pawspauseprose

Life as it arrives and dreams as they happen


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The Shot

theshot

Indeed…heard, felt or seen across the world.

No other two words have such immediate impact, visual recognition or feeling. Regardless if it is photography, sports, physical contact, celebrating, healing, hunting, comfort or commentary, at one time or another, we’ve all experienced The Shot.

In school prior to the 1990’s, actually comfortable in the 50’s and 60’s, nurses in crisp white uniforms took up residence in the gym, and vaccinated the next generation of leaders against many a feared disease. As we lined up waiting our turn for the painful privilege, the three words going in and coming out were the same: “Did it hurt?” Because as we faced the shot, we already knew we would feel. To this day, the response or memory is the same, since we are creatures of comfort and not agony, wanting to be prepared…wanting to feel.

Imagery does the same for us, when we feel the exhilaration of the athlete or hunter who takes the shot, only to then celebrate or crash in defeat. Likewise, the photographer…amateur or not, who captures a moment, wherein we all share the shot as it attaches to our heart, soul, conscience or being. However, sometimes life takes a different direction, and needing to rise above or escape, alcohol or drugs will provide the shot, numbing senses into a place of soft darkness. All that aside, when we turn on the news anymore  it is always a killing or upraising, which also started with the shot – be it bullet or verbal assault. Regardless of the action,  the end result is again the same…physically, emotionally or spiritually we feel.

I find this ongoing human connection a true paradox, since the majority of humanity hides behind phone, computer, tablet or door, doing most of their living vicariously through the technology sector of life, that place where bugs have viruses, don’t need grass or soil, and byte very differently. Nevertheless, we  need to feel, because it is the essence of life and  fuel for our existence…even when it isn’t our own experience.

When the media started to invade our lives it was through radio, and it was an experience or theater of the mind. Listening to worlds of adventure, news, entertainment or music hit the spot, and although G rated, that spot was a climax of experience outside of the normal routine in life, and for many was never forgotten. There were no aliens in War or the Worlds, the Hindenburg was a lifetime away and Fibber McGee’s closet would make us walk around the image – but in the moment…in the spot where we sat…it was our reality and we felt it.

So was it really a shock when we saw the rise of the Selfie? The picture…the shot…the share. By clicking a button, we offer up our soul to the world, so anyone can experience what we feel…and in an equal click, we are either celebrated or rejected, causing us to feel something all together different. Acceptance, which was once discovered on a playground, in an office, in a church or on a front step, is now done primarily in front of a bathroom mirror, hoping for the perfect spot. The reason is simple, we want to feel how we look, how important we are, and how life is around us. Ego and feelings are mutual.

Many rely on the shot from private worlds, sent out with abandonment, a bottle, the media or drugs to amp up our existence, and give us a few minutes of nerve stimulating, heart pounding, tear jerking feeling. Whipping out a microphone on a newscast, or a cell phone in a moment of crisis has become so normal, that without one we doubt the validity of the moment. Why do we need the shot of cheap journalism asking a person in panic, pain or fear how they feel? Just so we can equally experience it? Do we need that instant photo…the shot at a crime scene, bloodbath, war torn panic or injury to validate we have a heart or conscience? Why have we accepted the mail order reality of a scratch and sniff experience, wanting to see dead children, injured animals, multi-million dollar celebrity weddings, live births or disembodied infants, simply to feel what was behind the shot?

When I was a child I got the shot, and yes, it hurt. Today I turn on the news or computer, and again, there is the shot…the image…the moment someone else had to experience, and I am being offered the chance to view it against my own life and yes, it usually hurts. Even though I prefer to walk away, some can’t…or they need a mind numbing feeling from the shot of a different kind…regardless, we’ll both end up feeling something.

Life needs to take a step back, feeling with feet on grass, hands held together with feelings of security, friendship, acceptance and reality…first hand, and not through the shot someone else wanted to share or made. Not all of them are cheap, but the best ones are always felt before they are made, and in time they also make us feel that we matter.


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All by myself

carmenEric Carmen never made a last minute elementary school Halloween Costume, put a homemade holiday meal on the table, or watched as a bowl of cookie dough was inhaled rather than baked. Nevertheless, he will forever be known for his famous single…and a song.

In this me first world, there is a huge difference between being alone on a daily basis and living alone. Those that are alone, generally have made that choice, prefer their independence or have yet to find someone to share their life. Regardless of the reason, they have continued their personal 24 hour, 7 day a week pattern, knowing that the bed will be made or unmade, waiting when it gets dark…no one cares if they drink from the orange juice bottle, and if their home is cleaned it stays that way, or clutter becomes a confident reminder of possession. There is nothing wrong with being alone, frankly it saves on utility bills, justifies ice cream for breakfast and toilet seats are never disrespected. For those who cherish their independence I salute you!

However, for those who live alone, it is much like walking into the last 30 minutes of a great movie, enjoying what you’ve seen, but all the while knowing you need to see what came first, in order to complete the picture. When you have been a part of a family unit, no matter how small albeit dysfunctional, there is a schedule and routine involved, having nothing to do with a Daterunner, Blackberry or org chart. Setting a meal on the table to cheers and jeers, and sometimes not eating because there is only enough for those you love has a very emotional place in life. Staying up late for crisis, talent show, cookie sale, bicycle assembly or removing stains from a game uniform are only a few of the moments of non-silence, which attach to those same hours and days.

There are also interpersonal moments such as hamsters giving birth, dogs or cats disappearing, accidents in bed at 3 am and broken hearts over things we will never understand, let alone justify. Needless to say, when all of that goes silent, due to divorce, death or grown children, living alone becomes a sentence that could be best served in Sing Sing, and again, has nothing to do with Eric Carmen.

Cooking for one slides into cooking for none, and ends up being food over the sink, or worse, sitting in the same spot at the table looking across at nothing. Listening to voices when they are only music or television, and wondering why you ever took hugs for granted can indeed cause insanity. At some point, it also becomes clear that wearing just your shirt and sliding across the floor of the living room is not risky business, but no one’s business…because frankly, you can do whatever you damn well please, and it pleases you like an unmedicated root canal.

In this ever changing technological world of silence, and isolation, don’t just listen, but hear when someone mentions they are the only one at home, and if they say they live alone, there is probably some sadness behind their eyes. Marlo Thomas, Mary Tyler Moore and Batman lived by themselves and did it well, but for those who read The Notebook, smelled ZuZu’s petals, or longingly swore they would never be hungry again, having that other half makes getting up every day the best part of the film

So the next time you are by yourself, offer some popcorn, maybe  a hug or even a kind comment to someone that you know is alone, and who knows…you might both just leave with a new song in your heart.

 

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