From not writing anything, anywhere for a long time, something happened yesterday that spoke to me fully transcending the whole thing about things speaking to us.
There was a riot in Baltimore, MD/US related to yet another young black man dying in police custody. The arena of young black men being in much too close proximity to negative contact with authorities is one that is nearly ageless in this country. Minorities suffer all over the world. The privileged lording it over the less privileged, who then rise to do the same to whomever is more recently on the low spot.
Anyway, whilst going to a mall to pick up her son, a mother saw that same son on the news, lower face masked, participating in the riot. When she arrived there she found him and began berating him, including grabbing him, giving him slaps against his upper body and forcing him away from the center of the riot.
Because nearly everyone has great media in their hand or pocket, those smart phones are out and recording the action, and this mother and son encounter was captured and shared and found its way to the news.
There has been universal praise for this mother for taking charge and what is truly, in effect, proactive behavior to educate, instruct and remind him of how he was raised and exactly what she expects of him. The final shot of the two of them is him looking back at her with a look on his face that is the perfect expression of his burgeoning understanding of what was important and what was likely to happen after the cameras moved on to other things.
I have been that kind of mother. My daughter never participated in actions that lacked support for others, much less riots. But, all of that is another story, several stories.
It is just that what happened snapped me out of my funk last night. That, and needing to find out more about a person that I have been seeing on a cam. You know, those traffic cams that monitor every single, blessed moment of our lives. At least in public, and I am not so sure about how secure we are in our homes in large urban areas. That technology is some pretty serious stuff.
Whatever. This morning I decided to try to find the exact place where I see this person on a particular cam. I never expected to find the exact place or even the general area, but I did. I even found him on a shot on Google maps or live or street view or whatever it is called.
I immediately felt scared and ashamed. There truly is not any any privacy for any of us, because this technology is everywhere.
I felt both violating of his privacy and violated myself. This happened an hour ago and my own shame increases. But, the honest truth is that I will keep watching this particular cam because it makes me feel good to see him most days, sitting in his usual space and enjoying the weather and interacting with other people and feeding the birds and everything else. It really makes me feel good, that part does. Being able to find the place where I first encountered him and finding him on that image, taken who know how long ago, is totally weirding me out and only the next few days will tell whether or not I continue to watch this particular cam.
The other cams I watch are scenic, with no possibility of identifying any location or person. They are all public spaces, as is the one in which I see that man, and whilst I do not like the whole concept, I do understand the official need to have eyes on the scene. It is the nature of our world now that there are plenty of people ready and willing, and perhaps waiting or planning to be dastardly to public treasures, which includes people.
As evidenced by the coverage of the doings in Baltimore this week, although that came to my more personal attention because of the smart phone images.
Maybe it is my own, health-fueled, isolation, but I really love watching natural scenes that I will never have a chance to visit. I will never travel to Hawaii or Eastern Europe or the tropics or anyplace that is more than a hundred miles from where I live. Yet, I can go there and sit at my computer and relax to the ocean waves breaking against a shore, in all parts of the world.
I can watch wild animals eating, visiting water holes, playing and living their lives. I do, however, hope that I never have to see the entire circle of life played out. Not that I am afraid of it, but it is not my favorite thing right now.
I like looking a landscapes where not much happens, or long views of cityscapes. I like seeing how differently they look from day to night and in-between. The seasons are still to come because I only recently discovered these things.
And, the truth is that I find myself caring about that man and when he did not show up for a few days I worried about him. And, it is not that I am avoiding my own life. I am working my ass off to building this now new life and bulldozing (if necessary) my way through the rough spots. I am moving out in directions I never conceived. Ever. So, there.
There is not any real point to any of this. Except that, maybe, I can care about the world and all that jazz. And, maybe, I can care about one person who I will never meet, even though I found him by being a voyeur. Lordy.
This is full of spelling mistakes, so ignore them. Now I have to go shower so that I can visit the mammowagon to get squished. I might treat myself to dinner out. An early mom's day gift to myself.