Breathe — and discover.
For those of you who know me, you are well aware that I struggle with what airlines call “OTP” — on time performance. The only time I arrive promptly for an event is when I make the trip with my husband — whose OTP might be just this side of OCD.
Last week I whined all the way from our home in Ventura County to West Hollywood. Josh and I were heading out to see a Richard Lewis show at the Largo Theater on La Cienega, and he insisted we not be tardy. Experiencing an unusually low volume of L.A. traffic, it seemed as if we were going to be hours early — which made me cranky — and I teased him about it incessantly. Until — while waiting on line — I caught a glimpse of this fantastic distressed, forgotten, power box standing at the edge of the sidewalk.
I stopped in my tracks. Stunning. This clunky metal structure was covered with gorgeous weather-beaten abstractions. I took a breath and began exploring and shooting with my iPhone. Zooming in on all four sides, I found these intricate rough-edged pieces, made from years of disintegrating layers of plaster, paper, glue, graffiti, and angry carvings.
Some of the photos remind me of contemporary paintings by Julian Schnabel, and some of the silkscreen combines of Robert Rauschenberg, but mostly, they revealed their own identities.
The lesson was clear: there are lovely advantages in stopping to breathe, namely being able to genuinely savor the surprise that awaits you. Had I not allowed for breathing room (even if it was forced on me) I would have lost out on these very special visual treats. You’ll see it happen all the time — and your experiences won’t be limited to utility closets or street graffiti. Take the time, and life’s most precious moments will find you.