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Veronica Varlow
  -  Things I Think About Thursday   -  Things I Think About Thursday: Looking Beyond What’s In Front of Me

“So, you’re on this kind of quest then?” she asked me.

We had met 10 minutes before.  She sat down next to me in my favorite sunny window of my favorite coffee shop in Brooklyn.

A quest.  I had to think about that for a moment.  “It’s more like a game.” I answered.

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“A game of what, though?”

A game of discovery?  A game of battling my own inner zombie?

“I guess it’s just a game of looking beyond…..”

“Looking beyond what?”

“Everything that gets in the way.”

That’s where all the best stories lie.
In the looking beyond.
They are there waiting for me to take notice.

She was half there, half not…waiting for me on a 100 year old brick wall in Brooklyn….
I walked by her without noticing this morning.

I was sleepy-eyed and bleary, walking Niney and doing the mundane task of moving my car from a soon-to-be illegal spot. But then, I remembered the game and I looked around – eyes wide open – hunting for something new in this day.

Then I saw her.
When I was 15, Thornton Wilder’s play, “Our Town” gutted me.

In the end, the lead female character is dead.

She gets a chance to go back to her 12th birthday and see it as an observer. She quickly realizes that everyone is kind of sleepwalking through their lives, not noticing each other, not noticing what’s happening in the moment.

I know that I do this.

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That’s why I started playing this game of seeing, of experiencing.

In the last few lines of Our Town, the lead character can’t take seeing everyone sleepwalking through everything and asks to go back to the graveyard. She looks to the stage manager and says….”Does anyone ever realize life while they live it?”

And the stage manager answers: “No. Saints and poets maybe…they do some.”

That’s when I decided I wanted to be a poet.
Because I will never be a saint.
The game is to observe, to interact, to play, to explore.

I dare you to take a picture of something you may have just walked by on a normal day and post it in the comments.  Show me something you see today.


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