“There is no question that there is an unseen world. The problem is, how far is it from mid-town and how late is it open?” – attributed to Woody Allen
I copied this quote for Huguette before I even visited New York and re-reading it means even more now. Cities like New York are filled with unseen worlds, usually found in between the many crowds of people and the sky-high buildings. Seeing Times Square for the first time was like entering an unseen world laid bare, lots of colourful neon, flickering images and so many people all in their own worlds. I remember turning in every direction trying to capture all the sights, it reminded me of a carnival powered by a super nova!
Unseen worlds can be found in small havens like Puerto Vallarta as well. These unseen worlds are not made up of ghosts or goblins but the everyday gifts from lives unfolding – reflections given back to us, reminders to inhale life while we can. Journal writing while travelling has allowed me to record the unseen worlds that I seek out or happen upon. In our studio near the ocean, Mexico began to reveal itself fairly quickly! Every morning in the early hours we were greeted by the sounds of the nearby rooster and burro, we never saw them but on closer inspection near the end of Olas Altas, we discovered some Mexican homes down a hill that had yards big enough for the elusive creatures. Their greetings began to form a sound track to our Mexican life, creating a sense of home. Living as we did in this community-like building, most of the tenants kept their front door propped open with a large Mexican rock allowing for more unseen worlds to collide with us. Here is one example and as it unfolded I was struck with child-like wonder and laughter.
Journal Excerpt: December 8th, 2004
Since we’ve been in our little studio, we’ve had lots of visitors. Just this evening we were visited by a beautiful female black & brown puppy (where did she come from? we are on the 2nd floor!). What a darling (wriggling and wagging her tail in our kitchen area)! We also had a green leaf bug fly in. Recently we had a small grey street dog visit, as well as a grasshopper; a gecko peeks in occasionally, too
Street dogs figure prominently in our collection of unseen worlds, their sometimes daily sightings added layers to our small world. These dogs often roamed the same streets and beaches we did revealing their characters as the days passed. We admired their tenacity at finding scraps to eat or territory to guard. The lucky ones had collars and usually homes to return to. Our favourite dogs were the roof dogs, no matter how many days you walked by their homes, furious barking would erupt and repeated lunging to the end of the roof would occur. Even though I knew this would happen, the roof dogs surprised me every time!