The Harlequin Wander #2

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A different day, a different wander. And why not?

For our second Harlequin Wander, we again met on the steps of the Whitney Museum over near the Hudson River in Manhattan. I’d say the wander officially began with us sitting on the steps, propped on elbows, heads dropped back and eyes closed. The sun, after endless days behind clouds, was beating into us.

We took the beating. We needed it. We deserved it. And why not? We’re human, right?

Then, our one walker who showed up to join us (K.J.!) pulled out some Walt Whitman and struck a strong tone by reading the following:

From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines,
Going where I list, my own master, total and absolute,
Listening to others, considering well what they say,
Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,
Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.

I inhale great draughts of space,
The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine.

I am larger, better than I thought,
I did not know I held so much goodness.

All seems beautiful to me.

After this, hopped up on sun ray lashings and Whitman word chantings, we departed the steps towards no/any/where.

Beginning to Wander is not much of anything. There’s no real noteworthy intention with regards to the actual walking or direction. What speed do we walk at? How am carrying myself in my body? It’s not entirely aimless, the wander, because there are others doing it, and we are doing it together. So there needs to be some type of communication, whether it be with words or gesture. It may be quite subtle. When do we speed up, slow down, stop? Does conversation propel us forward or arrest us midstep?

In the case of Harlequin Wander #2, the beginning was a quick jot across the street because I saw something over there I wanted us to look at. I knew where we were going and approximately when we’d get there. 45 seconds later, we were there.

I didn’t take a photo of the map that was taped to a building. But, I did catch this in the eye of the camera.

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And then we kept wandering. We saw lots of flower bunches being carried around, lots of people gathered and sitting eating food in restaurants. Our conversation wandered into and out of words.

There was a tired moment on a bench and we saw this great vehicle. A Landcruiser. Something that would do well on the open road. I took a photo but it didn’t really turnout. What do you think?

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We wandered onward.

The wander took a turn when the hunger and thirst set in. This gave the wander some direction, a sense of searching with purpose. There was talk of “the best matcha” in the neighborhood and “a bite”. I didn’t know there was a best matcha. I was intrigued by a place that was giving some unwandering attention to that potent powder. Then, as casually as it arrived, the urge passed. Our minds wandered away and we began to stroll a bit more, hunger and thirst passing for a bit.

In reconnecting to the act of walking and wandering and stepping, the street led us to an avenue. It felt like we just stepped out of the woods and into city life. The avenue was bustling with energy. This stopped us a bit and we talked about the most dangerous intersection in Manhattan, and oh look, there’s the matcha place right on it’s corner.

A seven corner intersection. And a matcha bar. We wandered inside.

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People were drinking green. I said I’d like something hot, without milk, and with matcha. He gave me a matcha americano. K.J. ordered some white tea. And we decided to eat something. So we ate little spheres of nuts with apricots, coconut, chocolate.

We sat at the bar. We let the power of the nibbles and tea fuel our continual wandering, now seated, and with a window view.

 

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