the stripes of power

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It’s interesting┬áto reflect on where power comes from.

Today, I stepped out onto a zebra crossing. Approaching quickly was a car. I hesitated, one foot in the road. The car slowed rapidly. Not heavily, but rapidly. This signal that I had been seen, encouraged me to move forward, out into the road. A ton of metal, rubber and plastic stopped to let a couple of hundred pounds of essentially water and some minerals cross safely.

White lines painted on a road surface in a particular configuration, together with a pole with an orange light on top, had afforded me power over this driver and their car. Had I attempted to cross one hundred yards down the road, the power would have remained with the car driver and I may well have been squished.

Power can be afforded us through a variety of means. A uniform, a job title, knowledge, braid on a hat, our age, a dog on a leash, our gender and, it seems, by the strangest of environmental factors, such as the placing of a few white lines on a road.

Interesting to reflect on the symbols of power in your life perhaps?

 

she fell for the fall


She fell over.

When a child falls and grazes its knee, that’s what we say. ‘She fell over.’

When an old aunt falls and hurts her hip, we say ‘She had a fall.’

When does our language change? At what age?

And why does our language imply ownership, responsibility to the young? But to an older person not? They seemingly  fell victim to the curse of the fall. They didn’t seek it, but were somehow handed it.

What are we unconsciously implying?