Friday, January 19, 2007

Houston Street, Sept. 2006

Fire escapes make some of the most interesting shadows! I like their clean lines and angularity. Like Venetian blinds, which also cast great shadows, they create an orderly, regular rhythm.

Orderliness appeals to me. For example, I spent yesterday afternoon sorting books in the basement of the building where I work. Every year the employees host a used book sale, with the proceeds going to charity, and this year I'm one of the organizers. So I'm spending a lot of time digging through bins of donated books and boxing them by category: hardcover fiction, science and nature, biography, business and economics.

Doing this, I'm reminded that there are a hell of a lot of books out there. It's enough to temper any ideas I might have about writing a book of my own. For every "Freakonomics" there are hundreds of other books that sink into obscurity, and when you think about all the labor that went into those, well, it's kind of overwhelming. (It's a bit like blogging, actually - you have to write a book or keep a blog because you enjoy it, not because you expect someone to read it!)

But I enjoy the sorting. It appeals to my nature as an organizer, and being organized is my main asset. I have never had a good memory (which I think actually helps me in my Zen practice - I live in the present because I can't remember the past!) and I am not clever with quips or fast thinking. I'm a ponderer. But I like everything in its place, a tendency that has served me well.

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