the world is vast. the internet is mesmerising. everywhere i look, there are fascinating stories and unsettling images. but there’s something to be said for everyday beauty. brain pickings, that lovely site that usually tells me with a stocking-wrapped sledgehammer that time’s a-wasting, and i really should be doing more than chasing deadlines past dusk, served up this stunning little nugget today.
in it, an urban red riding hood gathers sidewalk flowers, and leaves them around her. a younger, more cynical me would have quickly commented on the lovely illustration, and gone on to figure whether it would make a great viral or activation — imagine consumers picking up what look like sidewalk flowers, but actually turn out to be a charity appeal by a nature-protecting ngo, for instance. but i’m less young, and even less cynical these days.
i see more sidewalk flowers today than i have in many, many years before.
the dirty white stray dog sitting upright at the end of the narrow lane, his dirty white tail swishing the dust as he waits for the lady who will give him his breakfast. the yawning little girl sitting on her father’s pushcart as he sells knotted bunches of fresh greens. the familiar, tinny sound of a mono ms subbulakshmi suprabhatam — which never fails to remind me of a distant niece named uttishta. yellow and lilac flowers, pink tabebuia, all ingredients in a devastatingly beautiful pollenbomb.
the things we walk past are forever lost to us. no matter how carefully some red riding hood laid them out for you to encounter.
the things we see, we’ll carry forever. and i’m used to the heft of baggage.