Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pictures from the Trains of NYC

I am on the local train that rides up and down Manhattan in the slowest way possible, with burps and stops and hesitations and it seems that the last stop might be a rural village in China. There are plenty of performance artist beggars to keep one engaged/entertained.
The one-eyed beggar, and here I am not using this as an euphemism for a part of a man although I have seen that type of beggar too.
No, I am speaking of an actual man with a black patch that covers the vacancy in his face where his eye once stood, lay, rested?
I am, as usual, attempting to look into his soul through the lone eye. Both his eye and gait are steady. He sings for two minutes, looks dejected with arms just there at his sides - noncommital and without the gesticulations suggesting a finale to his song.
He walks through.
Five minutes pass.
The next beggar has a natural limp, not an affected one to get sympathy. He carries a small crumpled paper bag, which he has optimistically rolled down to provide an ample opening for our contributions. Tha bag hangs from his finger tips as he talks. He has no drum, no song, no dance. As he walks past, I catch a whiff of his status in the world: unwashed for months and living in the subway tunnels.
My contribution is this. A short note.
I didn't listen to either man. Just made my observations and listened to Orishas Sergent Garcia. Both men were Black. I read into their eyes the need for love, gentleness, a warm meal in someone's real kitchen, not a kitchen filled with transciency, plastic forks, and shifts of workers.
My other contribution; I will keep them in my meditations.

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