Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I was sitting in a business meeting.

14 floors up overlooking the City the dormant suburbs the mature trees growing in organised quadrants of fall splashes of brown, orange, red, yellow in the hazy distance smokestacks, and bits of highway scratching their swaths through the horizon, down there.

How many people are milling about? How many cars?

Who is late for something, or just impatient waiting at a light, leaning on the horn, gesticulating with a minute hand at a minute problem? At an old lady pushing her wheels across the rickety concrete. At a teenager spitting his gum in the gutter.

Over the monotonous drone of the traffic and of my peers discussing statistics and positioning and advancements and pros and cons, through the double panes I begin to hear a siren.

Who is sick? and will this be their last day? Does their family know? What sequence of events will it set in motion? A priest, a lawyer, a florist, tissue paper for the lacrimal aftermath.

The siren rises and we all hear it, but our world goes on, and on as the wailing fades. Just like that. Someone in the room sighs.

Just a random event, like a leaf falling from a tree, one of the many many.

But somewhere down there, somewhere just below the furthest reach of sight and beyond that of the corporate imagination, there is a single point of focus that cannot be explained, nor can it be devined, nor touched, nor caught, nor frozen, nor forced, nor feigned, because it moves like one of the living, and it is never the same thing twice; for over the miles of concrete and all the woods and waters and through all the active trouble of this world, somehow, at the precise point marked by a little red beacon, comes the flash, the silver pulse of the wild trout, which careens through a wave, busting the shadows and tearing from the absolute centre of the heart of at least one person,

a deep sigh. This is what it is.

This is what it means, to be alive.


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