in a towered city, far from the busy hum of men

 

 

 

 

First Avenue 3-5-2018

First Avenue between 48th and 49th Streets, looking north

 

 

I had an appointment in the City this afternoon. Having been remiss about walking lately, I decided to walk home. It takes me about two and a half hours.

Walking is an excellent antidote for depression. I was depressed over two deaths that have deeply affected me: of a dear lifelong friend and of a relative my age. And I have experienced unpleasantness lately in interpersonal relationships.

The early evening, dusk, is such a peaceful time. Walking eastward on East 48th Street and northward on First Avenue, I felt this. A serenity came over me. The few people out looked unhurried and peaceful themselves. The mean-spirited persons I know seemed irrelevant, a feeling that was welcome.

One often feels a sense of excitement and pulse of unrelenting activity in Manhattan. But at other times, one almost feels a stillness akin to being far removed from what the poet Milton called “the busy hum of men.” It’s like being in the eye of a hurricane.

Don’t go on a cruise or to a remote tourist spot to escape your problems and tormentors. You’ll be walled in like a patient in an asylum. Go instead to a city, get lost in it, and walk it in the early morning or evening.

 

— Roger W. Smith

    March 2018

 

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