3 train, 96th Street to 14th Street, January 26th, 2017
My train practice has been on hold. It has been too difficult to get the vibe to ask. Today I needed to ask, needed to get back in the swing of talking to someone, if only to counteract the collective nightmare. My poem sense was pinging from the neighbor on my right. I interrupted his texting and asked. He gave the most well-adjusted answer: Yes, I’ll try my best. Then he wrote this poem in three minutes, between two stations, thinking, he said (recursively), about being asked to write a poem.
I must ask more. Sharing these moments with strangers turns out to be powerful and reassuring. Martin is a cognitive psychologist. He’s working on his PhD and teaching. He studies the social aspects of memory – collective memory.
What does it mean to be human?
To both know that you know,
and to know that you know nothing.
How does one walk through life,
being pulled this way or that,
and still claim rights over agency?
Beauty lies in the struggle.
Truth lies in the attempt to
We must resist the constant
temptation for complacency.
The temptation to give in,
and just let all roll over us
like an endless ocean of waves.
This is what it is to be human,
to be alive, to be aware.
And in this struggle, we find
We find truth.
We find…ourselves . . .