I was looking up and all I could see were the empty seats of a chairlift. The slow mechanical sound of endless movement hummed above me as they passed up and down. Is it not soothing? Could these not be souls above me? Passing between heaven and hell? Or from Brooklyn Heights to Lower Manhattan? 

Maybe this is like Berkley’s tree falling in the absence of consciousness? Who’s to say these chairs are empty just because no one occupies them? They were made to be occupied but they were not made occupied. The state of being unoccupied therefore, is the chairs natural state. Perhaps being alone is ours?

A hawk glides overhead and climbs to a large pine forest set in the curve of a horseshoe ravine. It lets out several cries that linger in the air. Perhaps she’s calling her mate? And then, as if in deliberate affirmation of that thought, the cry of another hawk, distant but audible echoes up the valley. For some reason I smile in contentment. 

I’ll have to leave soon. But I’ll lay here a little longer. 

I imagine the souls heading up hill applauding my meditative sensibility, while those heading down urge me to get up and do something positive. Funny how you only yearn for paradise when you’re locked out? 

The slightly bigger male hawk flies over me and towards his mate. The sun stretches out in ignorance of all the sacred lives it provides for. I see the moon, cloud white in the sky, like an actor peeking through the curtain at an empty house, an hour or so before the show begins. “We are all imposters friend,” I tell him, in the spirit of camaraderie.

I stand up and look down where my body has flattened the grass. Gradually, the blades of grass around the outside lift back into their natural upright position. If I come by this way in an hour it’ll be like I was never here. 

As I think this the chairlift suddenly stops and the chairs sway eerily in a vacuum of silence. I look around as if expecting an explanation. But then the chairlift jolts awake again. I check my watch and head back down the valley and home.

©DMM photo by @zsuzsiisme


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