The Transparent City

When you look inside the rooms with other people, when you look through transparent windows at someone else’s life, how their life is going on, slide from floor to floor so you become a little calmer. It pacifies you and distracts your mind from thinking about who you really are. At such moments, you embody the goal of your whole life — you exclude yourself, disappear from your reality, and distract your consciousness from thoughts and feelings that float up from the depths of your being. It shifts attention outward from the point where you really are at that moment, replaces personal experiences and desires with others. Watching someone come home, have dinner, read evening newspapers or news on the Internet, scroll through the feed on their phone and fall asleep in front of TV.

Or when you come to the theater and observe the emotions, thoughts and desires of the characters, carefully pulling them out of the spoken words, shown gestures and facial expressions. When you are reading small signs of body position, movement, or reactions from others. Deciphering them and carefully folding into a new, «own» story. Those stories always have some riddle or problem at the beginning, struggle in the continuation, and some solution or answer at the end which returns the hero and you to the point you went out of. Giving you an unsteady illusion that something has happened. It happened not only to the character, you think it also has happened to you, after your presence in that story.

Or when you come to an exhibition and try to answer the questions asked by some artists in their works. Questions that seem to you really important, worthy of attention, relevant and requiring an immediate answer. 

This is how life goes. You begin to do this in childhood. You observe your parents and absorb their patterns of behavior, reactions to situations. You reproduce it in contact with other people and constantly look for confirmation of your previous experience.

Watching friends, random people in the subway or shops, your children or children of other parents. All this repeats and reproduces the same melody that sounds throughout each life with some variations, gives a feeling of movement and moves as from one point to another, rolling in a small carousel around our sun or our own self. 

We leave our little world for a while, contact with the huge one surrounding us and come back, bringing with us a piece of that immense and mysterious that is present beyond our invented boundaries. The world we would definitely haven’t survived in. The world we would dissolve in the awareness of this infinity of emptiness and chaos. We need these walls that help us to remain ourselves, and reinforce our desire to go beyond our boundaries in order to finally dissolve. But all that we bring inside is not that we are.

Sometimes you understand that you want to change something but in fact all that we can — to play this old and obvious melody in our own way. It is one really amazing thing we can do.