23 questions on a train ride

Encountering life's questions on a CTA train

You encounter what appears to be a wall of notes written by a crazy person. 23 sticky notes arranged on a grid by a seat on the train. Many reflective questions that question our perspective of life. Questions of self-awareness and human nature. Why would someone be rapid-firing all these questions onto sticky notes on the train?

  • What is your most important place?
  • Where do you look for significance?
  • Where are you going?
  • What are the thoughts of your head?
  • Will you sacrifice yourself for love of others?
  • Why do you work?
  • Why do you stay in your current place?
  • Whom do you love?
  • When you wake up at 3am, what are you thinking about?
  • How do we want ot be noticed?
  • The length of a train ride versus the length to express your concern to someone
  • Quietly thoughts float over guided tracks
  • How do you find expression?
  • Are you ruled by time?
  • Curiosity will find expression.
  • We bow down to time. Deadlines. Do you worship time?
  • If you do something enought times; does that make you crazy, or make you an expert?
  • Observe the textures.
  • Pause or play?
  • How do you want to be noticed?
  • Why am I only at Wellington when I need to be at Western?
  • Txt a friend. Snapchat a friend. Email a friend. Snail mail a friend. Your choice.
  • What do you like doing?
  • [And an empty sticky note, just because it’s all symbolic for a blank note to be posted]

Actually, I can tell you, because the person who did these. I love leaving sticky notes in public spaces. The 3-inch square piece of paper is a perfect vehicle for communicating a thought to the unknown public. (or 2-inch by 1.5-inch for the smaller quicker note). Whether it’s:

I like overly blue water caps

Pointing out some detail that I like.

If you take these speakers, you must play Bach on them once a week. These speakers enjoy Bach.

Or instructions on an alley giveaway.

Call to God: Shawn Pahnke of Shelbyville, Indiana

Or prayers for the family of someone who gave their life up for our country.

Or leaving love notes around your girlfriend (now fiancee’s) condo. (Sorry, no public pics of those.)

I love communicating via sticky notes. The sticky note is my canvas. I’d love for the sticky note to be the canvas of others, so I encourage people to do the same.

One of the goals in my life is to encourage people live a more reflective life. Thus, questions are a great vehicle to promote thinking about purpose and perspective. What are the questions that strangers on the train think about? These 23 questions are ones that pop into my head through time alone, or through conversations with others. I wanted to be able to capture this rapid-fire brainstorm of questions, so they can be shared with others.

Granted, the large collection of them together is a bit crazy to encounter. But I see the train’s walls as a mechanism, a canvas to which ideas can stick. Perhaps these ideas will stick in other people’s heads as well.

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