Archive for October 26th, 2009

Free Speech

I walked by an abandoned building next to the mall last night. Written on it with smooth bold black letters were the words, “Ban Gay Marriage”. They were written with a wide brush as they were smooth, unlike regular graffiti. Even though I fully support everyone’s right to free speech, I wished I had a can of paint to write over it. Painting over it would have been an expression of my rights. I wanted to cover up the “Gay” part so that it read, “Ban Marriage” :>) It would have confused people and maybe they would have thought twice.

Well anyway, the shuttle bus drove passed it this evening and the whole thing had been painted over with off-white paint and a large peace sign painted next to it. That was a better expression of free-speech than I had in mind. It made me smile.

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Fringe people

Here I am in Burlington Massachusetts for software training for the company I work for. I traveled by train from Maine, leaving my yurt in the woods for a hotel next to a huge mall. I must say, I feel a bit out-of-place. I asked the front desk person on the way out of the hotel directions to walk to a restaurant. She admonished me by saying, “It isn’t a very good walk”. I responded, “Well I don’t have a car and I must get some food”. She shook her head and gave me a look like, “good luck with that walking stuff weirdo.”

Well anyway, I managed a dinner and walking back I walked under a tree that people probable never walk under and we had a talk. I asked to enter into its intimate space and was very welcomed. I don’t think any human had ever acknowledged it as a living soul. I sensed it was unsettled from all the cars rushing by. I told it I thought it beautiful and to grow tall and express all its beauty right in this place as I have no way of bringing her home to Maine. Then I thought, “I really am different”. Anyone seeing me talking to a tree, in a place where no one walks and everyone is in a car, would think I was completely crazy. And they would be right in the context of “normal” people doing their lives in Burlington Mass. Bobcat once told me we were the fringe people. Even though I am wearing my corporate uniform, traveling on trains, staying on hotels, using computers, and even though I never thought of myself as “fringe”, she would be right.

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