tracking the scent...

stream of consciousness writing 6/15/15.

Seated in the park, here, writing, I seem to be a magnet for the smells of dog and human urine, the man with the gnarled nose and plastic bag of recyclable bottles demanding a quarter, the ants reminding me of the steady busywork of my mind, his gnarled nose is like the root of the tree upon which I’m seated not quite comfortably, a man stumbling, his weight almost solely supported by the men at his sides—I am amazed at how much his weight seems to thrust them from side to back to step to side to side, heavily thrusted steps attempting to push forward to root him towards, forwards….What happens when our moving force—the unseen abilities to move this way or that—leave us?

Another question: What is the movement within us that brings some to action to help others—“springing to action”, others more slowly arrive and seem to hold space, others just turn away or even move quickly in the opposite direction.

My chin juts forward on my hand, brows furrowed, memories arising in the front of my mind, a memory movie begins to play, questions arise—what in my experience does it feel like when movement recedes from my “usual” ways of understanding and feeling it? dance, pain, stop moving, freeze, laying on floor touching into movement of cells, hours and hours, crying is movement.

I am feeling a distinct sense that I want to move from here. I do not want to be in this moment. In this city right now. The smell of urine is pushing me to leave.

I recall first arriving in NYC over 8 years ago, crawling atop a boulder in Central Park to read under the shade of trees, rock welcoming me, grounding me into this place.

I sit down and settle into my new place, senses vibrating, the smell of urine arises—a moment of dissmell as the acrid air rises into and widens my nostrils. My eyes see another aspect of the rock—flies, fesces (human or animal?). In the near distance, flies landing and taking off, circling above before touching down once again—little helicopters buzzing above black tarred and rocky landscape (romantic view of feces and flies, eh?) At that moment I see the boulder beneath me, I smell what arises in the heat of the sun just outside of the shade from the trees above that so gracefully cover me. I breathe it all in and feel my place—on rock, under tree, in Central Park, nature amidst a city crammed with people trying to live—defecating and eating and exploring and reading and buzzing and communing. In that moment I smile as I feel my place. I am a part of it and dissmell does not move me.

What changes the impetus to move from one moment to the next?

Returning from memory to this moment, I hear birdsong overhead, the quick flutter of wings as they pass from limb to limb or dart off to seek another tree. The ants appear and disappear in their bustle of daily work, the wind softly rustling my hair only sometimes wafts the smell of urine into my nostrils. The sun’s warmth is easy and I am sheltered by a tree heavy with the leaves of summer. 

I see the city of Manhattan in the distance this time, stacked and crowded and jutting up from the seemingly smooth greyish-blue stretch of the rivers, Hudson and East, converging and encircling this mighty city.

Year one to year eight. What is in the movement of those years that first rooted me into its ground and now I feel dissmell, distaste, the need for even more space between myself and it?

At one time the city rooted and challenged my movements—tension and tides. I am seeking wilder waters—more open and unrestrained and yet also quieter waters, spread out between trees and bedrock, silt settling at the bottom. We’re all still defecating and communing and reading and touching down, no matter where we are…yet I want to fly, to seek a new nest.

What moves me now?
Is it a shade of what first moved me here?

photo: water on board, jeni ascosi.