In the depths of the haze I was in, I found solace in the strangest things.
I was waiting for the reasons to dawn on me, reasons to persevere, to rejoice in the midst of my despondency. Not the reasons of intellect, those wisps of so called insight have ever had the roots to survive within me. I was waiting for reasons that would reverberate through my very being.
I was waiting, as I would for the train at Central Station every evening, for a timely means to get me home.
And it was here that a peculiar habit started to form.
One day I rose from the catacombs of thought and my eyes chanced upon a group of pigeons roosting on the platform’s rafters. Their breathing seemingly vigorous and brimming with vitality. Their movements like uninhibited expressions of every impulse swimming within them. I was captivated by this scene and thereafter, I would habitually scan the rafters and while away the wait. Days turned to weeks and then to months. I’d often feel the borders of a rare smile on my face upon each sighting.
I ask myself what it was that drew me to this seemingly unspectacular scene each day. Perhaps it was a sense of kinship I felt in their seemingly frantic ways, their apparent lack of direction and purpose. Their subservience to impulse. Their existence in the shadows of the lives of others, relegated and labelled rats of the skies, scavenging upon the scraps of those who truly lived.
Or was it very different?
Was it that I perceived their manner as being reflective of an intensity of living I sought? A freedom from the shackles of thought. Did they encapsulate a vitality and innocence lost to the largely mechanical, discontent passengers below? Were they smiling at the useless smoke I was mired in? Was I smiling back because some part of me recognized this?
Alas it is the nature of the mind to examine all of this in hindsight. To vilify or to romanticize, to simplify or to add layers to what was. The truth is that it was likely a murky mixture of these reasons that swam in the sea that is my subconscious. What I do know is that the sight of those birds brought me to the present. Freeing me, if but for a series of moments, from the tentacle grip of the past. Immersing me in the vitality of living through the sheer contrast of their impulsive activity against my rare stillness. I am of the firm conviction that this in itself was instrumental in me transcending the smokey rooms that thought created within me… so I would wield my pen again.
As I walked along the platform this morning , I paid thanks to my old friends as they flew on to their daily adventures. For when I was waiting, they were beacons of the present.
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