I can’t remember the last time I was at Grand Central Station. If I had to guess, it was probably on my way home for the weekend in my freshman year in college. I grew up in New York City – the borough of Brooklyn to be exact. As a teenager and young adult, I rode the subways at all hours of the day. I was never afraid – I guess that’s the gift of the foolishness of youth. I remember the splendor of this transit station; the bright lights, the Tiffany clock, the marble that withstands time. I remember crowds on the trains and the streets in the City, but I don’t recall it like a sardine can of people but I saw it the last time I was there. I certainly have no memory of armed National Guardsmen at all large transit stations. It’s like another world, another lifetime.
I can see myself standing against the wall waiting for my train and watching all the people. Everything around me is a blur of people walking quickly by – just as the photographer caught it. There is a pulse to this place, a strong almost frantic rapid pulse. The noise level makes me crave at least five minutes at the shore early in the morning; just by looking at the picture my soul longs to synchronize with the rhythm of the waves rolling in an out on the beach.
Who are these people? Where are they going in such a rush? What or who is waiting for them? Was that me of another era? I remember someone complaining once that I walked too fast. My response? “I’m a New Yorkah, whadda you want?” That was years ago. Now I pick up the pace just only when I want to get my heart rate up.
What about the National Guardsmen? They are looking at these people too with different questions; with sharper eyes. Their presence everywhere reminds us of unknown dangers that have become part of our lives. Do they have mixed feelings because they crave some action in their otherwise boring day? I am reminded of the most recent school shooting. Are more armed officers at the school honestly the answer? Public schools are cutting down on personnel such as nurses, counselors, and teachers of the arts. They are spread thin throughout their counties in all parts of the country. Resources, in general, are scarce in our public schools, and yet the only answer is to arm more people in the school.
And then in the blink of an eye, I’m back at my desk, pounding on my keyboard, in the quiet space I’ve carved for myself. Like the song from Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, “Then I’m glad to be back in my own little corner; All alone in my own little chair.”
Day Four: A Story in a Single Image; #everydayinspiration