New York City, USA (h2so4 5)
The Realm of the Absence of God

It may be that God is the most present of all here, in the realm of its absence, as it is also the realm of longing for God (and perhaps of its longing for the world). In the desert, where the presence of God is felt so intensely that one feels oneself annihiliated, obliterated, there is no need of hymns, there is no need to think of God at all, no need for or even possibility of thought, neither coming nor going, everything, all at once, forever. But here, in this desert full of humanity, New York City, Hell on Earth, God has retracted itself like a snail (as in the apparent teaching of the 16th century Spanish Kabbalist Isaac Luria), leaving an empty space wherein, in its hiddenness, its workings are made manifest the only act in which God engages is its self-concealing. Likewise it is here, in the realm of the availability of everything that is worth nothing, where theives are no more honest than bankers, where human misery is maximized, all emotion reduced to addiction and economic and spiritual alienation are at their most refined, here that one can begin to sense God in the way that humans do, as this absolute and terrible longing for escape, asn this slow ebbing of one's own sanity for New York is no mere spot on the map, there is nowhere else where it would be as necessary, to think, to write, or to sing. And so I am glad, I am glad I am stranded here, gald to be imprisoned, cut of from everything I love.

—Harley Psalter