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.