Monday, December 22, 2008

hearing the silence.

New York City was covered in a blanket of white over the weekend.

That serene scene doesn't last very long in this city but I was able to enjoy it for a few hours on Friday afternoon.

I was working from home in the morning and I could hear the kids on the playground eight floors down screaming and laughing. Hearing children laughing is one of my favorite sounds. It's easy to enjoy it from way up high because usually when I am outside during their lunch break or right after school I just want to pass them as quickly as possible. They usually knock you over with their huge backpacks and yell in your face, they don't let you walk and they sit on your car. I love kids though. Let's be honest - hundreds of kids at the same time will drive anyone a bit batty. But, from the comfort of my own apartment it sounds like an explosion of fun and happiness.

I went downtown for a commission in the late afternoon. I'm glad I had a job because otherwise I would have spent the entire day indoors working on photographs. The day was something to be experienced. Battery Park was quiet with hardly any footprints on the fresh snow. This is what I love about New York (one of the many things I love about my city) - a place like Battery Park, usually over-run with tourists and t-shirt salesmen and class trips and harried New Yorkers can look like a scene from a fairy tale on a random, snowy Friday afternoon. It was magical.

If you live outside of a city, or ever travel to the suburbs or the country you will know what I'm talking about - you know that sound you hear in the winter - that sound of nothingness. That silence that seems to penetrate you and almost touch your soul? You know that sound. And, you know that freshness that touches your face - the only skin that is exposed because it is too cold to be without coat, hat, scarf, gloves. I love that sound and that crisp air on my cheek. It's the sound of peace and calm. I rarely hear that sound and not only because I live in the busiest, loudest and most fascinating city in the world. I rarely hear that sound because I usually have so many thoughts swirling around in my head, vying for attention, that it is nearly impossible to hear that silence. On Friday, in Battery Park, I heard it. It has been a long while since I heard it. But, I did. It was too frigid to stand there for very long but I enjoyed it while I could. I'm hoping I hear it again soon. Hoping.

Can you hear it?

Today's soundtrack:

Nouvelle Vague - In a Manner of Speaking

Unfortunately I got sick after being out there all day but it was worth it.

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amy said...

oh i love nyc covered in snow... but only from the inside of my warm home!

Elizabeth said...

I love those birds-eye shots Monica! You make snow-covered NYC look so pretty. (When I was trudging though it last Friday, I don't recall it looking quite so beautiful as your pictures make it seem!)

The Lil Bee said...

Are you kidding me with these photos?! Unreal. I love both of those sounds,, all three...children playing, snow falling, silence.

Angry Asian said...

i hope you feel better soon.

these pictures are beautiful, would you believe, i actually feel the chilly dampness from where i sit, they are so real.

btw, i adore today's song.

Elizabeth said...

P.S. I saw your comment on Amy's blog--let's get together for a knitting lesson! Sneha is learning right now too actually. :)

Shannalee said...

Wow, this is weather I know all too well here in Chicago. I know it's pretty (I know it's pretty, I know it's pretty), but OH MY GOSH I hate driving in it. Like, I'd rather get a root canal or something.

While I was looking through these, I was about to ask if you didn't get sick from being out there, and then I read your last comment. Hope you're feeling better soon---make some soup! :)

Kitten said...

I loved what you said about the freshness of the air on your cheek, as well as the winter silence. Beautifully written. Great photoes, too!

City Girl said...

I only like snow when it makes everything quiet and like your pictures -- as opposed to grimy city snow (you know what I mean!) but like you, I often get sick too in cold weather :( feel better! Maegan said...

wow. that is just totally insanely beautiful.

Sparrow said...

Thank you for your photographs. Just looking through them makes me peaceful and happy. I just added your blog to my favorites blog list.

here is my brand new blog!