Drinking my first cup of morning coffee, I hear the noise from the street. Rush hour. Soon, I will go downstairs myself and join all those people. Cars, people, cyclists, magpies and swifts, dogs. Leafs blown by the wind, the tram passing. Clouds.
I have heard and seen all of this before, but it is different every time. There are cars and animals of known types. There are noises with known patterns. There are places I know. But the things and beings appear in ever-changing patterns and arrangements and even the places change, albeit slowly. A shop has closed, a branch of a tree has broken off in a storm.
The city appears as a big machine producing information, surprise, the unforeseen. Our knowledge of it is always partial; we are always a few steps behind. There is always future – things not yet known. If we knew everything in advance, there would, in a sense, be no time. We would not need eyes or ears or other senses. We would not need a brain. We could do without legs to walk. We could sit around like sponges on a reef.
Perhaps it was the sponge’s larvae, facing the task of finding a new place, that took the first steps, or rather: wiggling strokes, into the direction that became all of this. Maybe at some point in their evolution, they skipped the sponge stage altogether, becoming worms, developing more complex senses, more complex means of moving and ever more complex views of the world around them, diversifying into a myriad of different types of animals. The bustling had started.
Back then, there was the reef or the kelp forest. Today, where I am, it is the city. Let me finish my cup of coffee and get ready.
(The picture is from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Coral_Fish_(2863778947).jpg)