POV ("point of view") is a series that addresses many of the same themes covered in my Equals Record column: growing up, saying yes to adventure, learning to embrace a quarter-life crisis. Each POV entry will include a photograph and a short reflection based on what’s pictured. While my previous column focused largely on ideas, POV focuses on moments - glimpses, glances, tiny stories.
Now that I’ve spent close to five years in New York City, I’ve gotten used to the constant company of strangers. It’s something I don’t even think about anymore, and it’s a reality that I both love and loathe about New York. These days, I’ve found myself growing impatient in my daily interactions with people on the street. I find that I expect to be annoyed by the slowness of tourists on public walkways, by the incompetence of people working in stores, and by the seemingly unending parade of wheeled apparatus on city sidewalks: strollers, scooters, children’s bikes.
It doesn’t come naturally anymore to recognize strangers as complicated humans who feel and fear and love, and with whom there’s always a possibility to connect.
Early one evening in Sri Lanka, Yair and I came across what appeared to be a deserted area near a waterfall in Deniyaya. We climbed to the top and chose a large, flat rock to sit on. I finished a book. Yair practiced handstands. We wondered what our friends in New York were doing.