beneath a glass ball

Subway meditatorMoment of wonder: who was the first person to recite the inspirational mantra “practice makes perfect”. Shout out to the original; it’s catchy, doesn’t get old (from 1st grade soccer practice through every job I’ve ever held), I’ve yet to meet anyone with a counter argument, and alliteration, no matter the length, is fun. During my first week as a commuter I’ve noticed the change in fluidity of my personal routine. When to take my Metro card out and when it goes back. The amount of water I drink in relation to a bathroom in route. Even my music has begun to coincide with the happenings around me; ha that’s coincidental. Or is it? But above all I am the most impressed with my mastered  “city hustle”. Yes. Anyone in New York who has been late for a meeting or an interview (yikes), needing to catch a train, or just wants to feel like they have a place to be has taken part in the race. It’s the king of awkward aerobics. No one is ever appropriately dressed for the occasion. There is almost always an inconvenient thumping bag, or bags, against the part of your body crucial for ideal muscle movement (for me it’s my right upper thigh and side hip area). Ladies, pull it back because no matter the length, style, or color, our lovely locks thrive on  contact with our eyes, or, oh god, our mouths. Hair for dinner anyone? My shampoo is coconut infused! If your hair is whipping around it sure is not whipping you any closer to your destination.

If you think the solo run’s a struggle imagine coaching a team. No one calls me mommy yet, but my Mama’s rallying skills when we needed to “pick up the pace” were legendary. Respect for parenthood especially when the ultimate obstacle takes stage. People. Human beings. Bodies. We are everywhere. Coloring in the negative space on the bare concrete sidewalks; we spice up the scene and with no mind to our fellow palette members. To each is own? Survival of the fittest? Ah-ha, practice makes perfect. No room for “pardon me”. Instead, toss sporadic ‘excuse me’s to no one in particular; can’t get personal with your barricades. Find a gap, fill it, and zip through the next before your train rolls out of the station. Brush a shoulder. Scuff the back of a strangers shoe. Lose your breathe and break a sweat, but if you’re carrying a cup of coffee ignore everything I’ve just said. Better to be late than sport a coffee stain, right?

Despite my fascination and growing expertise in the hustle I’m really more keen to observe than participate. In the peak hours after work I’m in no rush. Eventually I’m to catch a train home, but the line runs past midnight! Yesterday, however,  I left work exhausted, hungry, and eager to catch the 7:36. It was nearly 7:20 so I gathered my last round of endurance to hustle through the subway maze. I dodged briefcases on wheels, avoided any sign of a baby (just a peak at their innocence would slow me down), and scurried by a preparing street perforer. There I stopped, backed up to lean on a pole, and for the next thirty minutes I stood in peaceful awe in no rush to catch anything expect the name of the man balancing the glass ball on his head. From his meditation he floated four glass balls between his hands externalizing energy to deem the objects as weightless spheres of air. Mirroring the rhythmic vibrations of his soundtrack he adjusted each tiny muscle of his body with delicate control. He did a split, a headstand, and whenever an audience member placed a tip in the box he granted them a smile of gratitude and a thank you. The glass ball never slipped once from his head.

Let’s give a warm welcome to Jonathan who arrived in the states yesterday morning from Mexico and after a failed attempt to enter Canada landed himself in a New York City underground railway station [photo in top corner]. My new friend showed me and other witnesses the beauty of patience in time. Be aware, move fluently, and with ease exsist beneath a glass ball a top our uneven heads.


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