By Nicholas Allanach
Yesterday, while standing beside the statue of Mahatma Gandhi I glanced over to Union Square’s more prominent equestrian monument of General George Washington on horseback. From where I stood, Gandhi faces one direction, while ol’ G.W. the other. This seemingly arbitrary decision in civic planning was, obviously, executed for symbolic purposes –or not. Of course, it’s difficult to read the man of peace and nonviolence facing one way and G.W. on his war horse marching the other as unintentional; especially on this historic New York intersection. Needless to say, random acts and mere coincidences are often synonymous, and no doubt, considering such subjects on this heavily traveled crossroad of commuters, students, etc. does cause one to reflect on the thousands who move through this space daily –some go one direction, others go another.
There was nothing special about the fifteen minutes I spent waiting for my comrades to meet me for drinks. Just another day in the park: people leaving work and making their way home. An attractive girl—not wearing a jacket—walks by shivering from the unexpected drop in temperature. A happy hipster couple poses out front of Gandhi for a picture. A homeless man talks to himself while sitting on a bench. Some black kids skateboard by. A man with tattoos all over his face pouts to himself. A beagle in the dog park howls. A brass band plays on the corner. Anti-war protesters hand out literature and sell t-shirts. Two girl’s walk by, “this is the worst job ever!”, they stop, throw-up a big smile and hand me a stupid postcard to some college frat bar.
Just an average day and another standard moment ticks by. How many moments have happened in this square? The mind boggles. A lifetime is made up of millions of such instances and history even more. So often we neglect to consider the significance of these moments, but every so often, when we’re away from the desk, something inspires us to see the world in a new light, and we’re able to take it all in at once. Although it’d be nice to hold on to such moments, it’s refreshing to feel them fleeting-by, all sporadic and immediate. Nothing lasts forever.
That said -New World is going on a brief hiatus to tackle more pressing projects. Till our next fleeting moment –peace. And may Congress give those bastards in the White House a run for their money!
Nothing lasts forever, not even a war.