I decided to go check out the Occupy DC encampment yesterday. And as I dressed for work, I laughed and thought "what does one wear to a revolution?" This came to mind, but I opted for something slightly more work appropriate and headed on my way.
I got there, whipped out my camera, and joined the legions of photographers attempting to capture the energy of the place. There seemed to be a lot of "doing." To my left a large group sat singing and playing guitars, while in the mess tent a bearded man with a kerchief around his mouth prepared for the evening meal. And two by two by two, pairs of people stood engaged in conversation and debate.
As I crouched to shoot some of the signs laid out a young, clean-cut man approached me. His hair was slicked back across his head and sweat dripped from his ear. He asked me what had brought me here, but his eyes made it clear this wasn't about me, it was about him. So we talked. "I wear many hats" he said in a well rehearsed tone. "I am here to lend a hand, though my personal goals have nothing to do with the movement." Then why come? I asked. And his reply? "Time. I have time to spare, so I came to lend a hand. I wear many hats..." My eyes trailed off, and now instead of doing, I saw time. And a chance to lend a hand. And many hats to wear. Protester. Leader. Revolutionary. Aide.
In this slice of time I believe there is unity in our aimlessness. It's easy to write out a list of things that need to change, but how to enact that change is less than clear. So we look for a way to pass the time, and a hat to wear. And while I didn't come away with any conclusions on what exactly Occupy DC is trying to do, I did get an answer to my wardrobe conundrum, during a revolution there are many hats one can wear.
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