#Occupy Wall Street – Part 1
I was down at Zuccotti Park the other day, minding my own business as much as I can with my Canon camera when, turning to take a shot I came face to face, lens to lens, with a camera-man filming me. We laughed, he had a smile to die for, we made crowd small talk then he asked me if I minded being filmed and asked a few questions. This stopped me in my tracks. I am Miss Invisible, I am “what did you say your name was again . . . ?” I faffed around, made polite Greta Garbo excuses when he came up with the clincher that I could hardly object if I were so happy to be taking photographs of other people. Fair point, I thought, go ahead, confident that they will have the good enough taste to later press delete.
His partner, the interviewer, an elfin young girl who could have passed for a far prettier Justin Bieber look-a-like asked me what I was doing own there. I glibbed and cobbled together an answer of sorts with so much gibberish that I am mercifully unable to recall the messy few words that did fall from my mouth. I could see in her eyes that it was a wrap already but she was kind enough to smile and nod her head appropriately. It was over in no time. I made sure of that with my waffy talk of freedom and the democratic process.
It was barely a wrap when out of nowhere another woman swooped on the young girl reporter . “Oh my God, I remember you! I saw you on America’s Got Talent!” Girl reporter nodded and smiled. Desperate for more information I struggled to overhear the conversation as the woman interrogated her as to what she is doing now while all I wanted to know was what did she do on AGT? Did she interview people or perform as the Justin Bieber clone? Before I knew it, the crew was interviewing the woman. Who had a lot to say. This woman talked. In earnest. With her head held in confidence and her hands punctuating the air around her. I was in awe and envy, wishing to God I could talk the talk but years of noisy dinners as a child in a large family soon resigned me to the peace that is the land of the shut-up.
Come back, come back I thought. Let me tell you what I really think. But, thinking about what I really thought had my heart thumping in my chest and, if I were to truly talk, well then I would simply start crying, not knowing where to stop. Then I would have embarrassed them and myself although I suspect I am beyond that these days, as long as I keep my mouth shut.
Today is my baby’s birthday! Somewhere along the line in those things called years, he became a young man. He is tall, rugged, extremely fit and rather good-looking. In his final year at university he has been accepted to start this time next year as an officer in the Royal Marines. It is what he wants to do and we are very proud and supportive of him but I can’t help thinking why can’t he be a ski-bum out in Colorado like his brother (who knows how much we love and support him!) or find a nice office job like his other brother in London? Where did we go wrong? A son in the military? A military unit sent to all sorts of crazy places like Afghanistan and Iraq when all that time Osama was hiding out in Pakistan? And what did Iraq have to do with 9/11 anyway? I have to suppress the yearning nostalgia for the good old bad days when Iraq and Iran slugged it out with each other for a whole eight years . . . whose side were we meant to be on with that one? Meanwhile in Afghanistan the wily mujahideen sent the bedraggled Soviet troops back to mother Russia fully loaded as heroin addicts!
No weapons of mass bloody destruction but so many lives lost in the process. And what for? To what end? When will it ever end? Is the cycle doomed to be repeated ad nauseam throughout the ages? Swaddling the newborns in my arms I remember the hopes and dreams (a cliché if ever there was one but it will have to do for now) I held for them and the world into which they were being born.
Hopes and dreams never die although re-arrangements are often necessary. Which is what is happening down at Zuccotti Park. And if we care enough about ourselves we have to care about others. We are, all of us, some-one else’s “other.”
Care, if you dare. Before it is too late!
(Happy Birthday and many more to Fog 3 and everyone else young and old enough everywhere!)
NB: I am well chuffed – I made it Zuccotti Park before Obama or Bono!