{Magic of the Mundane} Sidewalk Thoughts

October 1, 2012

There was a time that I could walk through this city and tune it all out… The rattling of the Long Island Railroad, the incessant chatter on the commute, the hustle and bustle at Penn Station during rush hour. The honking of yellow taxi horns, the sirens and whistles of the men in blue, the strong stench of the subways, especially in the summer time… everyday life in NYC.

But, a lot of years have passed since I worked in “the city”. And all these things that I tolerated and tuned out when I worked at The Cutting Room, became ever so present during our trip back home this summer. The sights I used to overlook, the sounds that became my background noise, the smells that became somewhat faint… These characteristics of the city were once just a part of the routine for me. I was like most New Yorkers, taking these nuisances for granted.

At first, it felt odd to be in my city and to feel like a tourist. But, it didnt take long for me to comprehend what a blessing my absence really was. As we walked out of my brother’s apartment, and onto 77th Street, this is what I found below my feet…

Someone had taken a moment out of their Sunday morning to write these words in chalk. Now isn’t that something?

It took my breath away. But as I stood there in awe of this blessing, I quickly realized that I was the only one even remotely impressed by it. People were walking both ways up the block, not even noticing the words beneath their own feet. They walked over it, around it, and through it, but never a pause to read these Sidewalk Thoughts.

But me? I didn’t just stop to read this once. I began to walk down the block with my companions because we did have somewhere we needed to be. But I was so drawn to it that I and had to tell them “I’ll catch up”. I was so intrigued and moved by this gesture, this labor of love, this message, that I was compelled to read it again. I had to stand there and soak up the sight of it. I had to take a picture (okay, lots and lots of pictures) of it. I just had to. At first, I couldn’t believe how unimpressed these New Yorkers were. But then I understood… this had become part of their background noise, like it once was for me.

And so as we walked, and walked, and walked some more, I saw my city through new eyes, smelled it with a cleansed pallet, and heard it with fresh ears. I savored sights and smells and sounds that I was once immune to. I took the time to look, and to listen, and to taste, and to breathe it all in. The street corner carts with their “dirty water dogs”, the subway stations with their signs and symbols, and even the people who I shared the pavement with… I was intrigued, fascinated, and engaged. I was mindful of the {Magic of the Mundane}.

Blast Off Productions, New York, NY

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

mary g

Nicely put!!



Dizzyhappymama recently posted..A trip to the children’s garden


Mama Cass

Love those sidewalk thoughts! We might have to add some to our neighborhood. Sorry we missed your Magic on Monday- we’ve yet to get on the other side of the stomach flu and I’ve been losing track of days. Hope everything is healthy and happy your way!
Mama Cass recently posted..create (a life): middle of the week



Sometimes a step away is what we need for clarity. I’m stepping right now.
Melissa recently posted..Just Plain Busy



Very insightful! A change of perspective really helps sometimes.


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