I walked into a store yesterday and on the wall was this case, with a ton of film in it.Visually, it was stunning, but it got me thinking. With the digitization of photos, and the ultimate ousting of film, what do people hang on their walls?
Sure, you could say art. But when I was younger, the “art” was mainly all the embarrassing photos of me in different “toothed” phases, from gapped, to buck, to what the… all arranged in tacky, metallic frames from this dollar store or that dollar store. Tons of propped up memories of my brother and I, my sister’s graduation, my 12 and under basketball team, my big ass feet and abnormal head. As embarrassed as I am of some of them, they are the very things that brought, and still bring, warmth to my mother’s house. They emit a wave that the Internet can’t, no matter how advanced or sophisticated.
But my generation, and the one after me, seems to be more interested in building cool if not “cold” environments to lay our heads. Massive televisions, and things that beep, and move, tick and ring coupled with our love affair for ikea, leather, metal, and glass (cheap) furniture are the makings of our abodes. Crazy thing is, we snap more photos than ever! We are the generation of documentation. Taking photos of what we eat, wear, who we’re with, and just about any and everything else. But our pictures don’t hang on the walls of our homes to warm us, they hang on our Facebook walls. And maybe that makes some kind of twisted sense, since that’s, I guess, where we live.
It’s cheaper to house our memories online, but (insert analogy about fast food being cheap but not always the best, here.)
Yesterday I went back home, to Oxon Hill to check up on everything and everyone. And though I live in the brilliant city of New York, my home will always be…home. New York has yet to provide me with a motherly hug. It has never given me fatherly advice. It has been, sort of, a big brother, but not like the one I have there. Nor could it match my little brother’s excitement or my sister’s pride. The friends I have in New York are special and always will be, but many of them were just plucked from my hometown crop, which has made it easier.
When I go home to visit, I’m reminded of how much I love it there. Im also reminded how happy I am that I left a long time ago. I’d be a different person if I stayed. Not because home is regressive or slow or anything like that. But because the umbilical chord is Teflon. Ain’t no cuttin’ it. What I mean is, there’s very little, if any, opportunity for discomfort for me there, and discomfort is what I needed to grow and test my abilities and survival instincts, as well as my mental fortitude.
Man or mouse is best determined when we separate ourselves from familiar faces because then we are forced to make tough decisions.
1. Do we make unfamiliar faces, familiar, and fight to make uncomfortable circumstances, comfortable?
2. Do we resolve to living lonely and uncomfortable?
3. Do we run and return to the nest of our yesterdays, where the familiar have kept our seats warm, our food hot, and our beds made?
Home will always be home, and I’m grateful for that. But I’m a number one kind of guy, chipping away to make an uncomfortable situation into a new home, all while somehow exposing the brick in myself.