The Clarity of Randomness
It was one of the clearest blue skies I’ve ever seen. I’ll never forget it. I just remember gazing up at this infinitely blue sky, wondering what the hell had just happened. The sight was so serene and beautiful, but confusingly overwhelmed by a new, sinking feeling. This was the same sky I had flown through on countless trips and vacations with my family. It was familiar, welcoming and exciting.
That was until it happened.
It was September 11, 2001 and I was standing in a park surrounded by a bevy of soccer fields in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio. It was late afternoon and the after-school sports and activities had apparently been cancelled. I was a sophomore in high school at the time. I just looked up, alone, speechless.
I knew the world had changed, but for how long? In that instance, I hadn’t a damn clue, but I knew it had changed in a very, very big way. I could feel it.
This post is not meant to relive the horrific nature of that day. But yes, today is a random day in February almost 13 years later. This all started because of a partially covered drawing on the left side of the glossy cover for Departures Magazine (as part of a cover story in the form of a comic strip) of skyscrapers and the bluest of skies with the text “11:30 A.M.” peaking out from a stack of magazines on my desk at work. This was coupled with the fact I was listening to the Zero Dark Thirty soundtrack on my computer (around the 34 minute-mark). This flashback came to surprising fruition. It forced me to contemplate how a moment that lasted only seconds can have such a profound and lasting impression in my mind that experiences something new every single day.
However, that day changed everything.
Even with resolution in the form of a spectacular Seal Team Six raid that killed Osama Bin Laden nearly a decade after 9/11, New York City has never felt the same. Millions of people (myself included on several occasions) have had great, unforgettable times there for sure! But something still lingers in the air, supported by an eerie permanence.
Strangely enough, this random vision has provided me with clarity. Each thought provided me with a clear focus and reasoning for why I thought what I did and how I should approach things from this point on. For a brief instance, everything seemed uncomplicated. If for nothing else, maybe this post can serve as a gentle reminder that we don’t need to wait for an anniversary or a specific day or occasion to remember and think about something important. It doesn’t need to be sad, but it can be something positive and astonishing. That same illustration has also pushed me to try to look at a clear blue day with only optimism, even while knowing in the back of my mind that it only takes a seconds or a matter of minutes for something drastic to happen.
Perhaps the drastic situation will be something positive the next time that perfect, clear blue sky arrives…
Whatever causes a comparable reaction for you as the illustration and music did for me this Wednesday morning, don’t ignore it, but instead embrace it. Life is lived in long acts and short scenes…just be sure to bring some sort of purpose to each one.
Maybe this is one of the reasons why we love watching the Olympics so much, to witness a performance or moment of pure, marvelous purpose.
For so many athletes and spectators alike, it’s much more than just a single event or game that motivates and inspires them and us…
Posted on February 12, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged 2014 Winter Olympics, 9/11, athletes, blue sky, clarity, inspiration, memories, purpose, randomness, Sochi Russia, sports. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.