So what happened to all the zombie apocalypse movies?
It’s not as if I miss them. Like most modern entertainment, they were big on computer graphics and small on plot. But as propaganda, they got the message across:
Zombies are yucky, scary, horrible humans who have been transformed into something despicable, something to be destroyed, through a . . . mystery disease.
Protagonists in the movies — the good guys, the brave guys, the big-name stars — spend their time running from clumps and clusters of zombies, which congregate like rotting sheep inside old, dark buildings.
(Zombies don’t go outside. They shelter in place.)
The goal is to kill off the zombies, eradicate them from the earth, make humanity safe from their threat. They used to be human beings, but they are no more. For that reason, it’s okay to attack them.
And while zombies don’t exist in real life (the commercial-based arena of our scientific community has not yet created a means to turn people, physically, into zombies) the fear, the panic, the suspicion and distrust focused on people, because they may be infected, feels disturbingly, increasingly real.
“Stay away!” the man behind the counter in a government building recently barked at me. “Don’t get too close!”
Another time, I passed by a couple in their 80s, walking arm in arm. My young grandson, wary of strangers, clutched my leg and peeked around it, but the woman misinterpreted.
“That’s okay,” she told me. “We’re old, and people think we’re dangerous to be around.”
The artwork, Gathering Thoughts, is a reminder to us of what we are as human beings, and what we can and should expect in our lives as human beings on this earth. While on one end, we can describe ourselves (and some people do) as a mass of bacteria, a repository for viruses, a collection of cells that potentially infect, this is a dreadful way to regard one another. It takes us nowhere as far as establishing meaningful relationships, humane connections, face to face interaction.
Rather, we are to be, like the woman wading through the surf — outside at the beach on a sunny, warm day — incredible, precious creations with the ability to think, wonder, question and question and question and question and question and question and question, feel, love, give, respond, and experience joy and freedom and beauty.
Why aren’t we doing this?
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All the images used in my blog are by fine artist Steve Henderson, who creates paintings celebrating beauty, hope, goodness, joy, thinking, and questioning. You can buy his work as prints at Steve Henderson Collections.