Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Amsterdam is one of my favorite cities in the world. On my last trip there, I memorialized it by taking a picture on the street I stay on, Kloveniersburgwaal Straat (along the Kloveniersburgwaal Grachten - the Cavalier's canal.) In it, I can see a few bicyclists (cars are verboten in the city center), two of which are riding and holding hands. The street is lined with amsterdamers - knee-high metal posts designed for colliding with tourists. The picturesque bridge, and the canal itself complete the picture.
I used to keep that photo on my desk before law school (and, I might add, before the advent of digital photography.) Whenever I was stressed, I would pick up the picture. I would meditate on it until I could place myself on the street, feel the weight of my backpack, hear the guttural Dutch being spoken around me, smell the Bloomenmarket around the corner.
The picture above is of sunrise as seen from the beach on Key Biscayne. It was my last day in Miami, and I spent it doing "the circuit": ocean, pool, hot tub. The "photo op" found me curled up on a chaise lounge, wrapped up in a fluffy terry robe, and thinking deep thoughts. I've always had a thing for the beach, but not in that tan-tastic way. The ocean humbles me in an oddly comforting way. It existed before me, and will continue after me. My problems, fears, insecurities, anxieties, hang-ups, concerns, etc are but a drop in the ocean. With my feet firmly planted on the beach, I still feel absolved.
I think this picture may be my new Amsterdam