New York Daily Photo Analytics

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Ray of Light

I just tore my camera out on this one - it was like a religious experience. A friend who lives in Park Slope says she has been up and down that stairwell hundreds of times over many years and has never seen anything like it. If you have ever really watched the sun or moon closely, you know how quickly conditions like this change. I think there was a tiny window of opportunity at this stairwell and I was there.
But the larger point here is that the opportunity to find beauty and joy is ever present. If you have ever spent time around an eternal optimist, then you have witnessed this first hand. Many individuals indulge in the dark side and equate this with being real. They see people who are very positive as fluffy. But I think they do secretly wish they had the ability to live an easier and happier life. There is a great scene in Woody Allen's Annie Hall where Alvy (played by Woody) runs across a beautiful, happy looking couple on the street:

Alvy Singer: Here, you look like a very happy couple, um, are you?
Female street stranger: Yeah.
Alvy Singer: Yeah? So, so, how do you account for it?
Female street stranger: Uh, I'm very shallow and empty and I have no ideas and nothing interesting to say.
Male street stranger: And I'm exactly the same way.
Alvy Singer: I see. Wow. That's very interesting. So you've managed to work out something?

At the end of the day, being a cynical, skeptical, overly serious individual can be wearing. There are a lot of whiners in the world and New York City has plenty of them. Life here is very hard and stressful and it is a very easy place to get into the trap being negative and thinking that things would be better somewhere else or with different means or circumstances. Most of us have all the preconditions for happiness here and now.
A sense of humor helps. At the risk of being preachy or newagey, I would suggest looking for that ray of light. Happiness is more a choice than a condition ...

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very luck catch for a photo. Sometimes it requires to be lucky to be happy too, but you have to keep your antennas out for that as well, right? Nice posting...

Kedi (nickname courtesy of Frank) said...

Thank you Brian! I read your blog every day to remind me of home-- New York, more specifically, Park Slope-- so this post was especially welcome. I'm living happily in Istanbul now but love news from home. And just so you know, my blog is called Blushing Blinkers, because Rose Colored Glasses was taken. I completely concur that often happiness and cynicism are choices we make. You can choose to see the ray of light or you can choose to see the empty cup on the step.

Lucy said...

A zen attitude, very nice.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely beautiful!!! Thank you so, so, so much for what you do!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, this blog today is so perfect and captures my sentiment to heart. I look forward to reading your blog everyday and this, this is exactly why.
Thank You!!

Lorelai said...

This picture is phenomenal...such a strange meeting of light, hope and beauty with what can often feel like a dark, hopeless and ugly space. Thanks for your great insights today, as always.

Brian said...

The light that day was awesome. I'm glad that through my writing and photo it resonated.

David said...

Brian . . .I can't tell you how much I appreciate your images and narratives . . . and this post is especially on the money with both . . . thanks so much for entertaining and uplifting us with your observations . . .

marley said...

Great post today. That is a really good photo. You were just there at the right time.

Jeremy said...

thanks Brian ... I have been up those steps (actually and not figuratively !!) ... and I fully understand the magic of the moment .. in the blink of an eye it can all disappear ... BUT delightfully it can stay in the mind's eye forever. cheers

Gina said...

... and suddenly, through the darkness, a shaft of light...A WAY OUT!!!

Anonymous said...

I specially like this part:"the opportunity to find beauty and joy is ever present"... that is soooooo true. We all did it, you found beauty in a simple ray of sun on a stairwell and we found joy reading this marvelous post. Thanks!

DwD said...

it's as if there is an angel coming from above *shiver*. great photo as usual :D

Murph said...

Great shot.
I loved the "Annie Hall" quote, too.
I believe that it was Shelly Hack that played the female street stranger.

Petra (Germany) said...

Thanks for sharing!!! great post!

Belinda said...

I totally agree! Thank you for the reminder :o)