Monkey and the Moon Reflection, Gekko Ogata (1859-1920)
on way home from work, i looked up, as i often do.
it is funny isnt it, we no longer really have to hunt for food or worry about predators- well, not in the sense that you may be eaten by a sabertooth tiger or something. there are much unlikely chance that something may fall out of sky and actually kill you, though in rough place like canada (this is for you european pansies dealing with the snowstorm earlier this year)(with affection, of course), there are people who gets killed by falling ice sleets from big building roofs. but mostly, such tragedies are limited to inconvenient bird poos and such. and living in a downtown area, one either gets really skilled at jaywalking (though this, i think the brits do it better) or follow the traffic lights (a sure way to arrive alive, most of the time). and both can be done with just a bit of side glances.
so, in concordance to the anonymity along the mass, one often looks nowhere while walking, especially on the busy street. the street preachers, the panhandlers, pesky teenagers and slow moving mobs, various embarrassing moments (people having arguments, someone walking with edge of the skirt wedged with underwear, excessive make-out sessions, the sky is the limit literally), it all adds up to walking-without-looking. the last thing you want is a confrontation i suppose- well, for me, that is a real concern. i mean- if someone is to pick up a fight on a street with me, what could i possibly do? i dont even want to think about the option (probably keep walking), so it's better to avoid the situation (by pelting the pavement with empty gaze while one is dying to see what commotion is really taking place on the sidewalk).
but see, i still cant help being totally useless at times. there are so many things one may see IF one decides to pay attention. there were series of photos i took last spring, after banff. all the pictures were taken on the normal route i take within the city. the main difference perhaps was that the pictures were taken on foot, not on bicycle. and i remember leaving the bicycle at home deliberately, so i would have to walk. when you walk, you are slower. when you are slower, it is much easier to take a glance here and there, minding all peoples' business. including your own and the very surrounding of the present.
and today was one of those days. i finished work, dropped gear@univ and started to walk home. the bay street route which i take, during the daytime, it can be quite busy, the street being the very next parallel to yonge street, the officially the longest street of the world. there are many government buildings and public services, condominiums and shortcuts. but at 10pm on weekday, it's pretty dead. as soon as you cross the last bit of the university, it's pretty much open road, black asphalt, quiet and velvety. and for some bizarre reason, i had to look up.
and there it was.
it wasnt a total randomness.
today is a full moon. and unlike past couple days where rain and fog have covered the city, it is a clear night. in fact, there are some mad kids on ryerson campus howling around like idiots, yelling, whistling and general horseplaying. the siren is definitely more frequent near/during the full moon. as we think we are so civilized and scientific, it is also apparent that we really arent all that successful at separating selves from the larger cycles such as the moon.
so there i was, on the junction of bay and wellesley. there used to be some building, which i dont remember what it is anymore- it's just a permanent construction site now. often the wooden walls get covered with posters so much that they will rip it off and put a fresh coat of paint with a sign: no posters. which must mean MORE posters. ahahaha. and some whimsical things come and go on that wall. including the 'running sneakers' that took over the downtown last summer ( it is sort of a street tag, if you arent familiar with the concept). so in the middle of tall grey modernist buildings and pink, somewhat gaudy condo buildings from early 2000s, there it is, the empty spot. much like the pink gum, open and amused, child with a missing tooth, who already spent the two dollars on the next bits of lollipop, waiting for something else (even bigger and better! supposedly) to sprout out.
and there, i looked up and saw the pale moon. so clear so round oh so mad. and just like the missing tooth i thought- self-contained, light coloured, bright and hard. and gone! no longer attached to the rest of the world.
i stood there for awhile, missing out my traffic signal for at least two cycles. well it wouldnt have mattered anyways, as i wouldve jaywalked should i needed to. but it was important. to look up. the comical, wistful lost baby tooth, against the rare gap, an empty spot in concrete jungle. though the last couple days have been quite a demanding ride, i couldnt help it but to 1. laugh out loud, 2. put on some happy beethoven (cello sonata no. 5), 3. proceed to walk home with uncanny spring in my steps. it does make me laugh-how i go totally insane over the moon. i seldom talk about the sun. daylight. i tend to talk too much about rocks and grey-blue tinged things. with moon, i go bahblahblabhaahblalbhalllahbhahahablgaspgaspgaspbreathbaah. what can i say, i am a softie. i love the moon. it's gentle enough to look up straight but convincing enough to drive people mad.
so tonight, look up. if in doubt, when in doubt, soaked in doubt, look up. when the light from the west hurts your eyes while driving, look somewheres different for a bit. love to you all, as i look up and imagine all of us, tonight, taking different times at different places, looking at the silly moon, waving by. oh btw, this moon of march is called sugar moon. how decadent.