Conditions: Sunny skies, becoming hot, a clam clear day.
Location: E. Tremont and Vyse Av
Several passers by took note of my service work. The man in this drawing slowly walked passed supported by his wheeled walker. He did not smile, but nevertheless had a friendly energy. I think he was a little surprised to see me weeding the tree. His walking movement was very jerky and laborious, and his face betrayed how great a struggle it was for him to be doing- yet there he was, outside on a sunny day, doing it.
In greeting me I sensed there was no romance about his reality. He seemed to fully understand that he was enduring his physical hardship. “Just getting by…” he said, but he was still out walking. He had not given up.
I will drift from time to time into my imagination, and as this man disappeared out of sight, as I continued to weed away the tree bed, I felt myself drift away. “What if that man just now, wasn’t really there? What if that was the spirit of this tree? Or what if that was the spirit of the BRONX?”
Just getting by, but still moving… an uncrushable spirit.