Which Side Are You On?

Last week I needed to take a walk. When the weather turns cold my bones chill deep inside me.  I get a winter chill, a long lasting winter chill. No matter what I do this chill will not leave me.  The chill not only encompasses my body but slows down the thoughts in my head.  Light from the sun, no matter how cold the breeze may be, is my only means of escape from this fog that chills me. . . mind, body and soul.

I grab my camera, hat, scarf and out the door I go in search of the original whatever; something new to stoke the fire inside of me.

I walk the streets of Pittsburgh, it's around 10am and the city is quiet. The only people out are smokers on a break. Every time I see smokers this Kurt Vonnegut quote comes to my mind “flame at one end a fool at the other” ~ Vonnegut. How I wish that I had written that. I walk along the sidewalk doing my best to avoid walking through a plume of smoke. 

Turn the corner and walk throughout the remnants of “Occupy Pittsburgh” , which is currently a ghost town.  Not sure if the protestors have gone home for the winter or if the legal action that Bank of New York Mellon has taken against the movement is keeping people out.

The guitar player inside of me loves a good protest; peaceful civil disobedience of citizens pulling together for a common purpose. On that day there was no music, nor conversation, nor people; only tents left as reminders of the cause that was or will be again.

I walk up and down the aisle of the tent city as if I was walking through a cemetery.  Respectful of the soil where I place my feet, taking my time to notice what was left behind but never touching, moving slowly as not to disturb the resting.

The tent city was beaten down by the weather but well kept by those who lived there.  No trash left behind, only lawn chairs and camping gear line the pathways.  The sky and the trees reflected the feel of what it was like to be there that day: barren, grey, cloudy.

I walk across the street to a restaurant, grab a veggie sandwich and a cup of coffee.  I sit at a bar stool by the front window, which gives me a view of the tent city.  I eat, people-watch and notice how nobody even glances at the “Occupy” movement. Person after person walks by the tent city never stopping.  The sign posted on the lawn goes un-read, the memorials built by “Occupy Citizen” are overlooked.  This place is a ghost town in the middle of a metropolis.  I finish my sandwich, thank the guy behind the bar and go home.

Which side are you on: 1% or 99%?  “I will always stand on the side of the egg.”  ~ Haruki Murakami. A deeply meaningful quote if you take the time to notice.

For more information on Occupy Pittsburgh go (HERE)
To see more photos go (HERE)