Walking through the park the other day and listening to my headphones I saw a group of older Asian ladies doing Tai Chi. As I stared it seemed as if I their off sync movements began to flow to the beat of my electro beats as a child ran spastically, but rhythmically around them. It all seemed acted out, like a music video set that I was unintentionally directing. I noticed that when I press play, the world seems to slow down – or speed up – to move in motion to my beat. I took a moment to sit and stare at everyone else plugged in, wondering… what is acting out in their minds?
- The guy on the train with blonde wavy hair and flip flops, closing his eyes and strumming his fingers … hitting every beat of the jerking train tracks as if it’s in sequence to crashing waves on the beach.
- The burly man in a fancy suit and tie standing in line for coffee – restricting his head shaking with wild eyes suggest he’s ready to step out in a rock video instead of into a conference room.
- The trendy college age student, bopping her head with dangling earrings, loudly strumming her fake fingernails on her purse as she mouths the words and produces an upbeat rhythm – ready to break out in front of the crowd at any moment with the next top hit.
It seems we are all transporting ourselves within our own imagination – each person around us unknowingly playing a supporting role, moving to the rhythm of our own song. It’s an illusion, possibly a dream, but it’s well orchestrated none the less. Each person living out this fantasy with their headphones in, not interacting with anyone around them but only looking out at how we are adding to their scene. Walking down the street, it’s almost as if every cab and person who is passing by has been coordinated to enter and leave your stage. On the subway people are swaying to the rhythm of your tracks – everybody to the left, then everybody to the right, forward then back over and over again like a well rehearsed dance.
It’s hard to think of everyone in this world being in sync with our different cultures, views, religions, trends, age … anything and everything give us the ability to be completely different than the person next to us – but once you put those head phones in and press play … we all seem to be on the same page and move through this world together.
At least until the track ends.