You Can’t Get There From Here

Some days there is a theme that you can recognize and there is no difficulty at all in seeing a pattern, and likewise some people have certain quirks that are notable. For a variety of reasons, at work I have acquired a reputation for my ability to find barriers. I’m not exactly sure why this is the case, but while doing work I regularly come across barriers of all kinds, whether they be concrete barriers, gates across routes, fences, or even the occasional grassy hill near some blackberry bushes in the woods down a narrow dirt path. Having spent a great deal of my life finding barriers of one kind or another, I suppose it would be a gift that has been well-practiced both that I would tend to naturally be in paths with a lot of barriers, and that I would be skilled at finding those barriers in my path and seeking ways around them.

Why do these barriers exist in the first place? Sometimes one finds barriers because people have thought that a road went through that simply did not, simply because roads on both sides did not necessarily meet in the middle. At other times, people do not like access through their property from neighboring apartment complexes, or are seeking to limit access into properties like prisons and community colleges. For whatever reason, though, I find a lot of barriers in the course of my paths. I do not consider myself a particularly aggressive person by nature, but I am someone who likes to poke and prod and explore, and my curiosity tends to open up all kinds of paths and find closed paths a bit easier than those who are less keen on exploration. Those who are willing to travel more paths and further along paths and in unfamiliar territory are simply going to come across more barriers than those who do not.

Even given this tendency, barriers are rather common. Let me give one further example from today. I had to ride the MAX part of the way home today, and today, even though it was not as amusing an experience as I wrote about some days ago [1], it was still a noteworthy trip. Because of some traffic caused by a car accident on the way to Clackamas, I ended up missing the 5:30 train out of the Town Center, which meant that I ended up missing the last bus on the route that goes near my home, and had to take the Blue line, which requires a bit more of a walk. The only problem was that the previous train had ended up hitting a car on 122nd street [2], which forced me to wait an hour, which meant I got home rather later than expected. Today ended up being a day all about barriers, if also about the patient ways around them.

It was fortunate that I was not in a particular hurry today, though I would have liked to have had a book to read while I was waiting, since there are quite a few books that need to be read and reviewed (and at least one, which is currently #3 in line to be read, which needs to be returned to its owner). While waiting, as is my habit, I watched other people. Quite a few of them, like myself, were rather tired and somewhat sleep deprived as a result of the start of daylight savings time (as if I needed more reasons to be an insomniac with trouble sleeping). Other people were a bit cranky, swearing at Trimet for their failures in providing obvious contingency plans to the risk of trains running into vehicles. But at least one person seemed to be having a great time–a little baby who was laughing and giggling playfully with her parents while they were on a long trip back to Gresham and parts eastward. The little baby has plenty of time, and no worries, and so the barriers to home were of no trouble to her. As for the rest of us, not so much.

[1] https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/scenes-from-a-portland-max-ride/

[2] I looked for a news story to link for this, but could not find one, though I found plenty of links for other fatal intersections at this particular intersection, which appears to be very dangerous. Ironically enough, or not, several times as a UPS helper I had to wait for the train at this particular station, pondering to myself what an unusual intersection it was for cars, not realizing how many pedestrians and motorists had run into trouble there.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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2 Responses to You Can’t Get There From Here

  1. Pingback: Life Is An Open Road | Edge Induced Cohesion

  2. Pingback: Book Review: Thoughts On Building Strong Towns: Volume III | Edge Induced Cohesion

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