How often have you walked down the street, completely tuned out to your surroundings, focused on what’s ahead, or worried about some arcane blasphemy that will never pass? That is the opposite of philosophizing.
The philosopher admires the wind blowing the tree limbs, the orange clouds of sunset floating across an azure sky, and thinks to himself that this is life. He remembers death, and understands life. This is what it means to be in the now, and the birds know it, and the dogs know it, and even that three inch long cockroach that sat on top of the manhole, waving its antennae around in the air, breathing in all the beauty of the midsummer – he knows it too.
That’s why I couldn’t kill him. Oh boy was I tempted, as he perched there fluttering his tentacular antenae, and I looked at the older man sitting on the stoop, a cigarette hanging from his lips, his salt and pepper hair whiting from the roots, to see if he saw this creature, this enormous confident creature. He didn’t, but he looked at me and nodded. And I looked back at the cockroach, staring at him, and I said to him, “You can stay. You have the right.” And I walked on down the street, with my hands in my pockets, admiring the night and examining the people, my neighbors.