Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Point of View

Last Friday, after Thanksgiving, I was thinking about how we all look at the world through a very limited point of view. (Isn't that a series on IFC: POV? Anyway.)

We stayed in most of the day, last Friday, getting out to do our errands and have lunch. I think we ate at home in the evening.

At some point, I was sitting in my chair in the living room. It might have been afternoon. I was watching the cranes at the Austonian and the W work sites. We are in a position to see some of the work and progress on these projects. Not like our friends in the new AMLI, though. Their POV is looking down into the W site from their balcony. The building will creep up past their balcony one day. We couldn't see the Austonian until it was about ten stories and got over the sight line interference of the old, shorter AMLI.

Anyway, I was watching. I knew the W was getting worked on because the cranes were swinging around. The Austonian didn't look active. I take heart every day when I see activitiy on these construction sites. I wonder what the workers are thinking. Some came here from Florida, I know, when work dried up there. Now, these buildings are still going up, but what happens when they are done? When they don't need your trade on your current job. Because not many new things are breaking ground. I have no idea what it feels like to be an itinerant construction worker. I can, in fact, only see the handiwork from one angle, usually, out my windows. When I ride the bike and workout across the hall, I can see a bit of the Spring and Gables construction. One day I happened to see them hauling two porta-potties to the top of the building. They were swinging in the wind. I wondered if they'd use the crane to take them down to service them. I'll never know I don't suppose.

We only observe such a narrow slice of what there is. We expand that knowledge by reading and watching films and television and listening and studying. Yesterday I was trying to picture the location of Nigeria. I didn't have a good picture in my head. I was pretty sure of the area (there's a Niger river there, n'est pas?) but the exact layout of it and other countries around there (Benin, Togo?) I couldn't picture. How can you understand people when you can't picture the boundaries of their country? For that matter, who remembers the geography of Canada and Mexico? I saw an episode of Jeopardy the other day and the contestants totally flopped on a bunch of questions about Canada. (Much to the chagrin of Alex Trebeck who was born in Canada. Isn't that a great phrase, "much to the chagrin of?" Or not. Depends on your point of view.)

Yeah, point of view is everything. We can divorce ourselves successfully from certain things by our choices of where to be and what to read and what to pay attention to. I've noticed that we are so well insulated from cold and wind here that I haven't turned the heat on yet. I check the temperature on my computer. When we lived in a 1950's drafty house on pier and beam, you could feel the cold under the floor and near the windows. I'm sure a prolonged cold will creep in here, but it feels isolated. I used to go outside, too. When we had the dog, I'd take these breaks to let her out and stare at the backyard, meet the weather and wind face to face. One of us (usually FFP honestly) went outside in the elements to get the paper. Heck, when we went to the office upstairs over the garage, we had to pass outside through the cold garage.

My point is? I feel sealed in here and feel a need to get outside every day. Not just on the balcony either. Somehow that point of view is so weird it's not 'being outside.'

So I'm just rambling here, that's for sure. I'm getting toned up for the Holidailies. I'm 'just typing' as a section of my old 'online journal' used to say. Fact is, I've been rereading that old journal, the entries from 2001. So maybe when I'm at a loss for something to write for the daily exercise then I'll just recount what I was doing and thinking seven years ago.

[Today's picture is of windows in the Whit Hanks complex on Sixth showing the wares of an antique shop with some excellent deco furniture I would have coveted before I decided to abandon collecting and abandon a cool deco bar in the process. That's us reflected, of course.]

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