Tagging the Fort

At first I reacted in anger. Some idiot had tagged a fort, the very fort built by my former students, that has stood since the last day of my teaching career.

I investigated the tag. I know nothing of tags so it meant nothing to me, except for the representation of gross vandalism and a pathetic commentary of a human taking his or her civilization-inspired self aggrandizement into nature. It was naked neurosis.

A little breeze blew through the dunes where the fort stood. The ocean barely moved.

I reconsidered the tag, because, well, I have been in full reconsideration mode the past two years, and have slowed, if not eliminated altogether, a rush to judgment on all matters.

We don’t exactly live in an age of reconsideration, where reconsideration is valued and encouraged.

I looked at the tag and thought:

  1. At least the tagger was at the beach and checking out a fort. That requires curiosity and a bit of a hike where most beachcombers never venture.
  1. The tagger bringing paint to the beach struck me initially as sad, but then I wondered if the tagger simply became unhinged to create graffiti art once he beheld this magisterial fort.
  1. Perhaps the tag was as ephemeral as the fort itself. And the wind, rain, sun and salt would annihilate it in all good time.
  1. Perhaps the juxtaposition or intersection of graffiti and a driftwood fort was the expression of a new kind of art, and the critics wouldn’t know what the hell to make of it.

I took a photo of the tag and then continued on my way. It felt good to reconsider, rather then to judge. Drifttwood forts are no place for judgment.