mardi 19 octobre 2010

The Price of Happiness in New York

"Being happy in Paris implies knowing its emergency exits" said Sophie to conclude one of her first posts here in The Bridge.

In contrast I'd say that for being happy or at least not insane in New York it'd mean filtering out all the "noise", and I mean tons of it that you undoubtedly will encounter in the city mixed with plenty of other unpleasant things. And by "noise" I don't mean exclusively the honking of the million vehicles or the loud high pitch sound of the sirens coming out from emergency vehicles or the police. Noise is also all that movement that you don't understand, that revolves around you like a swarm. You don't know what purpose it serves or where it leads you to. You only know it's conspicuous and threatens to swallow you in its whirl.

Just for surviving you need to do the filtering. The opportunities for trying to do just that really abound: you only need to have a very good disposition to learn all what it takes to block out the things that doesn't fit well with your way of seeing the world. In fact it helps if you don't have any particular way of seeing it. With practice and raising the tolerance bar you'd get accustomed to anything.

One thing worries me though. It's the risk of becoming too insensitive to what's happening around me or maybe worst, the risk of becoming a hypocrite capable of experiencing sublime feelings for certain things and at the same time being dead and deaf to others that are supposed to move me or at least have feelings for them.

Again, trying to find the perfect balance is perhaps the key to succeed not only in life but in everything indeed. Did Sophie suggest something like that as well, in her previous post? I don't really remember with clarity but if not, I'm very close to it, I think. I only have to scroll down the bar on the right side to re-read...

Well, you're going to forgive me but in the process of re-reading Sophie's post there's something in there that doesn't feel quite right for me and I can't help not commenting on it. She beats herself up a little bit for 'deserting' these pages for a little time; breaking the routine according to her is bad...

And I don't agree: that's it. The general purpose of this bridge is overall to reflect life as it is in any part of the world where we find ourselves. Having fun doing it is also a major factor of the experience. But here, I prefer to bring the words of Tavi Gevinson, a precocious teenager of 14 years old (that we both, Sophie and I, know quite well) who at her tender age has the wisdom to inspire not only me or Penelope Trunk (another one of my idols) but a legion of 50,000 more other people who are her readers.

Look Sophie what she says in this post when she reasons why she's not going to write very often due to her multiple obligations in school and elsewhere: "My policy on being my own boss for this blog is that I don't post if I don't feel like it. It feels contrived and boring and chore-like, and my other policy is that I'll stop once this feels like a chore. So posts are about to get rather spotty". 

That should be enough to make my point... It's fair to say that I sufficiently agree with Tavi and let's not forget we were talking about those filters.  

In order to live a peaceful life in New York you have to be blind to a lot of things. In reality, you have to shut down most of your senses, the smell in particular. In some places is either the marijuana smoke that pervade the streets or the sewage that invade your nostrils. 

It's your choice though. If you decide to see the bad things there are a million of them, the city turns insupportable and you have to leave if you want to live... 

But there are plenty of other options that even though entail risks like the ones mentioned before, they could provide the opportunity to live a pleasant life in the big Metropolis. 

If you choose that late one, then you'd better start living in a state of altered consciousness where you feel only those things you want to feel. One of the better ways you could use to get there it's music, it's through art, and like this last Thursday October the 13th you have to make some sacrifices. It was the Season opener of the Trinity Church Choir in Wall Street (what a paradox: greed and goodness or good and evil, all in the same street!).

It was raining that day. No, no,  it was pouring..., it could had been very cold too for the beginning of Autumn, but nobody was caring. In such high states of the brain where the expectations of rewards are running very high, people didn't/don't feel anything. 

The choir, the soloists, the musicians of the orchestra with their conductor didn't leave room for any disappointments.

For those of you who are brave enough, this is the whole concert...

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