For the past 10 months, I’ve been walking in the same loop around the Texas Capitol. I do the same weird turns to make the walk a tiny little bit longer, trying to trap the warm air before I go back into a cold library. Monday, I will start this walk from another side of the Capitol. It’s a tiny geographic disruption, but it’s a huge career change for me as well. In my worry about taking a new job, I find myself preoccupied with these walks. Will I still get to take them? How many steps from my new job around the Capitol complex? Will I get too hot?
In times of transition, I fixate on the small things. When I moved to Texas, I obsessed about how my cat, Florence, would travel. When I moved in with Caroline, I obsessed about her dresser. Now, the walks.
Changing perspectives can be simple. I was stuck in traffic yesterday in the rain, and my windshield wipers were being weird, and the rain wasn’t cleaning my very dirty car the way I’d have liked. I looked to the left and saw dark clouds and traffic. I started crying, from the simple things piling up and the big transitions looming in the background (it didn’t help that I was up til 2 am celebrating the Cubs – we are good). I looked to my right, and I saw the most beautiful rainbow. The stripes of color were thick and vibrant against a gray-blue sky.
Today, go right where you usually go left. The little things, they give us the perspective we need to battle the big things. Keep your eyes open.
Pae White. Restless Rainbow, 2011. Inkjet printed on vinyl. © Pae White.