Thursday, March 11, 2004

Someone asked me recently what kind of things make me feel a sense of awe.

I used to have to walk about a mile through the suburbs to get to work, and when I first started doing it, it was extremely boring and horrible. But I happened to be reading a lot about meditation and Buddhism and stuff at the time, and so I started trying to use that time to experiment with meditating and emptying all the thoughts out of my head and letting in everything I saw and heard and felt. When I was able to do it, I would get into this state where I would notice everything, and it was all a bright red leaf in a puddle would be the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen, or I would crack up looking at a hedge that someone had trimmed into a really silly shape.

Now I live and work in the city, so it is hard to do that kind of thing, because there is so much going on all the time that if I let it all into my head, I would probably explode. So instead, I tend to be in awe of things like the endless variety of faces that I see on the street, or the incredibly complex process it takes for a piece of clothing to get from a sweatshop in Asia to the shelf of the Gap. Or the fact that everyone in the world, even the guy who is driving the subway or the woman who cleans my office has just as many complicated thoughts and emotions and ideas and hopes as I do.


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