See Me


She walked down Robson Street with the iPhone held well in front of her.

Smiling coyly she giggled then changed the position of the phone.  Not once did her eyes leave the screen.

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I was leaving Starbuck’s and she very nearly collided with me.  Of this fact, I can assure you, she was very unaware.  I watched her for a moment then realized that she was making a video selfie.

And what I wondered was she going to do with this piece of cinematic excellence?

What role was she playing in that head of hers?

Dangerous this self absorption the younger sect seems to have with these toys of ours.

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Narcissistic and vain.

We all seem to be connected like never before and yet when I look at the lot of us we’ve never been lonelier.

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Many of us hide behind computer screens selling an image to the world, but of what an why?

Remnants of a twisted Oz filter through. The illusion of grandeur and power being sold to a faceless audience.

Fine, you’re in your early 20’s and you are smokin’ hot.  You work out, dress impeccably, hair and makeup are polished to beyond perfection.

So?

Looks will fade. It’s a simple fact of life really.

Our society will tell you that you don’t have to take aging lying down.  Well, if I have a beautiful man above me doing all kinds of wonderful things to my body, I’ll take lying down any day, thanks.

Point being, we all grow old.  Don’t fear it.  If you’re so consumed by your appearance you just might forget to actually live.

All those memories, events and experiences, good and bad that occur during your time here will shape who you ultimately become.  You’re at the helm.  Know this and embrace it.  Pay it forward.

Recently I read an article that stated people who take selfies of themselves all the time are indeed suffering from a mental illness.

I suppose it could be viewed as obsessive behaviour.  Still I just scratched my head.   And what are these phones doing to us?

Women who’ve stored them in their bra have now been found with tumours in their breast tissue resembling the shape of the phone.

My first question was why are they storing them in their bras to begin with?

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It just seems to be so strange in that we are all supposed look fabulous, regardless of age.  Sex is supposed to be from infinity and beyond each and every day, several times a day and our first job should pay for all the accruements necessary to purchase a condo downtown, dress like a runway model and travel half the year.

And those are just the basics, apparently.

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Then I pick up a magazine and women claim that they prefer chocolate to sex.

Alrighty, then.

Something just may be amiss in this utopian dream of ours.

I finished up at the architectural firm today.  I’m leaving it in stellar condition.  I slipped out the door for the final time with a mix of emotions.  I’ve met and worked with some fabulous people.

I’ve worked for an asshole.  But gracious as ever I walked into his office and shook his hand and gave him a hug.  He was quite taken aback by this.  I thanked him for the opportunity that he had afforded me and expressed that I’d learned a great deal.

With a rather bemused expression on his face he said he hoped I would land on my feet.  I offered a rather wry smile now and informed him that I already had then I took my leave.

Sadly, in the five plus years I worked there he never really saw me.

I bid my adieu to the second partner and when I thanked him he teared up.  He knows just as well as I do the injustice that has been committed.  There were a lot of words in those eyes.  Words that he would swallow because he always does.

When I showed him the administrative and accounting set up earlier in the afternoon he looked terrified.  How is he going to remember all of this when he’s popping oxycotin like its candy to try and relieve the pain that he’s living with constantly.

So much potential in that place to be extraordinary, but it will never happen.

I left knowing I did a good job.  I left knowing that despite the trials I’d risen above them.

There is no malice in my heart.  I am free.  I can claim the life that waits for me now and I will do just that with humility and grace.

I’ve still so much to learn in this life.

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I thought back to the home movies my dad took of my sister’s and I during our formative years.

They are kind of silly.  We just stand there looking at the camera. Lorraine had a habit, if she’d been left out of a scene, to walk nonchalantly (and quite obviously) back and forth before it.   Norma it seemed was always eating salt and vinegar potato chips.

I was usually trying to drown a floatation device or doing something nervously foolish while the camera recorded it.

Dad would take a movie lasting some ten minutes in length of a far away bear rummaging through garbage while we were driving on a highway somewhere in BC.

Images of fish caught, of turkeys cooked, of babies being bathed, of parties occurring have been committed to celluloid.  The Brownie Eight had a really bright light and quite often those in front of the camera are squinting pathetically at it.  Faces screwed up comically in an effort to try and look…cool?

Now when an event happens we have instant footage.  Someone, if not many, will pull out an iPhone or Android to record the event.  This was never more evident than when the twin towers fell in New York back in 2001.

They didn’t show too many images after the fact of those who were jumping from the towers.

But during the event, the sensationalism of its horrific unfolding held us all in its wake.

Those in the tower had just a few options in directing their death that they knew would occur that day.

Burn or jump.  I would think jumping would ultimately be far less painful.

I can recall the media zooming in on a young man who was captured catapulting out the building, freefalling, likely having a million things running through his head as death enveloped him.

But there it was.  Freeze framed. They zoomed in trying to determine who he was.‘

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‘Don’t’. I whispered to the television screen. For those who knew and loved him…don’t let that be the image they have of him.

There’ve been a number of plane crashes this week and we’ve been inundated with images of burnt out aircraft.

Apparently one of the crash sites was being looted.

I found my brows becoming furrowed as I pondered what you would loot from the site of a plane crash.

And what are we doing?  I want to have a positive impact, yet sometimes our conduct in this world frightens me.

And as I stood transfixed for a moment this morning watching this girl move like a shadow down the street I wondered did she ever see and feel the beauty around her?

Driving in today I was again overwhelmed by the rich and lush area that I inhabit. I am so blessed to be able to call this home.

And did this girl think she was all that?

And what exactly does this mean?

This life is a subjective one filled with so many subtleties.  And it is the little things that make all of this worthwhile.

 

God knows I am so glad I was not consumed with my appearance, that I didn’t place my value as a human upon this attribute.  I would have been in some kinda deep shit when I woke up last year and found that I shared a strong likeness to the alien of Roswell fame.

And to all of you beautiful people out there, please see those of who stand in the shadow of your illustrious ‘greatness’.

And I hope when you do get old (and you will) that you’ll have developed some substance.   Now, go break that mirror.

In case you didn’t know…everything you see in it is backwards.   J

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