Who are we now and who are we becoming? We walk along with our heads down constantly checking electronic devices, missing everything from urban wildlife to cars narrowly passing by. We "submit" everything from ideas, essays, applications, poetry, and payment. But what else is being submitted in the process. We are down for the word count. Awesome, amazing, and your're out. What does it mean to be amazed anyway?
We sublet our wars, our dirty business, our licensing, our clothing, our jobs, our cars, our lives...to independent contractors. Our Constitution is in a vice. The federal government knows who and when we called our Aunt Dorothy, but doesn't seem to be able to track mentally ill patients when they want to procure automatic weapons. We sit around, like I'm doing now, in cafes and coffeehouses, with remarkable people surrounding us, yet we rarely speak to them. Too many boundaries to cross. A polite smile to plug in a cord, an unconscious involuntary look up when someone enters the room produces a smile from time to time. But nothing more.
We read today about a young man, 29, perhaps, if we are to believe what we read, who hides in a hotel room on the other side of the globe. No proof of formal education, yet he's a computer whiz who is forcing us to take a look at our moral windshield when it comes to what and how much and how and why our government knows about the citizens it would protect from the forces of terror that occupy our fantasy and reality all at once.
We knew, decades ago, that this day was coming. We knew that there was danger of evolving into one large butting pushing organism. But nobody could predict just exactly what form it would take. We could have never foreseen the steps the process would take. Or the glaring contradiction of all this interconnectedness...that we are becoming estranged from our lives, our planet, ourselves.
Sometimes, when the world around me is quiet, in the dead of early, early morning, or the silence that comes while drifting on a lake, I'll give it a go. You know, try to imagine this scene long after I'm gone. What seems to be prevalent now and where it might be going. Who I am today and what that would surely become should I linger for another couple of decades longer. Will there be bread, will there be roses, will there be time to think about the whimsy of wind? What will become of those who sold their hope of self knowledge for a size, a "style," a chance to perpetuate that which enslaves and strips them of their individuality, their dignity, their chance at knowing themselves.