A Cardboard City

A very old picture I took on Ellis Island.

I once stood on an island watching New York City. From afar the skyscrapers loomed as motionless as a photograph. It was as if in that instant all had paused for the flash of a camera. But beyond the mountain of steel that looked like a cardboard cutout leaning against the sky, I knew there was life. Buzzing and teeming life.

The pulse of 8 million silently boomed across the bay. I remember thinking how strange it was that so much existed within something that showed no signs of life. I didn’t know any of the specifics, but I figured today may have trooped by as insignificant as the last for most. But for some, they may have lost their job while some others may have finally been proposed to. Some may have unexpectedly spent the day in the emergency room or some may have received an acceptance letter from the college of their dreams. So much was happening all at once as the city stood motionless.

Depth lies within all, even cardboard cutouts.


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