Having warmth requires being warm
Walking the streets of Rome I get the sense that I am missing something. So much of life happens indoors. Yet here I am. Outside. While walking the streets of DC, or London, I get the same feeling: the sidewalk is a travel lane while our destinations are mainly reserved for life’s biggest moments — which are often indoors where its warm.
It only makes sense.
I don’t live here in Rome. I am not from here and I am fooling myself if I think that just because I walk the streets I am getting a sense of life here. Life really is lived indoors in many parts of the world. We take moments from the street and bring them back under shelter to cherish them.
She’s not from here. They are not from here. They are from here. I only know this because I sat next to him, ordered near her, overheard them or they overheard me. The street has congenial exchanges but the closest you get to seeing life’s longer moments happen in front of your eyes, outside, may be fireside. Every other encounter with a gritty life story colliding with another happens under cover and in the warmth. Maybe its a cab, a bar, an apartment, a bus, a shop, a museum.
Moments occur anywhere but great memories occur in safety.
The sidewalk doesn’t give you time to ask why because its moving even when you’re not. The cobblestones and slabs are in constant procession, drifting like ice sheets, transporting passengers to somewhere near where they are trying to go. They never take you exactly where you want to go, they drop you off nearby. Those last couple feet where you decide to make for your destination, to de-board, are really the only opportunity you have to question whether or not to stay on the moving walkway of moments or enter your destination for memories.
If so many good memories are made in warmth how can we bring warmth to the journey? Warmth to the trams and the sidewalks and the escalators and the long corridors? When the walls are covered in rain and the puddles funnel us to a friendly isthmus how can we turn these moments into memories and does anybody really want this to happen? I’d imagine we are all open to it.
Sometimes we can’t tell its raining when we’re smiling.