I’ve been doing some serious soul-searching.
I’ve never been a trusting sort, and Tuesday reminded me yet again that people are not to be trusted. That said, I no longer have it in me to fight. If you do, more power to you. Me, I’m done.
Instead I’m going to enjoy my days. After all, with the nuclear codes in the hands of someone so dangerous and unstable, who knows how many days we have left? And, you know, I’m OK with that too. I’ve said for years that humans are an invasive species with no known predators who are sapping the Earth’s resources dry. It would be poetic justice if we were responsible for our own demise.
So I have resolved to smile more. Be more polite. I’m going to flirt with men… and maybe women. I’ve always wondered. I’m going to dance, and do yoga, and walk. I’m going to try new things.
And I’m going to tell you about those experiences.
Most days on my lunch break I walk through downtown Nashville. It gets me out of the office and gives me a chance to do some serious people-watching while getting some exercise. Invariably I end up walking by Tinney Contemporary, whose current exhibition is David Yarrow‘s Wild Encounters photography.
The first time I saw Hello, I was mezmerized.
In the room are photos of animals in the wild, including zebras and a lion. As I look at the photos my head fills with thoughts about climate change, the melting of the polar icecap, endangered species, trophy hunting, and on and on and on.
But this polar bear ain’t having it. He says to me, “Hey! I’m not a concept! I am alive! I am a living being. Look at me!”
And just like that, through a photograph, I connect with a polar bear.
Now each day I walk by Tinney to commune with this bear and his companions.
Then Tuesday happened, and now when I walk by the gallery, I cry.
I don’t feel sorry for us. We the people either voted for this guy, threw away our vote on someone we knew couldn’t be elected, or didn’t bother to vote at all, and now we will pay the consequences.
But so will this polar bear. If our president-elect’s sons, unrepentant trophy hunters of wild animals, don’t kill the bear, then their climate-change denying father will ensure his demise through rolling back of regulations. Soon photographs may be all that we have left.
Now the bear asks me, “what have you done?” Through my tears I tell the bear I’m sorry while passers-by head to lunch dates or tourist attractions. I do so because I have to. He calls to me.
It’s my penance for allowing this to happen.