Sunday, January 31, 2010


One of my favorite moments when we lived in Tokyo, was when we decided that for Christmas we would take our Christmas card photo smack dab in the center of the busiest intersection in the world, where an average of 1,500 humans cross at every light change. We took the train on over late one evening in November, dragging along a friend who could do the camera work. We waited anxiously on the corner and when the lights changed we all plowed through the crowd, with the determination of salmon swimming up stream, until we finally made it to the middle of the chaos. The flash went off repeatedly as we took as many shots as we could before the light changed. It felt both invigorating and surprisingly comfortable to be in the center of all the coming and going.

Since we moved back to Utah, we have learned to enter intersections in our cars with much greater care. Here we seem to see a higher amount of people who plow through, even if the light is looking a little “pink”. The pinker the light, the faster folks seem to be going.

I have been thinking of intersections lately. My husband occasionally prays for intersections, and, believe it or not, he isn’t just hoping we will live through the ones we enter in our car. He prays that we will have intersections with people, on the chance that we might be of some use. Intersections are one of his strengths. His instinctive kindness makes him a natural at navigating in and out when crossing the paths of others.

In the past I have been the kind of person who plows through intersections, viewing them as just a means to get to the safety of the curb. More and more as I age, however, I am becoming the kind of person who likes to hang out in the intersection. I am beginning to see that opportunities to intersect with other humans are both invigorating and surprisingly comfortable. As other travelers cross my path, I do look for ways to be useful, but more often than not, my life is filled with treasures brought by criss crossing of other travelers. In traveling a road that has chances for human intersections, the “pink” lights don’t mean hurry faster, they mean slow down, stay awhile, let’s talk.


  1. That's how I see all this new media stuff - blogs and Facebook. Sometimes in the middle of the night, in a fit of female sleeplessness, I will come down and just dip into Facebook for a moment - and there I am, standing in the busiest intersection of the world, with all my connections flipping by at lightening speed. "Wait!" I say, and somebody stops for a moment, and I know something new about them, and they lend me strength - then off. I guess I'm saying, yeah.

  2. I remember from the TV show Mork and Mindy. Mork said after a driving lesson, "Oh, I get it yellow light means go faster!"