Everyday at around 5 pm, I leave work to catch the subway. For the past week or so, I’ve been crossing paths with a Buddhist monk in his saffron robes. It doesn’t matter what the weather is; he’s always wearing his robes. He’s getting off the train and I’m walking to the train, so we walk past each other. Everytime we cross paths, he gives me a curious look and I have the strangest feeling that he is looking right into me. I don’t say “through” because that is the same as past, but “in” as in within. This is uncomfortable because NYC is a city of look past-ers. We see things but don’t see things. It is an internal city– all the plans and schedules and dreams are in you and you are working your hardest to get it out of you. It is a city of the head, the mind. It is where you go to realize what you’ve imagined. So imagine when someone sees you, the physical you, your physical reality meeting their physical reality. Someone who is not your lover or close friend, but a stranger who looks at you with eyes that are curious and accepting. There is a simplicity there that is not merely simple but aware, a presence that is present. I know that this event is slight, but it stays with me. I can’t say why.