Choosing Choices

November 7, 2015 § Leave a comment

MN – WI – MN – KS – MO – WI – MN.

Each dash a move. Each move a transition. Change. Lots of it.

I’m in the midst right now of the last dash. Big changes afoot. M and I are doing something we’ve been talking about for a while. We’re living downtown. Getting rid of a car.

The seed was planted for this change many moons ago, planted deeper and stronger with each trip abroad. Cities hold my attention. There is always something new to learn, something new to see, something unexpected. That’s it right there. The unexpected. Wonder. What is the point of anything without a dash of wonder?

The latest trip was Budapest and Amsterdam. Amsterdam – wow. Have you been? If not, you might associate it with free-wheeling, pot-smoking, red-lighting wonderland. It’s so much, much more. Art, food and the coziest city streets – blocks of intimate four story buildings adorned with windows and just enough variability to catch your eye. A city built for people – a scale and design not existing anywhere in the U.S. We walked everywhere and we didn’t miss the car at all. How can we make this our life, we thought? So much freedom.

There is freedom in movement. The movement where you choose when, how and where. The movement that’s not dictated by the price or availability of a resource.

I think a lot about architecture. About the enclosing of space and what it means. I also think about pinball machines. The ball anchored along a line by gravity but changing course with each blockage. Is blockage the right word? We assign meaning to words but we also assign words.

Moving downtown, the changes that are afoot, are us choosing an architecture – of our days and of our life. Not blockages (although I’m sure there will be some!) but pathways for movement and freedom. I get on kicks with certain words. Enable is one I’m holding tight to right now. I’ve been thinking about it in the context of architecture. How do we build places that enable us to live the way we want to live? How do we build our lives to enable us to live how we want to live? And how insanely lucky am I to even be able to entertain these questions? Salman Rushdie suggests that the way to reconcile the vast opportunities and blessings we have in comparison to most around the world is to be grateful for them.

So here I am, as I have been so many times before, on the vast abyss of change – grateful, excited, full of wonder.


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