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QUINTESSENCE

Faces in the Crowd


IN A STATION OF THE METRO

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
- Ezra Pound, 1913

As the holidays conclude and the airports fill and empty with travelers, I am reminded of the opening sequence of the film "Love Actually." The narrator, observing the flow and shift of crowds at the arrivals gate, speaks of the comforting presence, the reminder even, of human connection reflected in the anonymous faces that seek out and greet loved ones from the throngs of strangers. As I read the brief lines from Ezra Pound, I thought of the connections among strangers in a fresh and unexpected way - individual blossoms among the branches of the human tree.

This Friday, when I take my son and daughter back to the airport to return east to school, I too, will make it a point to observe the many hugs and tears and smiles among the strangers in the milling crowds. My family is but one group of petals in a bushfull of abundant love stories. All the arms and smiles that connect one loved one to another, connect strangers as well. All of us stand in the midst of love. To quote from the film mentioned, "Love is, actually, all around."
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