Sunday, May 13, 2012

Look Closer

Most mornings I emerge from the subway on my way to work at the corner of Broadway and Canal Street. It's not exactly the most gorgeous speck of NYC, but in this town you get to see all sorts of interesting things that might not fit the textbook definition of beauty -- but that have a beauty all their own.

Take, for example, this corner of Canal and Broadway early on a weekday morning. 

One day I saw this tall building next to the old Bank of New York building bathed in fog. I imagined all of the people at the top of that building, their magnificent views blocked by muddy grey plumes of air. I imagined their frustration, and perhaps shock, at looking out the window and seeing ... nothing. 

Nature had its own ideas that day.

It was an interesting site: a great, proud man mad object being swallowed up by nature, by a force more powerful than itself. To me, it was a simple but direct example of the power and indifference of nature.

But nature need not always be cruel. Sometimes, it can be exceedingly kind.

Like the very next day! 

The next morning, I saw the great building again -- bathed in sunshine, those great views (I imagine) being all the more glorious still. 

Nature had its own ideas that day as well, and this day it was more than kind.

Nature is like NYC -- kind, cruel, crazy, and amazing. The two go always go together -- sometime like gasoline and fire, sometimes like milk and cookies -- but it's always wonderful to see. 

As they said in the movie American Beauty, look closer.

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