August 23, 2005

worlds colliding colliding

In a great post on the smudging of barriers and boundaries between what we do and who we are and who they are and where we are, PR smart guy Chuck Tanowitz talks about how it's all joined together by a common theme: The Story
Don Hewitt, when asked to explain the success of his show 60 Minutes, would lean in like a child and say "tell me a story." His point: it's that basic. Tell a good story and people will listen.
And interestingly, I interviewed Chuck as part of an article I'm writing for Global PR Blog Week, and we collided in a good way, and because I was interviewing a host of smart CEOs today, my brain turned to mush, because there is NOTHING like talking to smart CEOs to wear you out intellectually, and so I'm picking up Jenna from carpool and I'm thinking about CEOs and the disintegration of constructs and barriers that might make for a good case of dissociative identity disorder if not for the fact that we are in an age where technology enables the blurring of those boundaries and the smudging of lines--I work I play I write I mom I blog I clean I shit I type I weep I bully I love I hate--and I'm thinking of the "absence of" in a Cixous sort of way, and how brilliant white space can be and how treasures hide in the little tiny corners where nothing particularly is, and then I find myself wondering what a picture with no edges, no boundaries actually "looks" like... where both the absence and presence of disappear.

...and then I see her.

There's Coco, the hamster that won't stay caged, on the steps to the basement as I round the corner to come in from the garage, swinging my keys and thinking big bright CEO thoughts.

I knew she'd gotten loose again. Two days ago. She punched out of the front of her cage. And so I'm staring at her on the stairs, quite literally, and she's staring back, but she's got this weird look. It's not her usual look. I'm wondering if she's dead. But she's upright.


Still she's staring past me. I'm moving my face in front of her--please don't let me be the one to find her dead--and she stares past me still or she is in a microsleep or suffering from dehydration dreams. Finally I put my hand in front of her, and she startles, seeing me for the first time.

And I can tell by her eyes, I'm no longer the large animal who tried to save her babies, who feeds her, who brings her carrots.

I am a predator.


She takes off like a hamster on speed and I half pick her up half drop her all the way to the living room, where she hides for another 10 minutes before I find her, bribe her with a carrot, grab her, and let her do cartwheels in my hands until I shove her back into her cage, which is now locked with a twistie from a box of garbage bags, with a phone book on top for good measure.

In those days where her perspective changed from being inside the cage to being free--the 16 days she was loose the first time--something in her brain changed. I'd be willing to bet a physical change took place in her brain. What was once inside is now out. What was once safe is now dangerous. It's all dangerous. Her lines of in and outside of the cage--of what it means to be "trapped"--have all changed.

And I wonder if the same thing isn't happening to me. To us. Here.