It's been two years since I lived in NYC--the one place I have ever felt totally free to be me. This morning, far, far away, I got to thinking about how the city changed me. How it altered my perceptions, permanently. I'm living in a country now where many cultures present themselves to each other over the course or a day. Same in New York City but something is different--there, it's so entrenched that the mixing is constant, while here, people go out into their lives and a lot of them tend to go back to an insular state of mixing only with their culture.
The comfort zone of familiarity is more prevalent here, has a higher gravitational pull. NYC blessed me with friends from all over the world--the furthest reaches. We'd lingered and mixed together because we were human. We'd dive into the friendship without a parachute or a safety net--we were independent and from this grew rapidly in an understanding of how to share everything, even culture, despite culture.
Given the sheer concentration of people in Manhattan, humanity's many idiosyncracies, schizophrenias, fashion statements, dreams of stardom played out on subway cars, in streets, in offices, restaurants and apartments, constantly, and over a few years I grew to find them normal. I am no longer in a place where they are acceptable at such a range ... so while my lens is still the same, the subject matter is far less colorful and my sad attempts to bring it on are quickly met with sideways glances. I have packed myself up neatly very quickly, adapted, almost seemlessly.
But there's still this shadow zone that my foot slides into once in a while and there's an inexplicably strong desire within me to go to the circus. ;)