Finding Smallpeace in the City

What makes us stop seeing? Why do we spend so much time looking forward to things instead of simply enjoying the moment?

Here’s the thing, there is no excuse for not looking. None. Because there are so many things that deserve to be noticed right here, right now. Unexpected beauty that stops you in your tracks and makes you say “wow.” Beauty that adds color and contrast to the duller aspects of our lives, and makes the dirtier, hardscrabble corners of our urban neighborhoods worth lingering in.

In these first two murals, an artist friend of mine tells me he recognizes the skilled color work of street artist R. Nicholas Kuszyk, and after going to Kuszyk’s website, I think I agree.

It’s been a long workweek and it’s only Thursday, and I find I have spent too much time daydreaming about another glorious weekend at Smallpeace. From Sunday evening when we leave the country to Friday afternoon when we make our way back again, I’m too often wishing my life away. If I let this get out of hand, I just might stop noticing the creative expression that first drew me to New York City…and still makes me smile.

(*The last two works can be seen in person—along with other amazing graffiti art—at 5 Pointz, the Institute of Higher Burnin’, in Long Island City, Queens)

About Smallpeace

Michele Karas is a poet, essayist, and longstanding professional copywriter, who currently works for a top-five US book publisher. Her poems and prose have appeared in literary journals, including Tinderbox, THRUSH, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Narrative magazine, among others. Michele holds a BA in Journalism from San Diego State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from CUNY, The City College of New York. Find her on Twitter @small_peace.
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2 Responses to Finding Smallpeace in the City

  1. Jim Birren says:

    Leave a comment? I don’t know where to begin, except by saying “I love you”.
    I am so impressed with your writing, it takes my breath away and fills my eyes with tears. Beautiful.
    I am very proud of you. I am so happy you two have this smallpeace to retreat to and rejuvenate your souls. That is so important.
    I think with age we learn this and its validity and importance to our spirit.
    I love your blog. Thank you for making my day and putting a smile on my face.

    • Smallpeace says:

      Thank you so much for your lovely, lovely words, my dear, sweet friend. Just knowing you are out there listening, reading, pondering the same things brings me a sense of connection. But then, that’s what friends are for. It goes without saying that love you, too. xo

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