I’ve never really had the drive to “make a name for myself”, I’m kinda happy in the impermanence of my life. It means a lot to me, and a few other people, but otherwise my actions, accomplishments and heartbreaks are small on the grand scale and that gives me a lot of comfort.
I do, however, like to give people a reason to wonder. I’ve mentioned before here that I like leaving traces, and I do it as often as I can. Usually it’s nothing big, a little drawing in a bathroom stall, a hidden piece of something I found in a crack in the a wall, writing my favorite word of the moment on a rock in the park, nothing to draw too much attention but enough that the curious can find it and wonder about who left that there.
Sometimes it’s bigger gestures, like the time I wrote notes to strangers and left them on bikes around my neighbourhood, or this blog, or moving a crane so that it points the other way. Things that people are more likely to notice and remember for a few moments, maybe even a day.
Most of the time I just like to leave traces for myself. A note at the bottom of a bag I rarely use, old ticket stubs in jacket pockets, a cryptic poem in the pages of the notebook I carry around. Things that remind of of a specific moment in time and how I felt then. It gives me a connection to what has happened in a way that nothing else I’ve found does (except nostalgia, but that’s less fun).
I also love other people’s traces. These days the city is covered in sidewalk graffiti of the banksy (http://www.banksy.co.uk/) variety, that make you stop and go “huh”. I appreciate the late night skulking and quiet pleasure that comes from those kinds of acts. I don’t even really want to know who did it, I’m just happy that they did and that I get to share it. It’s like finding someone’s old bank statement in a second hand book I just picked up, it gives me a minute to think about who that person is and why they have 937 dollars in their bank account in Thunder Bay 5 years ago.
It’s interesting is all, and when I feel disconnected from everything it is a way to reach out and feel something in common, a least a little bit.