Graffiti is Forever

... from what little evidence we have on early humans,
it seems graffiti has been a civic issue
since just about forever.

long before there were enough Greeks
with enough time on their hands
to talk about things like civics with each other,

humans were leaving hand prints,
drawings, stories...
making their mark, saying "i'm here".
when i look at images of the paintings
that have been found on walls,
the petroglyphs carved into huge stone.

the shapes and lines don't seem all that remote...

it's like they are "humanly familiar",
even if it is impossible for me
to decode the stories in them...

although sometimes i think i get it.

i mean hey... maybe these are interstellar tags.
space punks.

you never know...

i've lived in a city for much of my life,
and i don't drive a car....

between walking the dogs three times a day,
going to the store,

and sometimes even going for a walk
just me, for the pleasure of a walk,
because the sky is so blue,
or the air's that special fresh kind
of clean and sweet
after a couple of days of rain

it adds up to a lot of looking around the neighbourhood
in a week
or a month
-- a particularly useful thing to do
when you live in here, as it's very likely
there's been changes even on the streets
you think you know,

if you haven't been back to a street for 6months,
things will be gone, and something new in their place.
probably a coffee bar
or one of those places that does nails.

so i see a lot of tags and graff,
and i really like it.

these are every bit as humanly familiar
as their predecessors in the caves,
and some of these i actually can decode

so they're talking to me.
sometimes witty, sometimes not,
sometimes pictures, sometimes words,
sometimes just shapes and colours
i love the zooming in the lines of a good tag.
and i always have to read the whole story
if it's there...

and the fact that it's been something humans do
for so long, and that it's such an individualized expression
a person, makes it seem to me
that this urge to make one's mark is very primal,
part of the essence of being human.

i get the same feeling planting herbs and flowers
in the garden... this sense of connection to
the people back through the years who have
planted these same seeds on another spring day.
with the same hopes...

stay tuned for more on this....

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