The Joy In Breaking Old Patterns

Nov 24, 2017

In the winter, fresh snow on the ground, I know there will be rabbit tracks across my front sidewalk in the morning. 

East to west. I’ve seen them enough to know the pattern is there, whether it snows or not.

The snow records our steps. Our direction. Our patterns.

The world we live and work in is built to guide our movements. Highways. Sidewalks. And much more.

Each day, like that rabbit, we make the same journeys.

What would you see if someone recorded your footprints?

I suspect you’d see much of what Peter Funch saw, because that is what he did.

Funch is a Danish photographer who stood at the same street corner, between 8:30 and 9:30 every morning, for nearly 10 years. He took photos of people passing by at the New York Grand Central Terminal.

He recorded patterns from the same people, over and over again. He discovered fascinating rituals. Many of those people are part of his book titled “42nd and Vanderbilt.”

We all follow daily beaten pathways. Some short. Some longer.

Seeing such patterns is a bit scary. We do resemble a herd of cattle at times, with predictable moving and mooing.

But here’s the fun part: Isn’t that why we love to break away now and then? Leave the trodden path. To explore. Tease death. Be loud when all is quiet. Shout into a canyon. Jump from airplanes. Dance. Sing. Laugh.

Or just take advantage of that fresh snowfall … an inviting canvas where you can make fresh tracks in any direction.

Just so you can look back at where you’ve been, at those holes in the snow. And then say, “Yeah, I did that.”

“I was here ... and I’ll go wherever I want.”

I’m Lonny Cain, and that’s my perspective.