what if?

I stood at the sw 5th and sw taylor bus stop this morning. A 20something girl spun her hula hoop in intricate patterns while waiting alongside me and listening to her playlist. She’s there every Sunday. 
A woman walked by, then paused to pick up two discarded cigarettes off the ground. She didn’t throw them into the garbage can. Rather, she put them in her purse, ostensibly for future use. 
Nearby, a man used a tape measure to evaluate the varied dimensions of the bus stop shelter. Curiosity overcame any bashfulness, I imagine. 

Meanwhile the rest of us, young and old, of various ethnicities, stood or sat quietly, waiting for the bus.

A typical morning in downtown Portland. Nothing strange about it at all. Just a moment spent with neighbors in the heart of a sleepy city which is nursing wounds of estrangement and misunderstanding. It makes me wonder: what would happen if we stopped ignoring each other and started communicating, listening deeply from the heart and speaking graciously and honestly, free from selfish filters?

What indeed?


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