She never did see enough sunrises from the watchtower. So when the sky began seeping orange between the buildings, she shuttered herself in her room to witness it alone. They’d been raging all night and she just wanted quiet. She wanted to feel the solitude that she was chasing after – the solitude that held comfort and ease and gifts of tomorrow’s discoveries. The solitude that would send her circles around the globe, just to discover what it’s made of.
Maybe we never really appreciate where we are until we are ready to leave. Once she booked her flight she made a point of opening her curtains every morning. The room perched on the 6th and last floor, floating above every neighboring rooftop. It was bright and let so much of the world in, and most times she forgot to look out. (What had she been forgetting to see every day?) The view from this roost had been there, ignored, pass over for the seemingly most pressing of present matters.
After nearly 3 years of building her nest she realized that she was actually living in a treetop. In winter she’d watch the birds land on the most delicate of bare branches, brace their feathers on the wind and wait. She never knew for what, but just joined them in this stillness. She’d watch the haphazard patterns as they hopped from branch to branch. Who was leading the flock? Who was straggling? And all at once, in a collective, mysteriously instantaneous effort, they would swoop down and up, a mass exodus of wings and air moving past the frame of her window.
In a breath, they were gone. The branches left to titter and sway ever so slightly from their launch. The only remnants of their presence was the absence of their form.
In summer, she’d gaze out the ivy-framed window to watch the sun setting in the windows of New York and Jersey City. Or she’d climb up to the roof and catch the final fingers of sun falling back over Jersey. Orange and pink clouds colliding with the Turnpike line, jutting in and out of airplanes landing at Newark, swirling around church spires and abandoned warehouses. From this vantage point she’d wonder if it’s all just made of the same stuff, everything she can see, everything she witnesses. From this vantage point, she learned how long it actually takes a sun to set. From this vantage, she felt she could just step off and join the clouds in their swirling and jutting and colliding. From here, she would join the sun in its ventures west.
january 21, 2013