Saturday, February 9, 2008

Sometimes the dot isn't short for Dorothy

Those maps of the stores in the malls that every mall has (okay, not the Norwichtown Mall which has three times the number of mall walkers as it does shops and it has less than a half dozen mall walkers.) always have a red pin stuck on them with a note, 'you are here.' I often wonder why the floor that the map display is constructed on doesn't have red or orange color tiles right there so when I look down, after reading that part of the mall map, I'm reassured.

Like those who have fallen in love with the camera part of our cell phone (and none of the cameras I've owned in my life could call anyone, anywhere. I could throw some of them at somebody to get his attention but they had to be pretty close unless Brian McNamee was doing rounds), there's a compulsion to photo-document every moment of our lives. Here's a shot of me at the mall, looking at the directory. And here's a picture of me showing you a picture of me looking at the mall directory and OH! Here's one of you and me looking at a picture of us looking at a picture. As Walter explained to Ray, people take pictures of each other just to prove that they really existed.

And when our time for coming and going has come and gone, who will know we were here. Will there be a little dot on the front sidewalk at your house? When you look at how long we, as a species, have trodden this planet, what names of all those who've gone before us, do we know? My family and yours and his, over there, all helped build this country and are part of the history of the USA that has gotten us from 1776 until 2008, but where are the names. We've preserved Mount Vernon and Monticello-no one has contacted me about efforts to save 33 Bloomfield Avenue in Franklin Township, NJ where three of my brothers and sisters were born and where my mother and father worked as hard as they could to make a life for us. There's no marker at the corner, with Easton Avenue, that says 'this where Evan Delores Kenny waited for the school bus to take her to Saint Peter School in New Brunswick, every school day for eight years' (Evan NEVER missed a day of school as a kid. How's that for dedication?).

And the same is true for you and yours. And yet here we are, so many people in the same device. Famous faces and famous places mixed in equal parts with ordinary lives doing extraordinary things. You, I, he and she--we are here.
-bill kenny

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