Saturday, February 24, 2007

Old Reminders

Among the items on the bulletin board above my desk is the business card of a maintenance supervisor at 1 World Trade Center who was one of the six people killed in the 1993 bombing. He was about the age I am now. Next to it is a postcard-sized printout, given to me years ago, of the anonymous "Take Time" piece you see now and then. The two have been next to each other nearly as long as I've had them, the combination intended to remind me of something so obvious it becomes easy to forget - it can all end at any moment, without any warning, and we should take the time to do what really matters instead just hoping we'll have a chance to some day. The problem, of course, is that we already know this and we still forget it within minutes of getting back in the arena.

The friend who sent me the Take Time piece is a native of Belfast. She asked me once why New Yorkers step onto an escalator and start walking up the moving steps. That was years ago and I still don't have a good answer for her. Whatever the answer is, though, I'm willing to bet it's related to whatever keeps making us forget to Take Time.

On a more absurd note...

Way back in college I once attended a lecture which included the students getting to hold a real human heart. Latex gloves were offered and my classmates generally accepted. I declined the gloves since, unless I really did someday go over the edge, I would probably never have a chance to feel a real heart again. (For the record, it felt much like holding roast beef, ranging from paper-thin to about 1/8" thick.) While it was not a life changing experience, I know it's something I'll remember the rest of my life.

Fast forward to earlier today. While walking the streets of New York, I happened on Times Square Studios, and found there a small public exhibit promoting this Sunday's Awards-Show-Whose-Name-Is-A-Registered-Trademark. Aside from some displays, there was one of the famous statuettes one could be photographed holding. Since I don't expect to be winning one of these for myself any time soon - it's doubtful they'll ever award an Oprah* for doing bad magic tricks at children's birthday parties - it seemed like another of those "how many chances will I ever get to do this again?" moments. Entrusting the woman behind me in line with my camera-phone, I posed, hoping to avoid any facial expression that said, "Why is a man my age doingthis?" I noticed the statuette was heavy for its size: less than a foot tall, and about eight and a half pounds. I also found that, at least for a moment, it can take on an oddly human quality. As I put it down to leave, I found myself giving it a fatherly pat on the head.

Your thoughts on any of this, or anything else, are always welcome. Give a hollar if you're so inclined.

* Not the award's real name.



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