divination faith religion streetfinds walking

No Really, The Answers Aren’t Down There

I’ve been on a strong atheistic kick lately. I’ve really lost most of my patience for my impulsive defensiveness about this too. I’m here now and pretty happy.

I got caught on a funny loop on a walk the other day. Being wholly atheistic makes me love people more. People are mostly theistic. I become more tolerant of religions thereby. But wait, if I care about people I should care that they believe in the truth. That last step is escaping me no matter how many frothy, militant atheists I listen to, but it is a conclusion I take, but not to heart.

Confused, I look down and saw this. It’s hardly dropped from heaven, or satori, or whatever, as there’s a temple across the street that has been the source of fantastic litter in the past. Nonetheless, my own absurd religion caused me to contemplate its possible meaning for an hour or so.

divination interpretation technology walking

The Spot of The Thought

My recent experience of listening to audio books has made me more focused on the location of thought. When recalling the material I heard, I was more apt to recall its place in the work by remembering where I was in my walk when I heard it.

I remember the exact locations where I was when I had thoughts important to me decades ago. I’m sure we all do. I remember hearing that Homeric storytellers would hold a path, or a mansion, in their minds as they told the Iliad. Each door and corner unfolded the verses and held the plot. Our thoughts lay a map upon the ground we’ve traveled and our past best follows a familiar path.

Lately I’ve been bringing everything back to some lost commentator’s thoughts on hunting and tracking. We became storytellers and scientists in order to make sense of the evidence on the ground. We ate by how well we could create a good story, tell it to those who could help, and follow it through to the prey. We speak hungry steps.

The years in this town has created a topography of memory for me. That corner holds a stack of dream interpretations. That alley is where I find confidence. I’m humble near the tracks and happy near that vacant lot. There’s a block downtown that is more sacred to me than any church.

I’ve been doing a lot of looking into geolocation and augmented reality lately, not as a technology I’ll bring into my career, nor as a scientific curiosity, but as a mode of expression my mind has always had, and poetry we’ve always sung. Could be fun.

creativity divination streetfinds walking

Decision Shoes

can't walk in old shoes I was trying to get past a difficult decision that would direct my career and could mean serious risk/success. I saw these.

I see a lot of old shoes. I see a lot of old shoes with their laces tied together. They are usually hanging on power/phone lines. There were a lof of power lines here, as can be seen in the background. But the shoes were on the ground.

I started thinking about laces tied together, and how that could limit reach and pace and balance. I thought about how someone probably flung these up, attempting a high step, and failed even here where there were so many power lines. Then they gave up, or were chased off. The old shoes were left in failure. Among too many goals even a simple achievement fails.

A lot of homeless/car campers hang out around here, and the shoes weren’t that bad. I imagined someone who could use them finding them and putting a few more miles on them. The attempted vandalism takes part of a new path.

There’s also the alleged meaning that shoes-on-a-wire may take on that has become meaningless by the frequency of the phenomenon. Tired steps become a tired semaphore.

This substation, or whatever it is, became an alternate context for the symbol. Trying to step high near the transfer of power failed.

Walking by the failure to step over the wire, I had dozens of new approaches to my contemplation. It was the best oracle I’ve found in years and it changed my life by changing my thinking.

I’ve made the decision with a confidence I don’t think I would have had otherwise. I did so not because I’d seen the future, or peered into an arcane perspective, but because my thinking was so suddenly and rapidly expanded past the troubled perplexity I had had a moment before.

This is why I look down.

divination interpretation personal streetfinds walking

Fear Rusted

fear rustedI saw this while walking through some worries. I have to choose between some good choices. Instead of comparing the various virtues and qualities of the choices, I was compulsively weighing risks, using long passed and irrelevant injuries as measure. Everything was incommensurable and awkward. I started feeling more and more inconfident, almost certain that I would choose the wrong path. I became lost. I saw this.

The reflex to cling to fear and apprehension outlasts not just the injuries, but the fear as well. I gave the barrier a nudge with my foot and kept walking.

personal walking

On The Other Side

I’m looking mostly for provocation to see myself differently. My life has changed a lot lately, and now I need to make even bigger changes. I’m exhausted emotionally and spending most of my time seeing how high and how low the mood swings can go.

I have enough to think about when I walk and though I’m looking, I’m not giving myself the opportunity to see. I snap pictures without really acknowledging what I’m looking at, or thinking about what they mean. After I loose the context and I see them on the screen, I give myself the time then, and I get it, sometimes.

people walking

Tying The Horse

I was listening to Memo From Turner downtown. In between verses a 60s woman walked past and began speaking. I turned to see her among seven or eight bike staples, asking “Is this where I tie up my horse?” Then turning her head upward to ask the clouds threatening rain “IS THIS WHERE I TIE UP MY HORSE?”

(No photo, so here’s a traffic cone.)

personal walking


I was remembering a time when I meditated a lot, sometimes for most of the day for days in a row. I saw this several blocks later after my mind had already drifted away.

What I had remembered most was that, near the end of my practice of meditation, I had read something about a form of walking meditation. I think what I do is the opposite of that now.

photos walking

A Collapsible World

What Is A Corner FlattenedAll of photography is a flattening, and that’s probably true of all memory, perception and expression. I lack a lot of skill in photography — I keep my camera on its auto settings. Though I have professional-grade photo manipulation skills and software, I don’t even crop my snapshots, adjust levels, or even brighten/darken, even in the worst cases. They are what I saw or they are deleted.

I wish I could say that I do this as a way of artistically confining my expression, like a poet choosing meter or a musician using only a single octave and key. I just haven’t learned to see yet. At least, I haven’t learned to see well enough to move on to some other level of expression or moment.

I usually photograph flat surfaces, stuff that is already so close to 2D that I needn’t worry at all about how its light will collapse onto the sensor. I see it, I point the camera at it, and I push a button knowing now that about half the time I get what I see on a tidy SD card. When I started that was less than once in a hundred photo. Yay me!

I’m moving on a bit, but I don’t like it. I love this photo, though. It’s a wall, freshly-painted blue, meeting a sidewalk that was poorly masked. It flattened perfectly, deceptively simply. Only by looking closer is the other dimension apparent. On that unseasonably cold morning, with a head full of hate and a yawning spirit, that is what this wall gave me. A fantastic unfolding world, comforting in its smooth complexity.

interpretation streetfinds walking

Stepping Up

Up To The Curb Most of the inspiration I get from streetfinds can attributed to distraction. I’m thinking about a puzzle or a problem, and am trapping my mind in thinking the same way over and over. Then I start looking around.

Seeing this shoe mark a step on a path in transition helped me realize that what I was thinking about was on a level that would soon end and that I could to step up once and continue, or stand still. The steady climbing I was doing wasn’t going to work.

divination interpretation streetfinds walking

Seeing Things Wrongly

Running DogIt’s easy to see things as they aren’t.  The older I get, the more I find value in being wrong.  Of course, in most situations it’s important and urgent to be correct, or to withhold opinion.  Every year, though, these situations seem fewer and fewer.

It’s important to know when to brake while driving and to be right about which end of the knife has a point on it and what to say when you’ve upset someone. On and on. But so much of life isn’t that important at all. My brain makes a gazillion little judgements a day that don’t matter to me or anyone else. That over there is a bottle cap. The lyric of that song is “you’ve been tussled”. My foot itches.

When I walk, I see cars and people and streets and sidewalks. Those are important. Nearly all the rest can be wrongly perceived. I was certain that included photo was a worn decal of a dog running. The idea of a dog running so enthusiastically, the idea of a worn decal, the idea of a decal no longer attached to what it was; all of that was a perfect reply to the what my mind was working on when I saw it. I snapped a picture.

Only then did I realize that it wasn’t a decal. And it still doesn’t matter that I was wrong.