Monday, March 8, 2010

Corridor of Free Expression

Someone mentioned to me that she had written on the wall above the photocopier. Nothing too profound, just the code for copies so she didn't have to repeat it many times through the day. The building is coming down you see, as are many others along 17 Ave, making space for the LRT extension.

This got me thinking of all the expressions we could scribble in our spaces, to make it truly our own. Would the gentle draw flowers and write prose and the more angry be prone to armoured tanks? Will we draw smiling faces, write love stories, tape up photos of memories shared?

Perhaps we could start a wave of creativity along the construction route, where for a brief period we could feel the courage to be ourselves. Will our words be more real when we know that they have a terminal date?

As I drive and see the empty lots, see buildings staring back with vacant eyes, see the large orange barrels, I do my best to follow the zig-zag of the freshly painted solid lines. How quickly I have forgotten what stood on that corner, how quickly we have become used to the relocation of a favourite coffee-drinking spot. We search out parking each morning, put on identifying tags; no one wants to end their day with a missing vehicle. Losing our personal space is quite enough for now.

But wherever we go, we take ourselves and the choice is ours - will we pack up our grudges along with our post-it notes and stapler or only bring our ha-ha jokes from our files?

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