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The Flow

October 30, 2007

I’m sure that if you’ve ever watched a crowd move, you’ve noticed that there’s a specific flow to every individual’s movements within it. If you’ve not, either stop reading or go watch a crowd after you finish this.

Likely, however, you have, and you’ve also noticed the same flow from within a crowd – it’s stronger there, and hard to resist just slipping into that ebb and flow of humanity and weaving through to one’s end destination. However, the other day I had an odd experience. Someone was … discordant to the flow. Not amongst it, and in sufficient degree to stand out.

I’m not talking someone who stood out for dress, or manner, like a homeless man’s shuffle, or an outlandishly dressed person – they are visible in their own right, but still flow properly. No, this man was ordinarily dressed, but stood out exclusively for not being a part of the flow, the gestalt of human movement that is our pathways on campus.

I’m still not sure how he stood out, really, he was completely unremarkable other than the fact that he was somehow not a member of the coordinated movements of the mass.  Wish I knew, though, ’cause he made it through the crowd faster than anyone I’ve seen before.

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