Thursday, August 6, 2009

... Lifting

Idle time makes idle thoughts.

Action is the best antidote to anticipation.

[I guess I'm full of aphorisms today.] While I type this, the fax machine (yes, I still occasionally resort to that antiquated 20th century technology) is sending a signed copy of my purchase offer for a modest office building downtown, a few blocks from the Lake, on a street that remains half torn up because of renovations. The side where my office would reside has freshly installed (about a week ago) brick paving sidewalks, and new lightposts in process. Perhaps a third of the buildings are vacant or underutilized. There's hardly a comparable sale in the area in the past three years (though one other building I had preliminary interest in has an accepted offer).

For as long as I remember, whenever I see that sort of disuse, a part of me delights in the richness of possibilities (oh, just think of what could go there!), and another part cries at the destruction of town and city that is made legend by American urban sprawl. Snatching a building from the craw of legend is more than just obtaining a place to work. It's living my life in accord with my beliefs and priorities. There are cities in this nation that long for revitalization. In my own little way, I wish to be a part of that process.

Tikkun Olam: where the world is ill, it must be healed. When I can contribute to that healing, I will. There's a simple rule of thumb I try to live by: if it's easier for me to do something for someone, than it is for them to do without, then I should do it. The same holds for cities, I'd say.

And so, it's not a merely cold calculation. Surely, there are cheaper and less risky options for me. Justice may be blind while holding her scales: but the art lies in determining what objects to place in each bowl.

I have been in an odd mood lately in part because I have grown so accustomed to failure in my career, that I'm not sure how to deal with what has every appearance of being success. I keep waiting for some bad news, something untoward to occur. But the longer I wait, the less I really expect it. And the more I wonder just what I might do if it never comes.

1 comment:

Lilian said...

I hope the bad news never comes for you, my friend, I really do. It's good to see your spirits lifting as well. I hope you have a great weekend with your family!