SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 358: “Hats Off To All The Visible People!”

I call my good friend, and very talented Director of Photography, Bruce. “Do you want to go with me on a 365 outing?”

“Sure, when and where…?” Even offers to drive as he buys in.

“Pick me up at 8:00pm, and how about you choose where we will go,” I suggest as Bruce and I confirm our starting time. And even though I have China Town in the back of my head, our course is diverted when Bruce suggests, “Let’s try Pasadena.”

“Perfect… let’s go,” I accept Bruce’s navigation.

Takes us about thirty minutes of travel, and upon securing parking, we hit the streets.

We arrive to lines of people on all corners and packed eateries supported by outdoor music is the flavor of the night. Bruce has steered us right in finding people, but the challenge now is… Who do we approach?

We walk… taking in an overwhelming overload of diverse society, refurbished architecture and varying street noise. All the while my internal hearing is waiting for direction.

Yes, it would be easy to approach any number of socializing groups, smiling faces and vibrant personalities. Yet as Bruce and I stroll, two solitary people capture our interest.

Sitting in front of a Barns and Noble is new friend E, eloquently engrossed in writing notes with meticulously penmanship (I call him “E” to respect his request for privacy).

The three of us chat for a while, yet in the end, E. says, “Your project is very intriguing and it is a good thing that you are doing, but I like being invisible and do not want to be seen in any press.”

No worries… E is a very intriguing man, and in honoring his privacy, an evening theme is set, one that Bruce brings to our attention. “Invisible People.”

In a way, the theme is a tribute to a 365 statement that we have discussed often, “The Silent Majority.”

The many quite voices of reason who awake, live and works every one of the 365 days of every years. People of vast individuality who humbly do their part in moving forward… for self… for family… and in whatever way they feel accountable, for community.

I lock this notion into my head as we transition from block to block, which by now is becoming a blur of common attitude: “Night out in seeking entertainment.” A premise that we are trying to look beyond in seeking a more human subtext.

Away from the popular storefronts we emerge and as we do we come across a quiet man, seemingly isolated from the partying populous; leaning unassumingly on the door of a closed thrift store.

The subliminal voice kicks in, “Talk to him…” We stop to converse.

His name is Diego, and with very broken English we spend around fifteen minutes together while he waits for a bus that will take him to work.

Humble is an understatement in describing Diego as we discover a man of unpretentious world-views.

“I keep going in my routine,” Diego explains, “…the world is going to be the same as it is right now. There is no way we can change the system. So I just keep going in my routine.”

There is something off-balance in Diego’s opening statement, so I inquire further, “Should everyone be living that way?”

“I don’t know…” Diego responds, continuing, “…some other people think the same way I do… I hold from one day to another the same thing and the world is going to be the same as it is.”

I can’t let go, “Are you in a routine for how you look at yourself, or are you in it for how you look at other people?” I search for any hidden meaning.

Diego opens up to a deeper, more compassionate and spiritual perspective, “I look both ways. Other people are growing up and getting something that is good for them. In his eyes (Diego points to the heavens)… the only one who knows when this world is ending, or whatever, is up there, That’s the only thing I can say about it.” he slightly smiles.

I get it; Diego is doing the best he can to live in accordance to a higher power. A finding that has emerged to be an overall constant throughout our meetings with so many of our 365 friends.

In a world where it’s so easy to get consumed by media, consumerism and popular consent, it is surfacing that at core to most of us is an acknowledgment that there is something, or a purpose, greater than ourselves.

“Diego, What should people be doing in looking to the future?”

He calls for a union of sorts, “Changing their views around by their own selves when they look forward to new projects or whatever. You know, people like to be involved in something, and they have to want to change for each other. I cannot give you any more suggestions other than that.”

No more suggestions needed Diego, thanks for your courage in making your point.

And as to our beginning motivator, Invisible People, I think I may have been incorrect in the title; for we are all more “Visible” than we think. It’s just a matter of, as Diego suggests, “They have to want to change for each other.”

To that end, “Hats off to all the visible people!” and may we all unite, in at least our outlooks our communities.