Monday, October 6, 2008

Feeling Fenced In ?

This blog is nothing more than a metaphorical walk through life on an afternoon we dreamed of while taking a nap one day. Sometimes while out walking with my camera, something odd like the play of light through a slatted fence onto the sidewalk late in the day in Oakland, California near the Port on the San Francisco Bay will catch my eye, and I'll snap a picture without hardly even thinking about it. But for some unfathomable reason, this image grabbed my imagination when I saw it later. There are densely packed lines going every which way in it, like some of those abstract artworks from back in the 60's with tightly spaced black and white lines, creating the illusion of motion, visually difficult to get a handle on it, like something in a dreamscape.

Is anyone feeling fenced in by life these days ? Wondering if our collective economy is going to survive ? Wondering when the next hurricane is heading your way ? Wondering whether you'll be able to continue to pay the bills and put gas in your car ? Wondering whether life can continue as we know it today ? Are you comfortable in your cocoon, whatever size or shape or type of silk it was spun from ? Beware, cocoons can get shredded. Look what happened to the Native Americans, not long after Europeans appeared on the shores of America.

Edward Curtis took a good look while he still could, and left us 40,000 photographs to ponder of Native Americans and their way of life. If you are feeling fenced in, maybe it is time to start thinking about tearing down some fences and looking to open spaces like the space American Indians lived in... wide open. Take a look at some of the photos Edward Curtis made, you can find them on a multitude of websites. Their message is sobering. If we don't stop doing violence to one another and to the Earth we inhabit, we may follow soon in the hard footsteps of the Native Americans who embarked on a Trail of Tears one winter not so long ago. They did not deserve what fate handed them. I'm not sure I can say the same about our own culture... we have fenced ourselves in... the Native Americans built no fences between them and the Earth...

I've looked at fences from both sides now
From East and West and still somehow
It's fence illusions I recall
I really don't want fences, at all...

(to echo Joni as quoted earlier in this blog)

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