User Experience + Interaction Design + Strategy
Thoughts / The cigarette, the rabbit story, the experience, the land of opportunity / 27 January, 2010
so I came home, started a movie on Netflix called “Vodka Tonic”, and served me a vodka tonic.
Then 45 minutes later, I had the need of a cigarette. I did not have any, so I felt like going out, for one. So I did get out in search for one. I had to walk 5 blocks since it was past midnight. So I did.
While I was walking towards the convenience store, I thought of convenience. Why not, it was a matter of convenience. I thought of the fact that I did not get cigarettes before, and I could have, but I did not feel like. A bad experience.
Then I got to the store, got me a nice mozzarella, to go with the convenient vodka I had. And the cigarettes, of course.
On the way back, I thought of a story of a rabbit in a fence that felt alone, and for being alone, without friends, he felt lonely. He decided to have fun by himself. And he did. And suddenly he had some other rabbits jumping outside the fence, asking him to let them in to play. By being alone and playing by himself he attracted all the fellow rabbits, which became friends soon.
New York City is the land of opportunity, sure. But for anyone that has lived here, coming from abroad, and mostly from Europe, Canada, Australia, it is not because opportunity happens. It is because opportunity can happen.
After living in Europe, I found myself restrained, constrained, suffocated while being here. Recently I discovered it was because my quality of life was inferior to my expectations. How can that be if I was doing the same as before, as when in Europe? It happened that when I was in Milano, Wien, London, I used to do exactly what I do now. It also happened that once out of the door, life would happen to me. Any corner hold the possibility of a new wonderful experience. No matter what. Life in the outer world was guaranteed as good, as vivid, as adapted and great.
Here in New York City, life is not guaranteed. Your pocket is the measure, and your imagination, and search capabilities, the thermometre. Life is what you make from it here, in New York City. the land of opportunity is so as long as you make those opportunities happen, every day, every minute, every second. Nothing is for granted, and nothing is for free.
I then thought about the whole story, the diatribes I just told you. They made sense on my mind, but once written, it was just pieces, like a giant puzzle in the table, with lovely, colourful pieces around, untied together.
I couldn’t make sense of all those thoughts.
Once my father told me the quality of a garment is not only in the fabric, but mostly in the sewing. It is the seams that make the garment stand well for years, stand against wind and rain, stand against the weather, what a garment is for.
Like garments, stories are not only the pieces we all find in life that by themselves make sense and are beautiful. A story is not the happenings, the diatribes of mundane life, the assessments of now and then on a busy day, no matter how interesting, incidental and colourful they are. A story builds from the seams sewn together among those pieces, those bits of fantasy and quotidian, the chunks of information, of happenings to come and to go.
A story is not the pieces, but also, and foremost, the way those bits are sewn together, patched into a story that transmits the integrity of it, a perception of life, an idea, a moment, a human condition.
A story is not only what happened, but how it happened, and the difference is in the unions. It might be in the details where god is, but it is in the threads where the story of god comes alive, for us.