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as we settle in

January 8, 2010

When you work a full-time job in an office every day, as I do, and you take the same route to and from work every day, as I do, and you tend to follow the same routines day to day on lunch and break, as I do, you might fall into a purpose-filled daze on your way to and from.  The purpose is to get where you’re going, and the daze comes from the repetition of it all.  I didn’t think much about it until this week, but there are two paradoxical things that I’ve noticed: one, that it is difficult to find things to photograph when you take the same route daily; but two, that forcing yourself to find things to photograph wakes you up on that hazy journey.  It’s nice to view the world with a different eye.  A few months back I decided I needed a lifestyle change, so I sold my car (granted, the thing had broken down and I would’ve needed to purchase a new one, but purchase I did not).  It instantly made me more patient, and gave me time every morning and evening to think, read, listen to music, and observe. Since then, I’ve continued to think, read and listen to music but my observations became less inspiring (“It smells like puke on this L train,” is not, after all, an award-winning reflection).  I appreciate the renewed vigor and watchful eyes that this space has already passed on to me.

No. 361: 1/7/2010

Then, here in a glacial Beijing, on a bright morning in Tiananmen
Square, having walked past a McDonald’s outlet, I found myself
alone with Mao Zedong, the Great Helmsman and Teacher, looking
a little more florid than Ho [Chi Minh]. As there was nobody else around I
thought I’d linger, but a guard was having none of that.

It seems the minutes with the wordless Gods of Asia are clocked
as carefully as those with a New York lawyer.

– Roger Cohen, New York Times 1/7/10

No. 362: 1/6/2010

I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running
from one falling star to another till i drop. This is the night, what
it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.

– Jack Kerouac, On The Road

No. 363: 1/5/2010

Every man’s life ends the same way.  It is only the details of how
he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.

– Ernest Hemingway

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