observer

February 13, 2020

I have an observant eye. I see beauty almost everywhere I go. I see vile, scuzzy things, too. Sometimes, I wonder if unconsciously I am seeking out beautiful things to compensate for the rotten things I see. And vice versa. For balance. This morning, all the tiny snowflakes on the sidewalk looked like those bits of crushed sugar that bakers sprinkle on top of a Panettone. Or a constellation of stars. A little further along my path, I came across a chicken carcass and some old batteries peeking out from the snow. We’re in a city, after all, and beneath the blanket of snow are the ugly remnants –– the squished cigarettes, the disused syringes, the abandoned scraps of paper and plastic. I think it’s why many people choose to look up. There are no carcasses in the clouds. I’d rather not notice all the debris (I saw four shrimp shells in a patch of ice last week) but as a city walker with a keen eye, it’s impossible not to. I see the concrete, I see the carcass, I see the beautiful brooch on the old lady’s lapel.

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