submission for the adventureclubinteractive follow the directions assignment by- Courtney
If I may… and I must… take a step back…
Stephanie and I are ALWAYS at our best and of our highest, and at our peak… when it comes to inspiration- in those special hours between one completed assignment and the next.
There are many weeks when that inspiration, of the current adventure assignment, seems to sustain itself or even increase. I’ll find myself increasingly excited day after day to carry on with the work of the week. On the other hand, inevitably, there are certain assignments that drop off from the radar of my undivided attention- sometimes they fall down a gentle downhill slope and sometimes, even as early as Tuesday, their luster, their sparkle, their once promising appeal to inspire me to embark on great adventures- is completely dulled. Vanished. Lost.
The follow the directions assignment inspired me at the outset. On the second day, I walked out a couple doors, turned in circles, took some deep breaths… looked up. I followed the directions and took uninspiring pictures. It was beginning to seem like one of those aforementioned assignments that would run out of steam. I was tempted to give up and look forward to next week. For whatever reason, I did not.
I continued to follow the directions out of just about every door, when I wasn’t completely in a hurry or too caught up to remember. The pictures became a bit more interesting. Forgettable maybe, but not complete trash. But most interestingly, I became aware of my own unique ability- or culpability rather- to follow directions.
I found myself in more than a few alleys. Depending on how high I was directed to look, of course, I chose to look not very high. I began recognizing the little voice inside my head that rationalizes with itself (or with…myself) and it wasn’t going to get wrapped up in specifics. I didn’t want to take pictures of the sky over and over again. So, in the alley photographed above, I simply looked up, not much higher than my nose.
I loved that following the directions lead me to look above a building I see almost every day…without ever having noticed the up above it. I thought it ironic to be directed towards a ladder aimed nowhere towards the sky.
And other ladders leading somewhere… So I realized that just because you follow directions, doesn’t mean the end point is obvious. Ladder after ladder… hmm… was I supposed to continue on up? I struggled with whether or not that was part of the directions, whether I even cared if it was or wasn’t, and ultimately if this was some sort of meaningful adventure I was meant to have… Alas. I didn’t climb either ladder. But I still wonder.
Reflecting on this photograph, I realize (for the first time?) that the doors I walk out of in my daily life, are surrounded by incredible places, scenery, and diversity. I see this building almost every day but I never appreciated all the angles and curves, the symmetry of lights and windows and the tiers of rooftops. Did someone need to give me directions to get here, pause, and appreciate the mundane, the obvious, the overlooked? Do we all so often fail to see what’s to see unless we are specifically told to,”see it?” And when we look at something, do we always remember to “look up?”