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Forget about control; acknowledge the moment

Forget about control; acknowledge the moment
Forget about control; acknowledge the moment
Construction work on a theater in Houston is blocked from view by a Sysco truck.
Judy O'Bannon
Judy O’Bannon

Perhaps my philosophical mood was created by staying in an historic hotel or maybe it began when I attended a family wedding the previous day.
While sitting looking out the window at breakfast in downtown Houston, I faced the construction site of an addition to a theater for live drama. The construction fence was covered with banners featuring actors playing well-recognized characters from themes of literature. There was Cyrano de Bergerac with his extended nose contemplating the beauty of a red ros’. There was a photo of an actor staring with serious intent at papers of questionable and troubling content. Another banner pictured a carefree young maiden with a flirty smile.
Into this setting of the fantasy and reality of life came two construction workers clad in bright yellow vests, big boots and hard hats. They sauntered around and ultimately hooked a series of buckets to ropes that they hoisted up by pulleys until they reached the roof. The sidewalk was consequently filled with shovels, wheel barrels and workers. Through all this confusion flowed a stream of office workers on their way to their jobs.
I was fascinated by the juxtaposition of men in starched white shirts carrying brief cases, women in full long skirts that they pulled up and out of the way of mortar and dirt to reveal athletic walking shoes, and kids with oversized school bags against the backdrop of the theater and the construction crew.
These scenes caused me to dream up a terrific short video that could be made by placing a camera with a telephoto lens in the restaurant window. Throughout the day, it could record the flow of people against the backdrop of the banners that beckoned them into fantasy land to go everywhere and be everything by way of the theater. It would be a fascinating view into a sociological study of mankind.
My husband, Don, had a contrasting view from his chair that morning because he faced into the restaurant. He had an up-front view of several families with small children and all the trappings that go with that stage of life: diaper bags, wiggling, giggling, laughing, scolding, punching and poking. He sat and smiled at the typical love-tormenting dynamics that played out before him.
Interestingly, most days, he is focused on family and children and, thus, felt as if he was watching the core of life at play. I most often am intrigued by a more expanded community view and interpreted the scene I was watching as a vignette of what the world is all about.
All of a sudden, the noisy rumpus behind me totally disappeared as if they had been spirited away. The families had, of course, with great organizing by parents, moved on to the next vacation or educational experience of the day. Ah, ha! I thought. I am seeing the more expanded version of life out my window as opposed to just a phase of family life that would come and go.
With satisfaction, I continued my own conception of an interpretation of life, only to see a huge stainless steel truck pull up across the street. It stopped right in front of all the activity of everyday man and the fanciful world represented by the theater. Boo hoo! went through my mind. It took only one big object to cancel the show. On the side of the truck were the words ‘Good things come from Sysco.’ It does all boil down to one’s perspective.
We had just been to a family wedding. Our talk was all about loved ones; we considered their changing appearances, roles in life and thoughts of the future.
In the end, we agreed that no matter the vantage point from which we were operating, it would probably be better to quit trying to be in control and, instead, acknowledge where we stood in life for the moment and enjoy whatever appears in our view.