Day 131 From a Distance

April 19, 2015

(This is part of a 365 project during my 70th year where I write and illustrate a blog on each day's gift.)

View of Baltimore from Silo Point penthouse balcony
Today I had the opportunity to see an expensive penthouse, good art and a high view of Baltimore during an art auction at Silo Point, with door donations going toward the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance. I’ve always loved looking at settings from a high vantage point and the ultimate experience was when I went sky diving at age 30. Although it was a great experience, I’m through with sky diving. I still enjoy seeing things from a distance and appreciate how it gives me a different perspective.

I lived in an apartment on Calvert Street (where I met David) when the National Guard marched down the street during the city’s 1968 race riots. I climbed the fire escape to the roof to watch them. I could see the geometry and patterns of their formations, which was indiscernible from street level. However, when some of the soldiers noticed us on the roof, they pointed rifles at us and shouted clearly, “Get off the roof!” We all abandoned the roof promptly.

As I stood on the Silo Point penthouse balcony this afternoon, I looked down on my hometown and was amazed at the number of rooftop decks. From my vantage point, most of the homes had them—something not so obvious from the street. From this distance, I could not see hopelessness in the eyes of beggars on street corners. I could not see trash in gutters or the plethora of abandoned boarded up houses. As the song says, “From a distance, there is harmony”—and maybe a view of what could be.

And from a distance of years, I tend to see my life with selected memories and lots of gaps. Maybe this is a good thing? 

My gift today was a view from above.

You can find links to my other posts on this project here:

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