Blissful Ignorance

Sometimes I wish I were a simpleton on a farm leading a simple life with little to worry about but next years’ harvest and little intellectual capacity beyond the ability to raise sheep and cattle and pigs and crops. This vivid but meaningless life around me swells into absurdity at times and at others diminishes into quiet uncertainty. As I witness each new preposterous series of stop-time photographs I wish I could just let go and forget about the world around me. Maybe then there would be less to worry about; or perhaps it would just be less poignant.


The other night I rode on the Subway with a man with whom I had nothing in common and we had little to talk about. On the ride up we played a game of Checkers; on the way back we kept silent except when I asked a question or made a comment. It was late at night and I was tired of forcing conversation about physics and instead I began blabbering about things I only think about when it’s dark out. And, as always when on the subway or stopped at a stop-light at a crowded intersection, I thought about all the other lives brushing past me in this urban world and I wondered what their stories were and why they came to be where they were, going that particular direction at that particular time on that particular occasion. We never stop to find out, and the scent of the rose drifts past us unnoticed, as usual. I told him all this and I asked “Do you ever think about that?” and he said “Mmhmm.”