Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More

Footsteps On Metal Stairs

Coombsville Appellation, Napa Valley, California, USA

July 27, 2020

"There is no such thing as consciousness, there is only conscious of." ... 
This essay, Footsteps On Metal Stairs, is the thirty third in an open group Encounters With A Friend:
  1. Showing Up
  2. Poet Laureate
  3. A Man In The Crowd
  4. Real Men Cry
  5. A Different Set Of Rules
  6. Nametag: A True Story
  7. Half-Life
  8. Waiting On You
  9. Erotica On Schedule
  10. A House On Franklin Street
  11. NeXT
  12. Reflection On A Window
  13. Here And There
  14. How To Enroll The World
  15. Demonstration
  16. Two Of Me II: Confirmation Not Correction
  17. Holiday Spectacular
  18. Hello! How Are Things Going For You?
  19. Regular Guy
  20. A Scholar And A Gentleman
  21. Images Of You
  22. With Nothing Going On
  23. Where No One Has Gone Before
  24. Attachment: Causeway Between Islands
  25. If You're Not Then Don't
  26. Images Of You II
  27. Living Where Life Is
  28. Create Me The Way I Am
  29. How Do You Spell The Sound A Ratchet Makes?
  30. You Don't Ask "Why Me?"  When It's Raining
  31. The Stink Of Zen
  32. Sitting Quietly In A Room Alone
  33. Footsteps On Metal Stairs
so far, in that order.

His office door opens exactly as I'm walking past outside. I'm on my way to the kitchenette to clean the cappuccino machine with which I'll typically make about eight cappuccinos for him and his guests during my day service shift. I wasn't expecting him to leave for a few more hours at least. I see he's alone. No one else is inside.

He strides boldly out through the door, and closes it behind him. "Hello Chief!" I say, more than pleasantly surprised to meet him like this - overjoyed, in fact. He stops, looks directly at me, then does a complete double take. "Thank You Lar" he says ("Lar" is his term of endearment for me from the Roman god of the house). Because he doesn't take anything for granted - ever - I realize he must be thanking me for addressing him as "Chief". He's thanking me for my acknowledgement???  And his is not just a politically correct walk-by  thanking. It's a come-to-a-complete-stop, turn-to-face-me with full-eye-contact thanking. Wow! By contradistinction, he reminds me that human beings die a slow, sad, thwarted death in any environment in which the contribution they are, isn't fully acknowledged and appreciated.

Then he smiles, turns, and walks toward the north-east corner of the seventh floor on which we're located - which is interesting because the elevator lobby, toward which I assumed he would go, is on the south-west side. On a whim, I put the kitchenette on hold, and follow him. Being alone with him like this is a rare opportunity, and I seize it. The bravado is crazy. But it's bravado like this which affords me opportunities to be alone with him. We don't say anything, silent, as I walk at his side.

He shows no reaction to me being here next to him like this, and continues to walk on while I wonder where we're headed ... and then I realize he's going to take the stairs, not the elevator. He presses the bar which opens the stairwell door (the correct term for which is the "crash  bar") and we walk through, the door clicking closed behind us. Now we're in the enclosed stairwell. We begin walking down the stairs. And just when I have the thought "This would be a very  good time to talk or to ask questions", the sound of our footsteps on the metal stairs echoing in the stairwell begins to fully take over our awareness, our consciousness, the experiential space.

I look over at him (he's now slightly in front of me and to my right). With his arms relaxed at his sides, he has his head down, looking at his feet as he steps down onto each stair, a smile on his face as each of his steps elicits that unmistakable sound a heeled, leather shoe stepping down onto a metal stair makes. He's totally absorbed in the staccato sound, totally in rhythm with it, enjoying it, his whole body responding to it, in harmony with it. The moment to talk has been superseded by it, and we're now absorbed instead by the rhythmic, clean ringing sound of our footsteps on the metal stairs, echoing and reverberating throughout the stairwell.

And that's our entire (non-verbal) conversation: being with / listening the sound of our footsteps as we walk down seven flights of metal stairs, the such-ness of it, the thus-ness of it, the what's so  of it, the Zen of it. If I tweeted about it, I'd say

Footsteps on metal stairs

(that's the whole post)

Around him, the sound isn't an intrusion. It doesn't get in the way of some other  conversation we should be paying attention to instead. Rather, it's the conversation we should  be having. It's the conversation that's happening now. It's what there is to listen. This  (not something else) is what there is to be fully conscious of.

Background soundtrack: Footsteps On Metal Stairs courtesy Fesliyan Studios - wait for 434K download

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