He was on a train squeaking Southbound. The simultaneously running heater to his right and AC above his head annoyed him. He had nothing to do, but he was not bored. He gazed out the window. The dead grass, the abandoned farm equipment, and the peeling paint on the houses that flew past were typical and expected. He imagined the world was fake. It was. He was part of an experiment, inside some construct of an idea that he could never understand. He was like Truman, and his purpose, as far as he could tell, was undefined. Every building, every car, every lonely hill and dirt road was not real but instead the work of someone. Something. Where was the real world? Which fabric screen did he have to run through, how many miles out to sea did he have to swim, which rock did he have to overturn to find a clue, to escape? Where, he thought, was the exit?
On the ceiling of his car was a red and white sign. It read emergency exit in all caps. It pointed to a pop-out window in the train car, too small for the obese woman down the aisle to fit through. He smirked. Was it a clue? He sat still, lips pursed, eyes shifting. What if, he thought, the window wouldn’t open if he tried. What if, it couldn’t open.
Upham always starts to thrive this time of year. Maybe it is the warm weather, the notion that school is almost over, the abundance of life around the house, or something else altogether. Whatever it can be attributed to, and it is probably a combination of many things, life is good in the Spring time and everyone is always happy doing fun/cool/new things.
Something I have been pondering lately is how we might further increase the heightened enjoyment, happiness, innovation, etc that is so prevalent right now. I think it comes down to one principle: always take ideas into action. Let me explain.
Upham has always been a special place: the artwork, music, colors, gardens, bikes, food, and projects have contributed so much to the success of our environment. This did not come to the level it is at today overnight, though. It has taken years of work (almost 4 now) to build it up; and people notice, and comment. After all, it is rare to find a college house with so much work put into it, often because students view their living quarters as a box to put their stuff in for a year, not as a home. But it is the work put into the house that makes it our home, gives us ownership, makes us proud to open it up to others, and makes us happy by living in a place that is the product of our minds and creativity and the labor of our hands. And this work has only happened because we took our ideas into action.
So how might we increase all this goodness? We must keep taking our ideas into action! I look back to previous ideas for inspiration; no matter how small, ridiculous, or impossible the ideas were at the time, they have all contributed far more to the system than we ever thought. The community cabinet, building a 10 foot high table, painting a door or some trim, buying a waterslide, building a 14 foot high archway of bikes, having a potluck, riding freak bikes, you name it, every idea has had a profound impact.
Encouraging action, making the resources available to make ideas a reality, and always lending help and believing in others will remain key for Upham and myself, and further the success and thriving nature of our community.
|Spring blooms on the fruit trees at Upham