Looking Around

Archer challenged me to this write this as part of my 2015 writing challenge: “Up, Down, Left, Right, Forward, Back; when I look around, what do I see? What do those things mean to me?”

Looking up, I see the ceiling. Taken literally, you could consider this to be the subfloor of the sixth floor of this building, suspended foam tile crap hanging from hundred year old wooden beams. Yawn. Thinking about it more metaphorically, I think about limitations, and how sometimes they look imposing, but when it reality, the real limits are somewhere past what you see. Thinking about that makes me think about the Army — how I discovered depths of strength that I never knew I had. My time at Fort Bragg found me doing things I never thought I’d do and it redefined me in so many ways — but mostly where it comes to limitations. I know I have them, I know I have a breaking point, just like everyone else, but I also have the ability to endure the miserable, the deplorable, and the difficulties that would break a lot of other people.

Down, I see my feet. One of my primary modes of transport. They’ve seen a lot of this rock — every continent except Antarctica. My feet are ugly — a mix of genetics, perhaps, and decades of battering — and yet I feel sort of fond of them, weird toenails, odd shapes, hair, and all. My feet have carried me everywhere, and yet they still always want to bring me to home, to here. Someday, I’m going to get a 612 tattoo on my foot.

To the left, Lego. I keep a bunch of it on my desk — it’s a nod to my nerd credentials, as you might guess. I’ve always had a fondness for the stuff. Whether that’s the creative aspect or the engineering aspect, I don’t know. I like the idea that anything can be reduced to a finite number of elements and then recombined into any number of new forms. (Are Lego pieces effectively quarks? Preons?)

To the right, my new MacBook Pro. My blank canvas when I need to create something, make something, or solve something. Yeah, I’m a Gen X’er, and yeah, I had a computer in the house pretty much constantly from the time I was about four (IMSAI 8008), so you’d think I’d be jaded about these things, especially after a career that’s kept my close and having learned to code, but there’s still something fucking magical about an almost-direct link between my brain and the cloud of electrons that get nudged around into anything from music to web pages.

Ahead, my 27″ eye-buster of a monitor. It’s the extension of my work systems. No deep thinking on this one. Other than this: I fucking love Excel so much that I think it actually justifies Microsoft’s very existence.

Behind, my whiteboard. The extension of my thinking. Here is where I keep track of the shit I am doing or will be doing, where I convert brainstorms to drawings, and so on. I do my best thinking with a marker in my hand a blank whiteboard in front of me.

Image Credits: Unsplash/Creative Commons Zero (CC0).