The Transfiguration

everything is sacred

Stranger of the Day #1748

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Stranger of the Day #1748

Today was a good day to interact with strangers.

As I left the lab this afternoon, I saw this man and his (presumed) wife admiring the mysterious ring sculpture. She looked from afar while he took a more direct approach to appreciating the artwork, and I asked him for a photo. Shortly after, waiting at the crosswalk, I met them again, and I learned the man usually has a a Nikon [high-end model number] velcroed to his hip at all times. With a little more time I might have asked what he liked to photograph, but we parted at the other end of the street.

While biking to Bridges, a woman called out to me from her car, asking if I wanted to earn five bucks. I’m not much inclined toward spontaneous business propositions, but she called again asking for help pushing her car – and I am always happy to help. Fallen magnolia leaves robbed my feet of traction, but with the additional help of the woman’s neighbors we made it over the street’s curve and brought the car to a safe new spot. When I declined payment, she offered me ten instead, too friendly to refuse: “Sometimes when you volunteer, you get benefits.”

At Bridges I spent some time attempting a rather tough cave route, joining a crowd of several other climbers struggling to transition to the stalactite. On my ride back, I happened to catch up with two of those climbers biking home from a post-climb drink. The three of us shared the bike path back to Berkeley, and they shared little bits of their livelihoods: one is an astrophysicist finishing his thesis on star formation; the other is an artist with a specialty in illustrated food, and just started work on her first book. I’ve seen them at the climbing gym several times before, but we never really spoke; on this impromptu ride together I found them to be just as kindly as I imagined.

Most days pass without any conversation with strangers – how odd that three separate events should fall on a single day. There’s a hint of synchronicity in the air, and people are fantastic.

back over your shoulder
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Written by Umbrella Man

July 6, 2013 at 4:15 am

Posted in people, strangers

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