Increasingly, my one request for the weekend is to be able to sit outside. Whether its in Mexico City, where I can sit in the courtyard of an old church-turned-restaurant or at a wooden bench along any river in any city, I derive whole hearted enjoyment from just being outside, enjoying the breeze, and people watching. Often, my mind isn’t wandering the way I imagined Thoreau’s mind wandered, nor is it fixated on problem solving, the way Turing may have been. Instead, it alternates between planning what to do in the future, deliberate enjoyment of the birds chirping, flowers blooming, or just straight up blank nothing.
I think this new found, albeit stagnant, hobby is a result of being holed up in a conference room all day, debating ideas with my colleagues in tight enough quarters where I get inadvertently spit on twice a week. In my bschool and San Francisco life, I had ample time to go for walk outside along the Charles or Embarcadero. These days, I’d be lucky if I can walk a lap or two around a parking lot once a week. (For a workout, I did run laps in a Best Buy parking lot in rural Louisiana for about 3 months. About 8 laps was a mile, and I would do at least 3 miles. The security guy in the golf cart loved me.)
This sitting al fresco seem inherently at odds with my restless, active nature. However, the pause is much needed in the middle of all this hyperactivity – flights, calls, to do lists, trip planning, people seeing, book reading, inbox zero-ing. Its in this pause, the red wooden benches, and the perching rocks by the river, in which I place a lot of faith.
Faith that one day, I will figure out all this madness. Or at least figure out where to run besides Best Buy parking lots.
Location: Within James Turrell’s Knight Rise. Scottsdale, AZ 2019