Today in yoga, while chillin’ out, maxin’, relaxin’ in shavasana, the instructor asked us to imagine the room from bird’s eye view, to send our positive post-yoga vibes over everyone who had just shared the last hour sweating together. Then, she asked us to push our imaginations harder, and imagine Chicago, and to think about all of the people across the city who had begun yoga at noon, and were now, just like us, enjoying the final moments of practice. That’s when I got the tinglies.
I just can’t help but love shit like that. As a non-religious person, devoid of a faith that helps officially ground me in a community, I’m always looking for ways to locate myself in the world. When I travel, I sometimes play this game where I imagine a little flag plopped on a globe, Carmen Sandiego-style, at the exact point where I happen to be. When I fly, I always take a moment to think about how amazing it is that four hours here or two hours there is enough to take me to a new coast. Hundreds of flights later, and I still think that’s magical.
I’m comforted by anything that reminds me of how small the world is. Bumping into old friends, finding unexpected connections in common with new acquaintances, catching a Facebook photo of a friend-of-a-friend in a bar that I’ve been to in a city in which neither of us live, that’s the kind of stuff that gives me the warm fuzzies.
I don’t feel connected to my ethnicity (hodgepodge that it is), to my nationality, or to any particular faith. I feel connected to Chicago, if only because it’s the only map I’ve ever built from scratch through my own traipsing and wandering.
I think I like foursquare so much because it is a tangible way of marking my place in the world, even if it is Walgreens, at any given moment. Or maybe I just like collecting mayorships.
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