Fridge Philosophy: The sky is no limit to the vision
A new take on Fridge Philosophy
Note: Since 2018, I have placed “Fridge Philosophies” (short quotes) on our refrigerator at home to provide subtle hints for successful, thoughtful, and purposeful practices in hopes my teens would internalize them. Along the way, I found them helpful in my own life.
Today’s Fridge Philosophy, I’m writing a short fiction inspired by the quote. Let me know in the comments to see if this works.
By Vince Wetzel
Copyright 2023 Vince Wetzel and OT Press
Marlow was in Mile 4 of his morning run. The audio book he downloaded underwhelmed him, and his attention ebbed in and out as he traversed the hills and streets of Salt Lake City.
Here on business as a political consultant to a national real estate trade group, he both loved and hated the slow grade that led East toward the University of Utah. If he could just make it to campus, then his return down to his hotel would be much easier.
Marlow hit The Pie, the local college pizza joint, and now he was just a block from the University’s President’s Circle. His Apple Watch read 4.14 miles. That was fine. The last chapter mercilessly ended. Never again would he download literary fiction for running. Suspense, thriller, or even celebrity memoir was more appropriate than listening to what he thought was pretentiousness veiled ideas about identity, self, and loathing.
As he reached the flagpole at the center of President’s Circle, he mercilessly turned off the audio book. What the heck was that? he thought.
He downloaded the book searching for something deeper. Recently, he felt he was spinning his wheels, trying to be everything to everyone. At 40 years old, he wasn’t in midlife crisis, per se, more like a midlife concern. Marlow felt he should be more grateful. Everything, from his job to his marriage to his kids, were moving along smoothly. But nothing excited him. He was in a rut.
Before he decided to continue his journey back toward downtown, Marlow pulled out his phone and checked his Twitter/X account. Amongst the random bile and destructive political posts he couldn’t avoid, he made sure to follow Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama so inspirational humans could work their way in between calls for fascism or communism.
Marlow’s scroll found a quote from Stephen Hawking from the @Frdgephilosophy handle. It took a moment to read and decipher the handwriting, but the moment he did, he stopped.
He looked up.
The sun had yet to peak through the mountains to the East, but the clear air between desert and mountains created a landscape of color that could only come from nature or a Renaissance master.
Always more comfortable in an urban setting, Marlow never understood those who journeyed to far-off locales to disconnect and refocus. Yet, in this moment, he took in the vast platitudes of color that were in front of him. For the first time in a long time, he was in awe. So many times, trips to Yosemite, Hawaii, and other beautiful locales were so scheduled and regimented, he never looked up at the wonder before him.
Marlow found a bench and watched as the sun slowly began its day-long creep across the sky. His earbuds were silent. Sight was the only sense he needed in the moment, and it enthralled him.
He felt a buzz on his arm and on his wrist. It was his wife Stella wishing him a Good Morning. Typically, he’d just text her back but the moment demanded more, even if she might not appreciate the gesture. He pulled up FaceTime and called her.
When she connected, Marlow, didn’t say a word, but just scanned the morning sky in an attempt to share its beauty to the one person with whom he wanted to experience it.
“Wow, that’s beautiful.”
“Yes, this is our next vacation,” he said.
“OK,” she said with a litle skepticism. “Utah? I thought you wanted ot go to New York.”
“Nope. This is the most connected I’ve felt to life and we need to explore. We need our kids to look up from their phones and see these mysteries. I’ve missed them for too long.”
Side of Mustard
So, what did you think of this new take of Fridge Philosophy? Part of the purpose of this newsletter is to treat it like a sandbox and try different things and see what resonates. I have big plans (and they span years!) and I’m hoping to explore my writing in real time in front of you. That’s why I encourage you to provide … constructive… feedback. Let me know if this Fridge Philosophy resonates or if you prefer when I provide a straightforward personal reflection.
Lose Yourself is off to my editor. This is the next step toward its release in Spring 2024 by OT Press. As I ramp up toward release, I’ll provide further updates. There could be some great opportunities for a limited edition signed copy. Still exploring but stay tuned!