Sunday, August 22, 2010

One parade/Two parades

I’ve been to two small-town parades this summer.

That’s actually four parades because each parade is really two parades.

How so?

The obvious parade is the one the curb-hugging spectators see. But the less obvious one — at least to the spectators — is from the paraders’ street perspective. Passing by to the left and right of the paraders is a parade of spectators.

Seen in this way, the roles are reversed: paraders become spectators; spectators become paraders.

And who's to say which parade is the more interesting?

Some larger point seems lurking here. Something about others as we see them and us as we are seen by others.

Can we ever see ourselves as others do? Can we be parader and spectator at once?

Perhaps there’s a third perspective that we can’t see, but which sees both parades as one — humanity as one big parade of comings and goings.



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