Put yourself for a moment on this little dewey corner somewhere in the heart of Milan. Close your eyes and allow the people to gently pass by you. They all walk with intent yet are content to be late if they must enjoy each-other's company this evening. The light horns of jazz beat against the walls as the small vespas slap the cobblestones. It's just that time when the lights inside cafes are dimmed in synchronicity with the falling sun. It's been a long day and the humidity will keep your glass of chilled white wine company while your fingers are preoccupied with the strands of hair of the person with whom you've sat down.
Quiet. Unnerving and relentless quiet. It was raining all day today and I don't know anybody in this city. Or maybe I don't know anybody in this city and it was raining? I feel invisible and it's delectable.
One of the reasons I dislike evenings is because I fall into a tired restlessness. I've expended all of my will-power throughout the day and can't keep with my usual productivity. It's scary when I don't know what to do with myself for the pure fact I can't do anything with myself. Whatever would put me faster to sleep so I can recharge would usually do. Alcohol was easy. It would make me depart from my problem-solving mind. But now I don't drink; more mediation? Perhaps. A film? I don't associate fiction with function and educational materials are usually paired with breakfast. I'm always lost after 19:00 and don't enjoy the space-less minutes after the sun bids its goodbyes.
Tonight was different. I fell into my bodies natural rhythm because the city was vibrating at the exact same frequency.
The streets were wet, it was a Monday, and not too many people were about. I had no crutches nor human support, at least not in this time zone, so I was left to my own devices. I decided to let my body float through the empty streets. I paired the meal with Chopin's Nocturnes when the strums of a street musician weren't within earshot. There was a unique hint of lavender in the air.
It's nice having this distance. I don't think I could just sit down someplace on a street corner and observe in NYC. Needless to say, I don't think passersby would pay any mind. Yet here it comes naturally. Thick slabs of ancient granite are far more comfortable than modern concrete anyway.
In the go go do! pace of our day to days we rarely allow ourselves to enjoy such beautiful reprieves. Our symphonies are less polyphonic and more monotone in loudness and rapidity; rather imposing on the soul. We need contrasts in tempi. Try a short silence and a short walk around your neighborhood. Presto, or maybe prestissimo if it's new to you. Then extend to an allegro calmness, then plop yourself on a bench in a park with your phone off and write the rest of the measures of your stroll in a moderato tempo.
I don't think it's me who's grateful for slowing down, but my body and mind. They need their rest. As much as I would love to sprint all day then just stop, I learned today that there needs to be an interim of deceleration. It can be just as pleasurable as the more exhilarating moments of the day.