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  • It was one of those days today. You know the type--you rise before the sun, groggy, eager for the weekend to come and save you from the misery of this work week from hell. You move through your routine, slowly picking up steam in the shower (no pun intended), until you muster enough energy to dress yourself, make yourself almost presentable, then drag yourself out...

    A crisp New England morning greets me as I step out, and it makes me catch my breath. There is snow dusting the pavement for the first time in a while after that snow storm we had over the past couple of days, it looks beautiful and peaceful and somehow cozy despite the cold. The hustle and bustle of the city is picking up, but it is not quite there yet. I am leaving before rush hour because I have to make it to campus extra early for the workshop; traffic is not heavy, but there are still those drivers around. You know the type--they feel compelled to cut you off, nearly hit you, flip you the bird, and so on, in a poorly veiled attempt to voice their frustration with the world, their dissatisfaction with their miserable existence, their unhappiness. We have a local term of endearment, we call them Massholes here... fast-forward seven hours.

    I have been sitting in this uncomfortable chair for what feels like an eternity. If I believed in God or an afterlife, I would think this must be what purgatory is like... I know it will eventually end, and that I am suffering through it for my own good, but right now all I want is for it to be over. There have been no breaks, and we all sat through a working lunch. You know the type--no coffee breaks, no bathroom breaks, just a never-ending fountain of information that you will not be able to digest for at least two weeks, and this excruciating, hard, uncomfortable implement of a chair under your glorious behind.

    I literally cannot sit any longer. My legs tingle, my back is screaming at me in a high-pitched screech of pain, and I am just jittery because I have inhaled no fewer than eight cups of coffee in the hopes of staying alert despite the inhuman schedule of the day... I get up and walk out of the auditorium. You know the type--it has a little plaque of dedication in the corner, thanking whoever coughed out enough money to buy the naming rights. I step into the elevator, in this building I have never been to before, and press the first key that catches my eye. I get out, turn left, and see this little balcony...

    Two Adirondack chairs, red and blue, face each other, as if engaged in a loving conversation, as if content to just be together. The city behind them fades... suddenly weightless, I am in my Zen place, fully present in this ephemeral moment of serenity.
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