As you all know, last week I was in New York City, traveling about and seeing the sights with my parents. We were kept pretty busy, and what down time we did get I ended up spending editing the hundreds of photos I’d taken, so that’s my excuse for not posting last Thursday. You’ll have to forgive that one. I did give you a picture!
One of the things that strikes me the most about New York–and, indeed, one of the most remarkable things about the world in general–is the sheer number of people packed into such a small space. Even on the Upper Westside, where we were staying–even at 1 o’clock in the morning–people are everywhere. Walking their dogs, walking their drunken friends, buying food, shopping, talking on phones, trying to hail cabs, yelling at cars, tripping over themselves to get across the walkway before the light turns red. Eight million people, all packed into only three hundred square miles, each carving out a unique life against the massive people-scape.
This is something that has always intrigued me about the world: every body has a story. Every single person that you pass on the street, catch a glance of out the window, sit next to on the bus–all of them have fully realized, intricate and unique lives. They all have parents and family members, friends, jobs, dreams, futures. They are all living out their own stories. Every single one of them.
Have you ever driven down the freeway and counted the number of cars you pass? Every car has at least one person in it, going about their own day, headed for somewhere just like you are. They have a whole history you will never know, but for that instant your lives intersect–and then they are gone. Just a blip on the radar. And this happens thousands of times every time you get into a car or walk to the store or even just sit on the front porch and watch the world spin.
There are more stories in the world than it is possible to fully conceive. Most of the time, we treat the people who own them like background music–just extras in our own stories–and don’t stop to think about what it really takes for that person to exist. But occasionally, if you’re lucky, you can catch a glimpse into what that other person’s movie is about. And that’s why there will always be more stories to tell, and to write down. You can never record them all, but you can sure try.
Just something that’s been on my mind.
“We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.” -Fydor Dostoevsky