As I opened each folded slip of paper that had been tucked into the “Promptly Yours” box on the narrator desk in the lobby, the answers resonated with me. As I felt hum after hum of “me too”, I realized I could have written many of them myself.
I’d asked this question:
What are you afraid of and intrigued by at the same time?
And so many of you responded with thoughtful, personal and genuine answers. The people that come in and out of this hotel everyday are diverse and palpably one-of-a-kind, but we also hold a lot of inner life in common. We are collectively fearful of and fascinated by many of the same things. I decided that for this post, I’d like to join Pfister guests’ fearsome and captivating thoughts with those of other thinkers, poets, entrepreneurs, and other interesting humans—people very much like yourselves.
These are the things you said you’re both afraid of and intrigued by:
The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud. -Coco Chanel
A choir is made up of many voices, including yours and mine. If one by one all go silent then all that will be left are the soloists. Don’t let a loud few determine the nature of the sound. It makes for poor harmony and diminishes the song. -Vera Nazarian
The deep, undiscovered parts of the ocean-
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater, you realize that you’ve been missing the whole point of the ocean. Staying on the surface all the time is like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the tent. -Dave Barry
Retirement with my wife-
A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. -Mignon McLaughlin
I like to prowl ordinary places and taste the people- from a distance. -Charles Bukowski
Flying own plane-
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return. -Leonardo da Vinci
“You haven’t seen a tree until you’ve seen its shadow from the sky. -Amelia Earhart
Traveling somewhere new on my own-
It seemed an advantage to be traveling alone. Our responses to the world are crucially moulded by whom we are with, we temper our curiosity to fit in with the expectations of others…Being closely observed by a companion can inhibit us from observing others; we become taken up with adjusting ourselves to the companion’s questions and remarks, we have to make ourselves seem more normal than is good for our curiosity. –Alain de Botton
Now I know what a ghost is. Unfinished business, that’s what.
― Salman Rushdie
What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams. -Werner Herzog
I’m more frightened than interested by artificial intelligence – in fact, perhaps fright and interest are not far away from one another. Things can become real in your mind, you can be tricked, and you believe things you wouldn’t ordinarily. A world run by automatons doesn’t seem completely unrealistic anymore. It’s a bit chilling. —Gemma Whelan
She’s a woman, you’re a dude. You’re not supposed to understand her. That’s not what she’s after…. She doesn’t want you to understand her. She knows that’s impossible. She just wants you to understand yourself. Everything else is negotiable.
― Neal Stephenson
As children we were fascinated by magic, as adults we fear love, at what point did we forget they are the same thing? -j.r. Rogue
How would you have answered this question? Please tell me in the comments below.
And be sure to stop by my desk in the Pfister lobby and answer our next question:
Describe a favorite holiday memory from your childhood. What sounds, smells, foods, songs etc take you back to that moment?