City/Body

River

We forget how much our cities are our bodies.

I sit on the bench, finally warm, finally still. A light breeze. Birds yelling at me as I walked across the bridge. Looking for beauty, tuned to find it. The key is to be tuned into the frequency of that type of perception, like a radio. Have to find the channel without the static. That’s my head usually. Static.

And then you get to the clear signal and it’s like music. Dynamic, shaped, trying to tell you something but not with words.

You sit still and a moment happens. And amazingly, you’re aware of that moment. Moments are happening all the time, but usually I’m not still enough to notice the moment happening. I try to make the moments, but if you just watch, you’ll see the moment is made without you.

Lost the signal for a second there. Have to tune in again. A fish jumps out of the river. That’s a moment.

A huge goose flies in front of me, yelping as it skims the river. It reminds me of my cat when he wants attention. So I pay attention and watch it fly from bridge to bridge faster than I could ever hope to run. That’s a moment.

We forget how much our cities are our bodies. Doesn’t it kind of bother you that they’re so similar? The wind is breath, the rivers and roads are arteries and veins. Our centers and gathering places are organs for the multitude of purposes that must be regulated in the system. It makes you wonder whose body we live in.

I suddenly realize I’m sitting under a tree. See what I mean about tuning in? I didn’t notice it before.

I’m thinking about a podcast I listened to yesterday. Something about movement and intention, body prayer. I hope the city’s body is breathing deeply, getting exercise, eating good food, and drinking good tea.

Kevin McGillivray is a teacher and web developer from Wisconsin. He writes about creativity, mindfulness, code, and tea. He tweets and tumbles.

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