Monday, July 5, 2010


If being "different" is what is wrong
I'd rather not be right.
...Vincen Tabatha (poet)

As I was sorting out my images today, I found several images on meters.  Most of the meters were electric while some may have been gas and water meters.  All of them were taken in Mexico.  I suppose my fascination with them simply was that each was unique.  Each had different iron work but they all served a similar purpose.  The homeowner or perhaps even the artisan chose to make his/her statement by distinguishing them.

It came to me that I should write today about different.  When I was growing up in a small New England mill town, different wasn't that acceptable.  No one really suspected that I was Puerto Rican most thought that either I was Spanish and I definitely could pass for Italian.  I certainly didn't "look" Puerto Rican or "sound" like it.  It wasn't yet cool to be Puerto Rican, their was no J-lo, and salsa was neither a sauce nor main stream yet.

Different wasn't cool in my home town.  You either were Irish or Italian, ideally both.  If you were Polish, you were from the next town over.  We conformed to keep the peace.  Not surprisingly, a good number of us left after high school, never to return again.  We were different.  We had different dreams, ambitions, and thoughts.

Years later, I look back at different.  What a wonderful thing it is.  Different people, skin color, religion, thoughts, talents, music, and art.  I think about the humiliation that one teacher put me through in fourth grade when she said "you just like to be different."  Now I smile.  Yes, I like being different because people like me season life.   To that extent I thrive on being different and creative.  My thoughts and my art make me different.  My ethnic heritage adds to it.

This Fourth of July holiday, I think we should commemorate and honor those who served to protect our freedoms so that all of us could be free to be different without ridicule.  This photo looks different doesn't it?  An inverted flag of sorts, this could be my banner.  Welcome to state of being different.  Se habla "different" here.

1 comment:

  1. I have a similar fascination with taking photos of storm drains.
    I can only imagine what it must have been like for you growing up there.
    I was a latecomer and only really lived there 4 years. My senior year I went to an alternative school so I could be "different". I think it worked!


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