Thursday, March 05, 2009

A walk from SoHo to the Financial District a few nights ago prompted my brain to run a frequently traveled course in discerning next move from same place. Not really in terms of physical move or career move, but more of a personal shift.

I was walking slower than normal, despite the cold, because my desire to wander the streets, learning what the city looked like with no people and no daylight, was innately stronger than the wind that caused me to deeply bury my face into the softness of the alpaca scarf knotted around my neck. Lightly gripping my camera bag to prevent its swing on the side of my tweed coat, my feet kept moving, but my mind was still stuck on the thought I had on corner of Church and Chambers - about the roots of the very nature of my being on the corner of Church and Chambers and of course, my perspective du jour.

When I say "roots of the moment" I mean the thing that made you reevaluate, well, anything really. Choice words? Seeing/hearing a piece of art? Being away from everything you've grown accustomed to? Something so awful I wouldn't dare give an example?

As I didn't dare to think of an example, I passed this eerily lit cross built from beams and scraps of the World Trade Center. And there you have it. An example. Something so catastrophic that it didn't only change personal views, but global views. Global views about everything.

Why is it frequently catastrophe that makes people realign priorities? Why can't beautiful things ever carry the weight that horrible things do?

I have a theory that beautiful things just become accepted as how things are. And because they happen every-god-damn-day, they lose their value. Shouldn't that be an even better reason to be stoked about life? Media analysts always talk about the effect of desensitization in regard to war and violence, but what about the desensitization to just being happy and appreciating all that you have?

Why do we always take great things and with time, seem to only pay attention to problems? Problems, problems, problems. Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly guilty too, but I'm very tired of awful things being the catalyst for change.


You say, "well if everything is beautiful, why would it have to change?" Bingo. And the million-dollar prize goes to you Skippy - thanks for the insight.

People constantly talk about hindsight as something soley of the past, when really, all hindsight is is the ability to change your perspective in the present. None of this, "I should have done this"/"I didn't do this"/"I wanted to do this, but..." All right, you didn't do it or you might do it again and really, you can say those phrases all you want, but it doesn't alter a damn thing until you do something about it.

Oh, wait, Skippy? What's that? You'd really like me to take a stab at answering the question?

Ok. Pardon the capslock, but: IT WOULDN'T. YOU ALREADY HAVE IT. But let me ask you this: do you really want to wait for a catastrophe to realize that? Real or not, it took a cyclone and a strange land with little people, talking inanimates and snazzy shoes to make Dorothy Gale come to grips, so if that's what it takes, that's what it takes.

(Cue trite ending now)

I can tell you this though, Skippy, I sure as heck don't. I don't want a natural disaster and a fictional land to make me believe that life is beautiful. So, I'm going to take in a breath of my quaint, but glorious Manhattan apartment, love it and get excited about tomorrow.


Mike said...

LOVE this post! We get a lot of really great stories about events and things in people's lives that cause them to realign their priorities.
But you are so right in that it doesn't have to be some big catastrophe.
This type of "everyday discovery" is powerful stuff. I think your perspective would really strike a chord w/ folks. Check it out and if you agree consider sharing your story.


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