Events of the past few weeks require a greater introspection. In the moment, they seem catastrophic and dire, but if you step back and reflect… yeah… still pretty shitty. I thought that using this photo I took of graffiti overlooking one of the bridges in my town would cheer me up. It did. I like to think there’s some hidden meaning and that maybe whoever wrote it had some significant ‘touch’ from a blessed, all-knowing spirit who wishes to guide us through the maelstrom that infests our world and threatens in every day to tear it to pieces.
God must speak right through the person responsible.
I come here to reflect, because I can look to all sides and be inspired. If I look one way, I see the entire town, with the Rensselaer Rail Station serving as a focal point. Everything revolves around it, which is somewhat symbolic for the entire town. Everything pales in comparison to the train station, with its parking lot laying flat despite the hills that make up its boundaries, which happen to be the streets and businesses that are our town. If I look to the opposite direction, I can see the tracks leading off into oblivion. They move south towards New York City, cutting a straight line from us to them. They leveled a path for progress for steel to tear through the wilderness that would otherwise overrun our city. We’d live like barbarians, eating other scavengers for sustenance, gaining no greater understanding of the self. Instead, the woods serve as our boundary, covering the town in a thick blanket of brush and trees, giving birth to myths and legends of monsters that wait for night.
Still, the maelstrom is all around me. If I follow another direction, I see house after house with people living within inches of each other. We’re living in a busted bee hive with shambles and debris making up our nests. How does society keep moving like this? Perpetual motion. If we stop now, we’ll never be able to gather enough momentum to get moving. We’ll be trapped here… and we all know what that means… death… decay… faltering into the abyss… the old goodbye… the grim reaper’s kiss… something fancy to kiss us all goodbye. We can’t afford to stop. We can’t afford to take a moment to reflect, when a moment’s all it takes.
We can’t afford to stop, reflect, repair. There’s only enough time to move forward. Sometimes I wonder if I keep moving forward I’ll end up right where I started. Then I realize that’s the point. Society can’t stop to reflect, because it has to make it’s way back around. We’re heading toward the Stone Age carrying what we believe is a deeper wisdom of the self, but is instead a bit of hot air that got caught up in our lungs. We thought it was a touch in the heart that could transcend every wisdom ever inherited. By the time we’ve reached the finish line, it’ll be gone. We’ll burp it up in time.
Pick a direction. I go down East Street towards South Street. Don’t stop until you hit the creek. Even then, why stop for anything? Society will implode within a few more years. Reflection is this narcissistic thing… after all.