Saturday, May 15, 2010
Today I finished reading a book. For many that is not much of an accomplishment, however my tendency is to begin and never finish reading for whatever reason. I began this book the day I completed my thesis in Savannah, several months ago now. I was released from my bonds of a Master of Architecture degree and the feeling was amazing. I was free, but it was also a rather scary moment in a pleasurable sort of way. A very strange feeling.
Leaving the Architecture building in the late afternoon I began to wonder what I would do with the remainder of my day. It wasn't too late to hit the road, but I didn't want to leave Savannah. It looked so different now. I was a bit sleep deprived so driving was not really a healthy option. My accommodations for my return visit to Savannah had expired, and though I knew I could call any of my several friends in town for a place to crash, I decided to embrace this exciting feeling of freedom. I wanted to be as independent as possible.
So...what to do? Everything in my car was related to the last year and half of archi-torture (as some laughingly put it) and I had no desire to look at any of it to pass the time. Digging through my car I found a book that I had bought a long time ago, at least a year in advance, maybe more. It, like many other things in my life, had been buried by "work". "When was the last time I read a book that wasn't about architecture?" Unlocking my bike from the back of the Jeep, I rode over to a favorite cafe and began reading. After some time there, I went out to celebrate a friend's birthday. A couple beers later and with the cafe now being closed, I was again faced with the uncertainty of what came next. I made my way to the only place I knew would still be open, the library, which was open until 1am. Not really a place I wanted to be, but I did not care as I began digging back into the book.
"Where has this book been all my life....or least in the last year?" Dr. John Francis, author of this book Planetwalker, was speaking as if from inside my head, somehow managing to piece together all of my fragmented ideas into one simple and fluid stance. At that moment I credited the coincidence to the status of my newly weightless and very exhausted mind, though it did not prevent my mind from entering a state of awe. So when the library dimmed their lights to close, I just walked outside to the Jeep and drove to first place that came to mind.
Now, I must say, I have many theories on life, all of them certainly uncertain in my brain. Some times they appear fluidly and cohesively making absolute sense, and an hour later they contradict the previously certain theory with an equally viable "excuse". Whatever the case may be, or perhaps, whatever the cause may be....this was one of the most memorably joyous nights of my life. I have never felt so high. And the funny thing was that nothing really happened. There was nothing normal happening for sure, nothing which I regarded as entertainment, nothing prescribed to create this joy, just the fact that I was alive and free in the world.
That was all I needed and that is all I need now. This echoes much of what John Francis had written about and explored in his journey. So...as usual, just as I feel I have described a thesis of architecture that pertains to our human choices being the driver of our lives, I am smacked in the face with unbelievable coincidence which seem anything but human as I just happened to begin reading these like thoughts on the day I become free. Much like the coincidence that I happen of upon Francis' beautiful TED lecture the day I finish his book. Regularly frequenting TED.com I have yet to see his talk until today.
Coincidence is a funny thing, and I have yet to understand its place and its meaning to my life. I wonder if this is the god so many people speak of, or if it is just the chance...the result...of this probability equation we call Life on Earth.
His book was quite inspiring. I have had many aspirations to get up and leave as he did, but nothing has moved me yet to go anywhere, so I wait. As always, I make up time lines, agendas, and orders of things, all becoming excuses to not leave, not to do, not to make. My freedom of a few months ago has already been clouded with other "obligations", most of them revolving around money, an object I would love to omit from my life. Thankfully, I believe that my soul will take my body where it needs to be in order to create happiness for both realms, so...what to do next?
Here is John's TED video that I came across today. A very refreshing point of view. I hope you enjoy.