Friday, May 28, 2004

Subway stops

It could have been another day, just as simple another train or a different meeting at another stop. Inconsequential the order or the meaning - the blend of days has become consuming. And what more can be expected?
Variety still exists, however, in the change of faces on the subway, women playing games on mobile phones, random Italians chatting like hummingbirds - with gestures, too. Conversation continues in the seats in the middle of the car, young Indian girls relishing some free hours from chores. A black man with mutton chops governs the others in his handsome suit and derby hat. He exits one stop before the gay man with close-cropped hair looks with eyebrows raised over longing eyes at the preoccupied writer across the aisle. No matter really - the train keeps moving after the stop.
Simple and puzzling the same to follow the parade. These are the same faces of those other days, similar intentions anyway. Yet, one notices the moment passing with a simple glance, as simple as the opening and closing of subway doors. Not much different really, except the entire mix of people and the mood that gives them instant color.
The parade might have included a lawyer, an Asian design student with playful horn-rimmed glasses and inquisitive eyes. Headphones and any-man hip-hop music from a young man without confidence. The young man's transformation may result in the older man with bi-focals leafing through a paper and sitting erect with his New Balance running shoes on; the shoes are grey but have scuffs to show wear. The parade could have included others but for the final stop and end of the rumination.
And so it goes, another day unfolds. Much the same really, unless attention heeds the stops in between. Therein lies the pleasure.

Monday, May 24, 2004

(Un)Clear Landing

From the recollection of a moment yesterday...

I am nearing Newark Airport from the sky, sledding the glacial cloud banks of a storm front. The white, jagged puffs drop precipitously into an ominous blue-grey haze that obscures the countryside 20,000 feet below. Jagged is the approach that pulls the airplane around and level with the cloud line. A balanced proposition at this altitude - stay above the clouds and flirt with the pinkish sky full of dusk light or descend into the blue-grey abyss and hope little for a clear landing. The pilot chooses the latter option; five hours seems enough motivation to withstand a charge into the abyss.
In the distance, the sun electrifies the edge of a nondescript cloud, neon razor blade taunting the sky below, as if to suggest that the sun always reigns yet chooses the fates anyway of all below. There appears no such strong response from the abyss, only a murky pervasion that slinks to cover the earth. I will face its milky froth soon enough, onlooking from a window seat in the second row.
These are the images that I see from the plane this evening. I have no hope except for the clouds that frost the sky above the blue-grey mirage. I have no anticipation of another parade of people that I will soon meet - NYC, Chicago, SF, mayben even LA. Back and forth - I may just be experiencing inertia and fatigue.
Yet, in this state of even candor, I must admit the peculiar nature of my situation. So much hope for work, for school, for life, for love. I feel kinship with this moment as I reflect and peek out the window to see the sun's neon-orange globe now hanging like an omniscent eye in the middle of my view, in the middle of this crazy, uniform sky. It is clear and piercing directly on the horizon, staring at me. For the moment, extreme clarity, but a passing wonder. The sun intently stares back and ever so methodically drops itself like a magic trick into the soup of blue-grey haze. I smile - the moment has passed, and I was there.
Somehow beyond the watch of the sun, we land. Quiet allows only the polite whir of internal electrical systems to distract the plane's meander to the gate. The ground seems normal, except haze engulfs it and the sun is nowhere to be found.
The pilot finds his chance to turn right and point towards a gate. In time, the plane follows the pilot's command, there is a bit more shuffling, pause and muffle, then the lights turn up again. We have arrived at the destination, with a moment to pause and wonder about the world.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Dea(r)th in the Afternoon

I am a bit rangy this afternoon. As much as I try to concentrate on wielding spreadsheets and answering client questions, I keep yielding to fatigue, distraction of websites, and general thoughts. I cannot seem to focus long enough on a task to complete it, and so I sit here with more work to do and not enough time to finish it.
I am being paid for this, that should be motivation enough. But is it a job worth having if all you feel is a lack of energy to do it? I know - I should have a career so that I will not have to work another day the rest of my life. But come on now - does that really happen? Will I really one day wake up to find that what I always imagined will be my career and my life? Am I naive enough to believe the mantra?
There, again, a thought slips out, and I am further from where I need to be - the spreadsheet, the computer, the desk, all perched over Market Street. I look out the window and see the older buildings drowned out down the boulevard - but then so am I, virtually secluded in my corner cube. A prim(e) location for afternoon siesta...

Monday, May 10, 2004

Off to run

I have little to say, except that I need to leave the office. The office is new - new cubicles, new carpet, new bathrooms, new fixtures, new lights. But everything is just the same. At least the sun was brilliant today, although I did not see it - my eyes ache from halogen lights too dim for full light.
The good news is that this post is the end, and I will find my apartment soon enough. Off to run, off for a run, then off to Sacramento for an hour or two. A little drive, a little sleep, and start again in another day.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Updating the resume

There is a certain reflection that occurs when one updates the resume. It is a time for looking back across a certain period of time and capturing achievements from a professional perspective. What does this document hold? It seems a little light, considering how many hours go into each line item of experience. After all the assignments and tasks, there are 10, maybe 15 bullet points that encapsulate the professional life - and this does not even begin to cover the personal maturation and development that happens in parallel.
Updating the resume makes me think of how simple we like to make things. One page holds my life, and yet there is so much more than this. Somehow, it should be so much more than this, but it is not. Oh bother, I'll go back to work and busy myself, not think about it. Just as well - just thinking about updating the resume.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Stop to run

Whatever happened to the carefree days of youth? Right, they vanished when responsibility displaced the disheveled state of mind and bedroom that claimed our earlier days. We get older, sometimes fatter, often tired, seldom placid in the carepay days of adulthood. I bother to find myself floating in between sleepy time and deadlines of budgeting sheets; when I look outside, the pitch-blue skies taunt me with their azure clarity.
I'm going to take this moment to wring myself of this computer, start a move towards the door - and stop to run. I'll chase these carepay days to the sun, and if I'm lucky, find my stride somewhere in the daydream of Fort Mason behind the Golden Gate's watchful eye. Carefree days shall return - at least for the next 30 minutes when I traverse Cannery Row and back up Lombard Street with a mind full of nothing but the pitch-blue skies that are so triumphant this evening.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Data piles

It's a Monday morning, somewhat early. I'm trying to figure out what happened to the weekend, and I realized that I did not finish work on Friday. It is affecting me now, as I get behind on my tasks. I committed to do certain things, and I did not deliver. I am too concerned about living in San Francisco and having a good time instead of worrying about work. What has happened to me? I used to be so focused on work, and now I only care about hanging out with friends. I feel as if I am reverting into a college state in which I never actually found myself - too much work and involvement at uni kept me away from living such a period in my life. Certainly, now I am living in the moment and not caring for the future, but I don't know. I don't know anymore, only about today and only about my plans after I leave the office today.
If I could motivate myself to do some of the things that I am meant to be doing at work, I would be ok. This feeling could be a sign that I am wasting my time during the day on a job that has less relevance to my aspirations. Since all such work gets lost on a computer anyway, it has become just a cluttering of data piles that is nothing but distraction.