IN PRAISE OF NOT REALLY HAVING A REASON.

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Why must we always know why?

A few years ago I was crossing the railway tracks in downtown Durham and happened upon an old and rusted railway spike. I idly picked it up and put it in my pocket, and when I got back to the office I put it on a shelf. A few weeks later the same thing happened, and then again. After a while I had about a dozen or so piled up.

People asked me what I was doing. I didn’t really know.

When I left that job I gave them all away to people I cared about.

Occasionally, on crossing the tracks again, I’ll find another, and pick it up. I just kinda like them.

So I have a new pile in my office. There’s now a nut, and a big screw, and some twisty bits of metal that I don’t know what they are. Some of the spikes look almost new; some are clearly old; bent and rusted.

I use some of them for paperweights. Others are just in a pile on a table. According to the Interwebs there are tons of things to do with old railway spikes: knives and hangars and clocks. I think not. I’m happy with my rusty pile.

And I still don’t know why, exactly; and I’m good with that.

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