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I'm obsessed with the little things. More specifically in how the little things add up to become big things.

By necessity everyday we wake up and go through our routine overlooking 95% (if not more) of the sensory details. You walk to work and you don't notice a dirty wooden crate. And if you don't notice that one you won't notice a very similar one on the next block. And why would you notice an almost identical one after that?

It's the overlooked that I am interested in. It's like my stuffed animals when I was little. I would be at nursery and wonder what Teddy was doing and if Babby was riding my train or if she preferred the little rocking horse. What happens to the overlooked when we are busy with our overlooking? Do the crates earn any degree of power as we ignore them every day?

Maybe the crates are too mundane of an example. But to the subject of my post I think I have a working example. Imagine a house. Fill the house with a family. Imagine it however you want except for one particular. The doors are always open including the front one and the back one. (Whether or not you prefer imagining the bathrooms open or not is your choice). Now send your family along their way. The parents have children. The children cry, crawl, babble, and talk and become functioning humans. All the time they move through the doorways without barrier.

Now, of course, think of the opposite. The same starting point with every door in the house closed. You'll hear knocking in this house and sometimes where there is a closed door there is also a locked one. How does noise travel through a house with many more walls in between? At the end of your imaginings what do you see? Are there any differences in the way the families function? What do the children look like? How do the children play with other children and interact with doors outside their houses?

When I walk down the street, especially in the winter, I notice the closed doors and I think about them. What's going on behind there? Why is this one so intricate and that one not? Would I be invited ever? Welcomed even? What do the doors in a community say about the people in the community? Does the community itself have a tangible door? Is it open or closed? What does the community's door say about the society?

Things add up. A single door means something very specific to a very specific group of people. But when that single door is overlooked it means something else entirely. It means it is background noise. And believe me, those crates are sitting there right now taking up that 3 sq foot space and Babby distinctly prefers the rocking horse.

Is the door behind you open or closed right now?
Have you ever thought about color? I mean I'm sure you have. It's one of those things that comes up, often. But how does the color of a place affect it in the long run. I'm thinking New York because that's what I see every day, black and white and gray and every sort of variation. Especially as you say in the winter and especially as I say with all this never-ending snow those are the only colors to be seen. And it's disheartening because we don't have the warmth at all right now but it's even more disheartening because you get the feeling living here that this city is only black and white and gray.

What if there was more street art in one particular neighborhood, how would the people live there? What about more pocket size gardens or verandas and overgrown bushes climbing up the fireescapes. Color, we don't think about it but it is omnipresent, and if something is omnipresent I want it to be vibrant. I don't want to see black umbrellas and long black igloo looking winter jackets, I want the bright yellows and greens, the colors that actually make you feel like it's alright to look at your neighbor in the eye and smile.  Some days I'll make a point of doing just that, more often than not people won't return the eyes let alone a smile. Would people be afraid to return a smile if everyone colored themselves like a bumblebee or maybe even a peppermint stick?

You're right it's about the little things but then by default there is an obvious solution. It's to us to brighten up our cities, either with smiles, or colors, or open doors or bumpin' music from a 1980's style boombox on the shoulder. If you say the little things add up to a lot of closed doors than also the little good things must add up to a lot of brilliance. And which wins out is not so important as long as you do your minutia part. It's like that Malcolm Gladwell bit, the tipping point, every bit of color you add to the canvas is like a bit more of chocolate on the scale to counterweight all that soot. so open doors for your neighbor, hold that elevator door, talk about whatever friendly thing that comes up and maybe brighten everyone else's day by brightening your own.

the small things not only make society in the long run but they make us and they are easy to do. start little and end big, just like an egg into a person. What were the chances that I'd end up being so successful as I am right now? Nothing if I hadn't started with a few cells. Look at me now ma, I'm pretty sentient. (pretty)
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Latest Post: February 28, 2010 at 9:30 PM
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