I strode down the waterfront from
New York to yesterday, just to take in the air before the weather
This is already very late in the season and yet sunshine kept me too warm after only a few steps.
I had left my car home thinking I would need to walk only to and from work, only to find out the paper needed me to cover a ground breaking a few miles north.
I got a ride to the event, and thought about taking the light rail back, but the light rail stop was nearly a third of the way to where I had to go, so I just kept walking, snapping pictures of the changing leaves and the vastly altered environment.
The West New York mayor mentioned the fact that this all used to be railroad tracks where many of the long time residents from the upland side of the Palisades used to play as kids.
Now it is all buildings and riverfront walkway, joggers and bicycles in a perpetual play land of the super rich.
I certainly didn’t fit, except perhaps among the few other stragglers I saw walking to and from what in another time might have been called servants’ entrances to the luxury buildings, these stragglers serving to keep up the illusion that life is always pleasant along this side of the tracks.
The water glistened with the odd sunlight that always haunts the world after Day Light Savings ends, a tainted dark light that turns everything slightly brown, as if the whole planet was one large leaf turning with the turning of seasons.
My boss kept calling me on the cell phone to remind me that I needed to be back at the office by , and I kept thinking it was later than it was because of the light.
This was a walk through time as well as distance, especially when I finally crossed over into
and saw the houses on the hill and the ramps to the
helix leading to the Lincoln Tunnel. Weehawken
Seeing this from below as a new vision, and yet, seemed to carry me back to those days when I used to take the bus from
to Paterson . One bus took me along Boulevard East so I could see
the skyline. The other bus came down Route 3 through Secaucus. But both buses
eventually came to the tunnel. New York City
For a moment, I was 16 again, and thinking of the adventure ahead on the other side.
Last winter, I came here to shoot pictures. The temperature was so slow the electronics in my camera froze and so I wound up with a lot of distorted colors, negative images of everything I saw.
This sense of reversal, of fall stumbling into winter, of me walking through time as well as space is always unnerving, because I lose myself for a moment and struggle to find myself when I finally put my feet back onto a path I’m more familiar with – the icons of my life spread out before me, but in an altered state.
This was a week from hell for a number of reasons, violent stalkers pursuing me, corrupt officials seeking to silence me, illness that I thought might be more serious than it was, all boiling up into one mess of an inner state only a walk like this could dispel.
This came in the aftermath of the Paris attacks, and so personal fate seemed to intermingle with the fate of the world, and strolling along this walkway towards an office I have worked in for a third of my life, in a town where I no longer feel welcome, I felt more than a little scared – not of dying, but of being forgotten or overrun by things over which I have no control, change, corruption, personal greed.
I’m a stubborn person. I tend to fight the good fight even when I know I can’t win, forcing those who dislike me to use up their resources, even when those resources seem imposing.
Justice is always about holding powerful people accountable, and sometimes, you have to get run over by change in order to make a difference, and sometimes, you have defy the all powerful to prove they aren’t quite as powerful as they think.
Things like changing seasons, brown sunlight, and an endless waterfront, are the only things that mean anything in the end.