I love my city at night.
Last night, I took our two dogs for their final walk before bedtime. Although the wind and the chill in the air are probably seasonable for early March in Boston, it felt particularly cold compared to the balmy afternoon we had had. I pulled my faux fur hood over my head and hoped that they’d do their business quickly so I could return to the comfort of my bed and the newest episode of The Daily Show waiting on demand.
As their nails briskly “click click clicked” down the sidewalk, I listened through the muffled cocoon of my jacket’s hood, and then I let it fall away so I could really, truly hear my city’s sounds.
In the distance, a siren, its wail rising and falling as another joined it in chorus, playing tag across the wind.
My neighbor’s giant wind chimes, their music like hollow glass.
The scuffing shuffle of someone’s sneakers ahead of me, shoulders hunkered, legs moving them quickly through the frigid darkness.
At the beginning of my Creative Writing class, we spend a number of days focused on imagery. I encourage them to put away their headphones, leave their cell phones and iPods in their bags and pockets, and take notice of the world around them. Too often we zoom from one moment to the next that I worry we are losing the act of thoughtful absorption. I suppose the trendy new word for this is “mindfulness”…
I just know it as “the necessary work of a writer.”