10 July, 2009

A Chinatown Stroll

I would venture to say I spend 80% of my time alone, not in some “woe is me, pathetic way,” but as a confident, curious and somewhat reflective state. I can go for hours looking for good light for a photograph, and this day I ran into a guy twice who was doing the same with a old Rolli camera, and the second time he waited for me to shoot and get out of the way for his shot. We shared a common goal, and yet we never spoke. I ran into two other people that day doing different things alone, one was a writer where I stopped for a drink, and a smoker…smoking his way into non-being. Or at least trying to. The woman with her child was more than happy to let me photograph the two of them, after her small son took a photo of me with her camera phone. That was cute and funny, making for a short bond of humanity between us.

I run into people who quickly figure out I no longer the tourist, as foreign as I am and try to bridge the gap. I am friendly and try to talk to people, not shy. I sometimes offer help to other tourists when asked or when it obvious that they are lost. We are lost in one way or another. Can we take being lost as an asset to spend carefully? Where everything we encounter is new, and should be savored. It can be a temporary way to get out of our body, separating our mind. Sometimes our feelings can not be described. So much life we really don’t know what is next, and we sometimes hold tightly to what we do have, presently. The familiar. We do this in an effort to stop change or fear of the unknown. This is the clinging delusion that Buddha spoke of. Meditation will help bring some positive wisdom to your unease.

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