Like three years ago, I worked on a set of practice writings based on the idea of being small in a big world. I never knew what to do with them, but realized as I stumbled across them again that they were a precursor to Theo and Sprout in theme and voice, even though the concept of Theo and Sprout wouldn’t even germinate in my subconscious mind for another year. I thought I would share them leading up to the release of Theo and Sprout.
I was born small. I still am. Deep down. Superficially. Systemically. Existentially. Emotionally. Personally small. I know this more ethereally than anything specifically. I suppose it’s because my memory is so bad that I feel ethereal. Or is my memory bad because I am ethereal. Perhaps the ethereal has no need for the specific. No interest in the detail. I am small after all. Perhaps there is no room for all those details.
I rather vague way to begin a story. If indeed this is a story at all.
Skyscraper. Do people even use that word anymore? Skyscraper seems so last century, like the Empire State Building. I think they call tall buildings towers now. Everything tall is a tower. I do prefer skyscraper though. The idea of something tickling the sky is much more wondrous that the thought of something towering over me.
I’ve worked in big downtowns with skyscrapers. I’ve worked in skyscrapers. I’ve travelled to lots of cities with skyscrapers. Obviously many people have. Engineering marvels reaching to the heavens with facades that can boggle your mind. Large, extravagant foyers meant to assure you that building is as magnificent inside as out.
Unfortunately, I know deep down that skyscrapers are usually filled with soul crushing cube farms that belie their visual fireworks. Dense and removed from nature. Oppressive.
But no matter how often I go to a downtown with skyscrapers I find myself staring up in wonder at these structures that tickle the sky. Walking around with my head up like a neophyte to the city. And yet why? Why is there always wonder?
I think it’s because I’m small. (Not that everybody isn’t small compared to a skyscraper.) The vaulting of material hundreds of feet into the air just reinforces that knowing. Reminds me of that in an extreme manner. And that is humbling. I prefer to think of it that way than to feel diminished by the tall structures towering over me, overwhelming me with vertigo-inducing proportions.
Reminds me of being a child, of adults towering over me as I moved through the house, of trees towering over me as I rode my bicycle through neighborhood and down the canopied streets that resembled tunnels that raced to infinity and to some large future. I still get that feeling of future, distant possibilities when I drive down a hill near where I live, a tree-lined tunnel that stretches to the river and back up to a distant hill. An expanse spread out before me, reminding me that I am an insignificant spec in the wilderness, and I know again that I am small.