|New public art by Robert Adams going in at SE corner of Scottsdale and Camelback Roads|
Our physical traits: color, size, height. The manner and form of his speech. His food choices. His mannerisms, the way he measures personal space, the way he conducts relationships both personal and professional, the holidays he observes preferentially, his family customs and duties, in these ways and many others, it feels that we are vastly different. Sometimes when we speak to each other, even though we've been acquainted for more than a year, this feeling of vast differences gives me the strong and uneasy feeling that our differences compel us to be strangers even in spite of our concerted and open-minded efforts to the contrary.
|There will be backlit panels, and falling water splooshing off copper bells|
|I wonder if the copper will stay, or patina to green to blend in with the panels|
In a last ditch effort, I try to explain to him about gaining neighborhood proprioception by riding at human pace in the open air, about how even though I ride home through a major metropolitan area during rush hours, I go through neighborhoods I know now, see people I recognize and who often greet me, some of whom I know by name, and many who wouldn't hesitate to help me, or me them, in a moment of need. If I were to wobble on my bike and fall, for example.
It doesn't sway him though. He thinks I'm kind of crazy for cycling to work in the summer in a situation where I could drive a car if I chose to. But I choose not to.
|As Odile's after-remnants pass through, the streets reflected sky|
Similarly, my different-seeming coworker and I are really more similar than different. We both come from the same ocean of humanity, share a common ancestor in the geologically recent past, have common goals, interests, fears, hopes, dreams. Our differences matter, but should they render us strangers? Should we let them divide us? When we notice them, ought we allow them to rise in significance in our relationship to eclipse our deeper and more vital commonalities? Out of what, fear? Impatience? Ignorance? Discomfort?
In clouds the water molecules must have seemed same again. Not yet reunited with ocean, but floating about in a homogeneous mist of light and form and wholeness. Knowing within their atoms that ocean is where they belong and are one. Suddenly, with the right combination of energy and air, they formed into drops and ripped from the clouds, fell from thousands of feet of height and splashed into the street along my commute route. Into rivulets they flowed, then into puddles, knowing eventually that those evaporate or flow into streams or canals, into rivers, and down to the sea, back to same.
Some time this fall, canal water will flow over copper bell shapes. It will be pulled by pumps from same, carried through hoses above the bells, and sprayed or dropped onto them in a disconsolate division of spray or drops then ping off copper into rivulets as they fall toward the canal of same below.
In a moment, or after a century of multiple water cycles, the same drops will do the same thing again, and again. I'd like to think they pick up knowledge of what's happening. I imagine the water becomes wise, over time. Eventually, they will come to understand that same and different are just faces of motion and change, that transitory entities in transit might catch glimpses of chance differences which don't alter a core of meaning.
Drops falling on copper sing a song. The words begin, "We are strangers when we fall..."