I’m going to take some advice from one of my own characters, and I invite you to do the same.
In The Radical Leap, Smitty is a quirky, eccentric dude who makes a practice of deriving insight from seemingly inconsequential things in the environment. Like road signs, for example. He explains it this way:
“We’re surrounded by lessons; we just need to notice the signs and ask the right questions. Ask the right questions, and you learn some pretty good stuff about what’s going on around you. And when you realize that there’s deep significance in seemingly insignificant things, the whole world pops to life, and everything becomes part of a 24/7/365 multidimensional, hyper accelerated, interactive learning laboratory.”
So let’s take this sign, for example:
And this skater’s tee shirt:
Is there a lesson in there? Some kind of hidden aphorism? Here’s how Smitty sees it:
“Skate or die is just another version of No Parking. Keep moving; don’t stand still. Life is movement; stagnation is death. No parking; skate or die.”
There’s nothing mystical about this. We’re not reading tea leaves or throwing bones. Smitty again:
“The sign’s just a stimulant. The difference is what I see in the sign, how I read it. The difference is right here in my itty-bitty brain—the sign just gets me to payin’ attention. Read the sign, ask yourself what the lesson is, and you’ll get you some wisdom at every turn.”
So, like I said, I’m going to take Smitty’s advice. I’ll post a sign here, every now and then, and riff on the message that I see, and then I’ll invite you to do the same.
All right, then. What does “No Parking” and/or “Skate or Die” mean to you?