reach out, and rediscover what is so good about letting human congress rush over you like warm water over tired muscles.

Wes Mann's Photography can be found here: http://www.wesleymann.com/

8 Comments:

Anonymous R said...

When you recognize your place and contributions to all the concentric ecosystems that comprise your life, or the world as you know it, I think it means you're on the right track.

You can use that insight as both a launch pad for self importance or as a humbling note-to-self, reminding you that you're part of something bigger. And that something will replace you if you don't want to productively contribute anymore.

I hope NY is treating you well.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Magasin Magazine said...

I KNOW your blog isn't the place to post this kind of comment.
But I sent many mails to your label in france, in order to meet you for an interview.
I hope you'll come to your blog before tomorrow night...
and this comment could be deleted.
Thanks,
Thibaut
www.myspace.com/magasin

9:28 AM  
Anonymous Mia said...

It truly is easy to forget that we are a part of something bigger. It's almost impossible to believe how beautiful the world is sometimes, and it's even more impossible to believe that we are a part of it. Then, on the other hand, when I hear about tragedies, disasters, wars and all sorts of very bad things, I clearly see how I'm a part of it and that I am (and that everyone else are) responsible.

It's all a fragile machine. The thing is, we don't have any other choice but to trust one another. The machinery (a.k.a. the everyday life) goes on and we just have to assume that the next generation inherit whatever needs to be inherited. I can't help but to wonder what part I'm playing, what I'm inheriting, what my role is, what I'm here for, what strangers trust me to fix... It makes me feel very small.

I don't know if I'm making any sense, but I hope you understand what I mean.
Thank you so much for sharing these thoughts. Very interesting!

Love,
Mia

4:14 PM  
Blogger Jó éjszakát, gyerekek said...

it's so humbling and overwhelming to recognize the intricacy of everything around us -- moreso because one can never see "it all", only how massive "it all" is. Do you listen to music on the train, or just the sounds around you?

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Victoria said...

New York is an amazing place and we're indeed lucky to get to live in it and find ourselves surrounded by opportunities for moments like that to arise - for something to grab us and make us stop and exhale and let all the dirt of the week or month or year be blown off our shoulders.

Glad to hear that as an artist, with all the anxieties and loss of objectivity and pressure that that must bring, you can still let go and smile and remember what's really important. I think we all need that but in your position especially. Hope you get to spend some time in Paris, because it's an equally wonderful and beautiful city - not NY, but of course noplace is. See you tonight at la Fleche D'Or !

4:38 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

I don't have much to say but, wow, reading this made me realize how real people are

I know it's hard to explain, but, reading this made me think, thanks

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well said.

8:10 AM  
Anonymous rollinaround said...

i think ur on the right track.
u obviously are passionate about music. it's what ur doing right now for a living. ur taking a chance on it.
it's very admirable because you have no reassurance that it will end up being something that will support you, but because you love it, ur pursuing it anyway. im a bit jealous really that u've found something that makes you so happy. i know that have no clue what i'm passionate about. and i fear that i'll never be able to find out what it is.

5:46 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home