Pack Rat Magazine hearts you.
I know the title of this blog is a little grandiose, but artist David Horvitz and his website of offers has got me thinking about this question, and having me consider how important connecting with other people and feeling connected matters. It seems to be a large part of what it means to be human. Maybe you’ll think I’m overreacting, but listening to one of David’s many offers, as Alanis Morissette would say, “has me seriously thinking about spirituality.” Here are a few of my favorites:
“I WILL SEND YOU A PHOTOGRAPH OF THE SKY FOR EVERYDAY IN 2008″ (he offers the buyer 366 photographs of the sky, one taken every day of the year)
“If you give me $20 I will go to Coney Island in New York with an envelope and fill it with sand and mail it to you from there. It’s not star sand, but it’s still Coney Island.”
“If you give me $30 I will buy $30 worth of cookies and give them away to people I find in the street. I will send you an email with the details of where I bought the cookies, and the exact minute and date I started giving them away and the exact minute I gave away the last one.”
“If you give me $1 I will sit in silence and think about you for one minute. I will send you an email when I start this, and I’ll send you another email when I’m done.”
(This one is my favorite) “If you give me $30 I will walk around New York, and the first homeless person I see I will buy him or her whatever he or she wants to eat (as long as it is less than $30). I will mail you back the exact change (minus the paypal fee and the cost of the postage stamp) with the receipt for the food and the name of the person who ate it.”
Under each offer he lists who has purchased what, for instance:
“I thought about Moisés Horta from 4:22am to 4:23am on February 14, 2008 in New York.”
“Bart Schouten bought a pizza full of every topping except anchovies from Johns’ of Bleeker Street for Marvin who was in the Houston train stop for the 1 on February 28, 2008.”
I’m sure some cynical people would say that the whole thing is a hoax. Maybe this guy is just sitting around in his apartment, collecting the money that foolish people send him and spending it all on beer. Well, maybe he is, but that’s not the point. The point is that David’s offers are based on faith, and human connection. You have to take a leap, a jump and believe that he really will think about you for a minute. And if you believe, then you get to reap the rewards, the satisfaction and fulfillment of knowing that somewhere, someone who has never even met you know knows who you are and is thinking of you. And conversely, you are now thinking of him. Frankly, the whole thing makes my toes wiggle with optimism.