Updated: Dec 13, 2020
Wearing the mask in public is a bylaw for where I live. This whole mask life is a wildly interesting aspect of humanity. As a heretic, I consciously push edges of life working to discover alternative routes to healing and being. While curiously walking among urban life - ignoring the mask bylaw - I experienced a space of evil eyes and resolute judgement as if I was an obnoxious rebel. I was able to monitor and keep to my 6’ social distance, but that wasn’t enough for others And on several occasions I come face to face with angry employees who were monitoring the doorways of large corporate stores. Many when trying to enforce the bylaw expected to hear my reasoning while others accepted my privacy. Ironically while I was doing this the radio station which plays music in my garage 24/7 regularly played the 70’s song "Signs" by the Canadian rock group Five Man Electrical Band.
After a month of being shamed I dropped into complete compliance of the bylaw hoping to put at rest the anger and judgements of those who previously held contempt towards me. However, what I found while dawning the mask was boring old dispassionate pleasantries. Dead end “How are you?” statements and such that held no real passion or curiosity. It was true the judgements and angry eyes were gone, and while it felt somewhat relaxing to walk without shaming eyes on me, something worse had replaced those judgements - and that was compliance derived apathy. During this unconventional excavation, what became obvious is that empathy isn’t an aspect of ones greetings while exploring the municipal shopping environment when navigating without a mask. Sadly, what people don’t realize is that many of those who can’t wear the mask for very personal reasons are courageously displaying their raw and vulnerable woundings to everyone. And in doing so are greeted with evil eyes, shameful glances, and hostile warnings from corporate employees blindly assuming roles as bylaw enforcers.