Walking Cross-Town. On Edges.

NYC-walk-new-york

The mercury tipped 15º F. A veritable heat wave.
It’s 6:20 AM and the train pulls into Grand Central.
I twist in my ear buds and cue up my “Favorites” playlist.
Angus Stone: Bird on a Buffalo.
The herd stampedes out of the station.
Are you the bird? Or the buffalo?

I’m passing commuters on my left. And on my right.
Middle age, my a**. Can’t touch me. I’m sure those are whispers I hear behind me: “Who is that Pro Athlete?”
Another solid night of sleep. Superman. Cape.
I’m out on 48th and heading cross-town.
Cold air shocks Clark Kent. He wobbles, exhales mist, watches it rise and marches on.

My pace has me hitting each “Walk” sign in succession. Dominos falling.
No slowing, no stopping. Batta Bing, Batta Bang.
It’s going to be a good day.

Light wind gusts at my back.
Wind triggers the Old Irish Blessing

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

May the cabs stay on the highway and not plow into me on the curb.
May these brutal Arctic winds stay down.
May the sun warm my cold freezing a**,
And please God, no freezing rain. Please no more.

Mind turns to:
To-Do 1. To-Do 2. To-Do 3. To-Do 4.

Then rotates to prep for:
Meeting 1. Meeting 2. Meeting 3. Meeting 4. Meeting 5.

Then hops to:
Need to press on 1. Need to follow-up on 2. Need to repair rough handling on 3. Need to apologize 4.

And then leaps to the Closer: Doubt. Which never misses its moment to block out the Sun.
Could have done better 1. Made poor decision 2.  Made regrettable comments 3. Not Good Enough 4. And circles back in a Do-Over three additional times.

Why is it so easy to cut ourselves on our edges?¹

Michael’s morning post pushes the clouds away and takes me back to Monday afternoon.

At 3 minutes to the hour, the start time, there was a handful in the auditorium.
At 2 minutes to the start time, the count lifted to 45.
At start time, 100 colleagues took their seat.
15 other stragglers dribbled in a few minutes later.
At 4 minutes after the hour, we rolled.  115 in the audience.

It was a workshop on Public Speaking. Attendance was entirely voluntary. I was the MC / wing man to a senior colleague who led the session and did a marvelous job. Questions poured in from audience. Thank yous and emails continue to pour in days later, appreciating the investment in their development on a topic of considerable anxiety for most.

I drop the knife, suspend the cutting and wallow in it.

I see the last Walk sign flashing red, with 9 seconds on the count down.

I make it. Cross-town, with no stops.

It’s going to be a good day.

Game time.


Note:

Comments

  1. You go Clark!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice post. Love these, you know. Yes, why is it so easy to cut ourselves on our edges? I’ve been trying to throw away the knife all week. I got it into the trashcan this morning – unfortunately just the one in my home office and it managed to get me by afternoon. Will try for the bin in the garage tomorrow! Hope it’s a series of good days! Pause. Celebrate!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Needless to say I loved this post, David. Such great writing. But it also brought back memories of countless similar mornings of walking, pondering, repeating, cutting, freezing…and meeting rooms, auditoriums. All of it. The cape got pretty worn out. May yours fly on your back from one good game day to another.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amazing David, i can feel what you say 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Not being the sharpest of tools plus several non Scottish chunks of language – you always get me reading – which for a photographer is doing well. I have done a lot of public speaking to at the most 100 people. We were trained how to attack it but for a guy with language processing issues – it was a challenge- that said the more you do it the better u become – preparation was key know your subject and deliver with authority but most of all passion- I haven’t spoke for a year now – I imagine I would be like a Virgin again – but I’m over 50 now – so much more assured 😀

    What a ramble sorry David – that’s why you write and I click

    Liked by 1 person

    • Scott, I’m saving your comment in a file with my favorites. You inspired me with your words. Thank you for sharing. Dave

      P.S. I agree on preparation. Preparation is critical. Authenticity keeps people engaged.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lifting and setting down the Knife is a Practice, and you were in the superhero zone.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Love this, love it, how well mentally organized you are, which is why you do what you do of course. this amazing piece underscores why I need to walk across the bridge to work even in those freezing rain days instead of catching the train. There’s just not enough time for this reflection otherwise.
    Whew, I’ve a day not unlike this coming up now, except that it won’t finish until 8 tonight. It’s 3.27 am and instead of sleeping I’m reading your blog.. And rambling also…must be the Scottish side of me?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. David, great post! Felt like we were right next to you…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. excellent read… vulnerable and thought provoking… thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love this post, David. I also love this line from Find Your Middle Ground’s Inspiration–Self Observation:

    Love, not judgment, sows the
    seeds of tranquility and change.

    Maybe substitute the knife for a spoon.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. and warmth comes at last.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. “Who is that Pro Athlete?” – ????????? Really??? So funny, David. Great writing, as usual.

    Liked by 1 person

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