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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Perhaps the tag was as ephemeral as the fort itself. And the wind, rain, sun and salt would annihilate it in all good time.
- 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.