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Friday, May 9, 2008

Open Spaces

Kennedy Building LobbyI really love the building where I work. I work on the ninth floor of a 10-story building with a open-air atrium in the middle of the building, just like a fancy hotel. I can take about a dozen steps at any time, walk through my office door and one other, and see essentially what you see at left. That's the "down" view... the "up" view isn't quite as spectacular, but it's still cool to look upward because there are skylights that you can see outside through. I guess to me there's kind of a symbolism. I used to try to make up a proverb based on the view, something like: Looking down is fatalistic, looking across is realistic, but looking up is inspiring! ...but I never came up with anything that was really that pithy so I eventually kind of quit bothering to think about it. But the truth is, when I get out there and look over the edge into that big open space, whether I'm looking up or down... I'm kind of inspired. Refreshed. What is it about open spaces that is so cool? Why do people flock to see a place where a river reaches a cliff and the water falls off into empty space? Why do people go up on mountains where almost everything around them is empty space? Is it a subconscious reminder of how huge God is? Well, whatever it is, I love it. I actually have a really nice view through my window, too, but the glass of the windows doesn't open. It's not the same. I suppose there may be an element of danger in the whole open-spaces thing... there's not much danger of falling through a closed window, but one false step out in the hallway and I could easily plunge nine stories to my death on the marble floor below. Hmm... maybe there's an element of remembering your own mortality in the whole thing, too.

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