Normally I remember the genesis of my ideas; where, and when, they came from. But this one I don't. I just know it appeared at some point in my mind, got written down, mentioned to other people, and just generally hung around. Till finally I said to my neighbor, "Hey Logan, want to help me build this thing?" Because Logan likes building things. So it got built, in September 2018. These photos are from its debut appearance, on a First Friday evening in Niwot.
I found a place that looked good and set it up. I was definitely a little nervous. "What's going to happen? How are people going to respond? When/if they take it seriously, what are they going to ask me about, and how am I going to respond?" But I'd built the damn thing, it had gotten to the point where I had to just push the "Start" button, and let the chips fall where they might. So once I had it set up, I walked a little ways away to smoke a cigarette and settle my nerves. Whilst I was thusly engaged, two groups of people walked by.
Each of them stopped, exclaimed, took photos. A guy left a dollar in the gratuity jar. Seeing these initial positive reactions fortified my nerves. So I extinguished my cigarette, took a deep breath, walked over and sat down. And then, I helped people. Two people. The first was a high-school kid; he offered his date the single chair, and knelt/squatted while he asked his question: "I used to be a motivated student, but I feel swamped and stressed now; I want to feel excited and good about school again, do you have any advice or ideas?" Well, yowza. Not exactly a softball, right out of the gate a sincere question regarding a genuine problem. But I opened my mouth and started talking, asking questions, listening, responding...15 minutes later I was writing him out a "prescription", in my little pocket notebook. He took the piece of paper in his hands and looked at it, this big smile spread across his face: "This is awesome, I'm gonna tell all my friends about this." Client 1: served. Next up was the silver-haired lady in the other photo (she was the one who took the photo of me with the kid, incognito from across the street). An acupuncturist, heading to a conference in China, with a talk she had to give only a few hours after arrival: "I've never been able to sleep on planes, I'm pretty worried about how jet-lagged I'm going to be, do you have any ideas?" Nice, a practical issue. Again, I asked questions, listened, responded...15 minutes later, the woman was holding my prescription in her hand, smiling and saying: "I would've never thought of this stuff, this is really helpful, thank you." Client 2: served.
By that time it was twilight, and so I packed it in. With a feeling of, basically: "Well, that was awesome." Over the next few weeks, I put it up in a few different places, and had a variety of conversations with a variety of people, before winter set in and it was time to put it away in my closet for the season. While it sat in storage I moved to other projects, let it marinate. Now it's spring, people who remember have asked about when it's going to appear again. The answer is: very soon. Very soon, and more this time. Because I have a new idea, as to what it can be, and what it can become. So, stay tuned...
"The best one: the high-performance glider pilot with death on his mind."