100 Smiles Results

Yesterday we captured pictures of 100 people we made smile in Seattle and we’re working on turning them into a mosaic (coming soon).  We feel good about the day; we successfully made many people happy and worked as a team to complete our challenge, which turned out to be more of an exercise than we had initially thought.

One struggle was that either we had to snap the photos on the fly while driving or we had to ask people who were already smiling to pause and let us snap a pic.  It was quite difficult to get high quality pictures while driving, but it felt like soliciting to ask for a pose and we didn’t want to taint the integrity of the project.  In the end, we did a little of each.  Red lights became our greatest ally.

In deciding to have a goal for a day’s effort there were some positives and negatives as compared with our other days thus far.  The direction and challenge were good motivators to work as a team and stay on task throughout the day.  We got in arguments about how to accomplish it and ended up exploring lots more of the city, from Fremont to downtown to University of Washington’s campus.  However, we didn’t have as much times to explore our personal expression.

After we were done we got back on the road under a gorgeous, drawling sunset that lasted for at least half an hour.  The sky was a pearly blue with thousands of pink clouds cast across it like strands of wool reflecting the multitude of ideas floating around in my head.

We got quite a bit of publicity in Seattle.  Our bus got over 7,000 views on Reddit without us doing a thing and a photo-journalist from seattlepi.com came to shoot some pictures of us.  Additionally, over 15 people from the neighborhood we parked in came onto our bus and shared their perspective with us.  Note- parking in a high-traffic area is definitely a good idea.

I think (and hope) that Seattle represents a bit of a turning-point in our journey.  We proved to ourselves that we can get attention and support just by being ourselves and working on our own growth.  That opens the doors to try different ways in which we can have a positive impact; if people are watching, we have a great opportunity.

Now back in Portland, we plan to head into the Redwoods of Northern California in a week to spend the holidays reflecting on our first 36 days and determining what to do next.  I’m really looking forward to some time in the stillness amidst nature’s largest beings (trees).  Somehow they always help reveal the simplicity within the complexity of experience.

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