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This is a post about a book, but it so much more than that.  It is about humanity, sacrifice, happiness, the meaning of life, parenting, family, appreciation, love, loss and time.  These are the things that I thought about while spending several hours wandering around Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

But the book set it off.

After disembarking one flight only to realize I had four hours until the next, I stopped at the first book store on my path and made a purchase.  Little did I know that the story inside would stop me in my tracks and turn my whole world upside down, if only for a moment.  Have you ever found yourself touched by something that completely changed your views or pushed you to think and analyze yourself and your life?

What this story did for me might not be the same for you.  I was starved for emotional and sincere connections having just spent a week with colleagues who only offered surface conversation.  The narrative of the book and the moral implications went far beyond entertainment for me.

What amazes me most is that someone created this.  Whether it be artwork, literature, film, a play, song, or any other form of human expression, someone had to pour their emotions and creativity out and expose themselves for who they are so that collectively, we as a whole can partake in that feeling.  It must take a lot of courage to do this.

I gazed at the art I passed along the way, thoughtfully appreciating it.  Hurried travellers whizzed by, as I photographed what I saw.  I know I’ve been that person before, time is not always on our side.  I found myself crying over the slightest thought or because of another human interaction I witnessed.  These were not tears of sadness, these were tears of joy and awe of life itself.

I wasn’t finished the book yet and I had music if I wanted it but I didn’t.  Once at the gate I spent my time waving to the little girls that were seated near me and contemplating my time in the airport.  Just before boarding, I noticed the three young girls had all fallen asleep and that their mother would find it impossible to carry them and all their stuff on board.  I was concerned for her, how was she supposed to get on the plane without help?  So I went over and asked her if she needed a hand.  It turns out she wasn’t getting on that flight but the conversation I had with her was priceless.  It reaffirmed my thoughts that day and made me think about the roles we play with the people we love.

It turns out that the book I purchased to “kill time” was about time itself.  Why would we ever want to kill something so precious?  From now on, I will try to remember this.

Many thanks to Mitch Albom and his newest novel, The Time Keeper.

Have No Narrow Perspective by Ryan and Trevor Oakes. A concave drawing of Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate sculpture.

Incredibly, this is drawn free hand by the identical twin artists

Fran Volz’s Lincoln Memorial Replica. Standing 10 1/2 feet by 9 feet and made out of environmentally friendly EPS, this replica is nearly half the size of the original marble statue.

Even a walkway becomes art if you allow it