Today has been a shambly kind of day.

Which is pretty much the perfect Sunday. Rain coursed from the heavens last night, which is a lovely way to go to sleep, knowing the morning will be freshly scrubbed.

I’m writing this from a perfect rock-perch in the East Meadow of Central Park. I had this idea that on my traipse through the urban woods I’d stop periodically and jot down some thoughts…but I didn’t want to stop. So now, after walking around the reservoir and basking in the sun for over an hour, I’m finally attempting this.

But my brain is a little lazy. I’m full of expansive thoughts but also feeling inarticulate. I’m surrounded by families, couples, groups of friends, the occasional insane person who points at the grass and makes exclamations of recognition. Fuck me, I knew it! he says, pointing.

There’s a broad sense of contentment in this meadow. Two women throw a football – cool. A toddler wearing a sun hat and a bib struggles up a small hill. Three friends lie in the grass, hands clasped behind their heads, laughing. A woman with undeniably great breasts angles sideways on the hill, reading.

It’s very simple to be optimistic here. It’s panoramic utopia. I watched a documentary yesterday about the Chinese artist Ai WeiWei. When asked if he was an optimist or a pessimist he replied, As long as I’m exhilarated by life, I’m an optimist.

The kid next to me is doing that thing kids do when they have a stick and access to grass. Poking the world. As adults, we get taller and farther away from the ground and often lose our curiosity about the earth. I try to remember to look UP and look DOWN as I move through life, because there’s already enough pressure to look FORWARD.

Forward is fine. But it’s in the Up and Down that things can get detailed and interesting in a way that takes more time to examine.