The Life We Breathe

Ishita 🌙
3 min readOct 21, 2021
Photo by Ishita Tyagi

It was another weekend night in the city — streets dancing to jazz music, distant laughter & tinkling of wine glasses. She made her way through the traffic light towards the bar when a car screeched to a sudden halt. She saw her lifeless form lying a feet away. A crowd quickly gathering around, the ER’s siren already sounding in the distance. The man poked out of the window “Watch where you’re going, young lady.” Suddenly the dizzying reality hit her. The car had fortunately stopped inches away.

But her racing mind could not. Living in the city had been everything but boring. The excitement of tasting new experiences, new energies ever so often. A walk down the street & the liveliness could be enough to rejuvenate you. But had she been so busy soaking this excitement, this life around, that she’d become increasingly unaware of the one within?

Just then a bizarre painting loomed into her mind from earlier in the day. It was called the Diagonal Freeway and the painter depicted city life in the form of a hilly San Francisco landscape. The painting shows freeways intersecting & vanishing & yet never meeting (intersecting in different planes). One of the freeways seems to be eroded, the edge shown as steep & high. Looking at the edge, she remembered feeling nauseous, tensed about falling off a cliff. Perhaps the edge was there to denote something precarious, short lived? Much like the transient city- where people move in & out frequently. And yet the excitement always keeping their lives on the edge.

Although the meaning had been apparent, the full understanding of what the painter was trying to depict didn’t sink until now- the surreal extent of all the rush & frenzy. Perhaps, being awake all the time from all the activities & excitement could surely create this dizzying effect? The frenzied mind sidetracked to processes the life within.

“Time is nature’s way of keeping everything from happening at once.” And yet everything in her life always seemed to happen together.

However, the sudden screech of brakes were enough to douse her in reality. But how can one perceive this reality differently? To discern what they should be seeing from what’s been shown- in order to prevent being sucked into the euphoria.