I have continued to look through old photos and found another old favorite from last year. This was from another exploring trip downtown. Last year I would hop in my car to escape school and drive to the center of Indy. I got a lot of great shots and became much more comfortable with the city. It was a great time and a lot of fun. And it got some great shots for me.
How often do you walk down a city street and pass by people like the ones above and never give them a second thought. How often do we pass by and never even see them, wrapped up in our own comfortable world. How often do you see them, but you just glance and try not to make eye contact. How often do you stop to give a dollar, because you feel a little guilty, but you keep the words to a minimum and you walk away quickly, uncomfortable with them. Do you ever stop and talk to them. Because they have names and stories and experiences. One is a musician and the other a graphic designer, artist and writer. One tunes his guitar and complains about the cold, not because he is cold but because it makes tuning difficult. The other reads his newspaper, folding and unfolding it, and he smokes. But you can see in his face the ideas and the creativity that are working. They talk to us and share their stories. One tells us about a short story he’s working on set in the future where people rely on electricity to live and they have to plug in and recharge. We move on and we will probably never see them again, but I know I will remember them. And there are countless more like them. We talk to a woman who has a cat with her, trying to get money to feed herself and the two cats she has saved. We talk to a man happier than most of the well dressed and well fed people around him who gladly poses for pictures with the biggest grin I have seen in a while. We talk to another man who has been sitting in the cold and rain, wrapped up in a coat, all day. By this time we have given away our cash and we apologize. He says, “Don’t worry about it. I try to earn it by giving directions and helping people find things. I’ve been here two years so I know the city really well.” These people are real and they are all around us. It’s good to stop and talk with them and hear their stories, because everyone has a story to tell and this is reality.
This photo is not from today, but it carries with it some things I feel I should say. I’m just gonna go for it. I think we get to choose how we look at the world. We do not get to choose what happens to us and what life throws at us. Life is rough and it is dirty and mean and cold. It can get very shitty very quick. But it is also beautiful and warm and full of love and passion and goodness and ecstatic joy. I have known some extreme lows and some great highs. And I have learned a lot. I’m learning that we get to control how we perceive things. And that is powerful. We get to choose whether we will be happy or angry or sad or miserable. We all have bad days. I get it. I’ve had some bad days. Sometimes we just need a bad day. We choose it. We choose to be self-centered and feel low. We just do it sometimes. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. But all those other days. We get to look at them differently. We get to look at the joys and the beauty of this insane world around us. I went to the zoo and there were annoying, bratty little kids everywhere and stupid parents and unpleasant people. I could have let it ruin it for me. But no, I saw seals and birds and orangutans and fucking sharks and it was fun and I had a good day. It is to easy to have a bad day. It is so easy to get into that low, pitiful state. I know, because I did it all the time. I still do sometimes. But I have learned to look at things differently. There is a quote I am learning to take more and more to heart. It will be my final thought on this subject. It goes, “Stuff your eyes with wonder. Live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.” Go see the world because, my god, we don’t have much time and I want to have more great days than bad ones at the end and I hope you do too.
I headed to work earlier today and because I wasn’t driving around in a rush, I was noticed some train tracks around the buildings close to my work. So I drove down a side road and decided to shoot these abandoned tracks. As I went to take a shot, my battery died. So I dug around in my bag for another battery and replaced it. Then I went to take the shot again, and there was no memory card. So I dug for a memory card and put it in. Again, I went for the shot and the memory card was full. So I cleared the card and went to take the shot. Then it informed me the memory card was locked. So I took it out and I thought I unlocked, but it took me three or four more tries to get it unlocked. And finally I got this shot, after a lot of frustration and swearing. . And next time, I will be better prepared.
I love construction. I always have. That’s always what I wanted to do when I was a little kid. Some of my favorite memories were getting to go to construction sites with my dad. Seeing the workers, the machinery, the loud noises, the smell of lumber and drywall, tools, concrete, steel, and scaffolding. I love it. I love watching new buildings being built. Houses, apartments, stores, roads, halls. New places to live and work and play. Progress. Unlike a lot of people, I like having construction on campus. I like watching a new hall being built. I’ve watched it grow from the ground up. I loved hearing the pile drivers pound steel beams into the ground, I like hearing the saws, I like watching the sparks fly from welding. I like the renovation in the other halls too. Watching drywall be put up and smelling drywall mud and paint. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been around it. Maybe it’s because that’s my dad’s life. He’s taught me everything I know about construction and building. And I love being able to say that my dad built that store or those apartments, or that beautiful new hotel that changed a part of a city. I don’t want to be a construction worker or project manager anymore, but I’ll always love construction.
This is the view from my window. Part of Clare Hall shows up, St. Francis Hall( I refuse to call it by its new name) to the right, the fountain and the library off in the distance. It’s not the best view and I hardly ever look out my window. But when you’re stuck in your room, and your car is out of gas and you need to take photos, you work with what you’ve got. So I decided to use my view. And when I start to look at it, I do like this shot of Marian. I like the lights and the way it looks at night. And though I’m sick of it most of the time, Marian really is nice.