Visibility Check List

By: pbcmedia

Jun 04 2009

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Category: Barack Obama, blogging, Blogs, Creativity, Humor, Invisibility, Personal, Photography


Focal Length:100mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon EOS 5D

I am here.  Do you see me?

Let’s call it my “invisibility” handicap or tic.  I have a default position of being invisible.  I think all artists have it in one way or another.

Bloggers, too.  Oh, yes, bloggers should definitely attend the annual Invisibility convention held in an undisclosed location of course.  (The better to be “unseen” in for heaven’s sake)

In fact, the gnarly, knobby blogger types (we know who we are) who kvetch and moan are the Grand Marshals of the annual Invisibility parade, parade route undisclosed, of course.  (We’re invisible, people, how many times must I remind you?)

We need stats to prove we are seen, however.  Which is a problem if we are in an undisclosed location.  We need comments to prove we’re being heard.  Again, if we are hiding, how will they find us?

Friend, Razzbuffnik, pointed out lately that WordPress is counting statistics differently and, consequently, our daily stats may have dropped significantly.  Yep, that would be me.

Here’s a quiz.  Put on your thinking cap, class.

What do a lion’s roar, improvised exploding devices, or any keystroke of a blogger have in common?

Tick. Tock.  Tick. Tock.  Time’s up.

A desire to be heard and seen.

It can be a lethal drive of self expression as in planes flown deliberately into the World Trade Towers on 9/11 or the birthing cry of a newborn.

President Obama is in Cairo today and giving a speech.  As I write this blog post, I know he has given his speech but have not yet heard it.

But, I do know that his speech is being translated simultaneously into more languages than any previous speech by a US President in order to reach as much of the listening world, and specifically, the Muslim world, as possible.

Talk about stats?  He’ll have them.  Comments?  Oh, I think a few billion at minimum.  I’d classify this as a birthing drive to be seen and heard, wouldn’t you?

Now, I can tell you two true things:  his opportunity to speak to the world sends chills up my spine.  And, two–and I say this with rare confidence, as rare as the calm I imagine he has approaching the Cairo podium:  President Obama did not wake up this morning and go through a pre-day Visibility check list that the rest of us, knobby, gnarly bloggers with visibility issues do each morning, rain or shine, at least single ones without dog, cat , geckos or tweety birds.

It is typed out and hanging on my bathroom mirror.  It goes like this:

Awake?                                       √

Alive?                                         √

Here?  Yes, of course, HERE…you goofball.                  √

I am HERE, right?  Yes, H.E.R.E.                          √

Of course.  Pinch my arm.  Ouch!  OK, HERE.                 √

For god’s sake, you annoying goofball.                      √√√

Ok.  Ok.   Brush my teeth.  Now, GO.  For Heaven’s sake…GO!        √

Begin.  Again.                                  √

Ok.                                          √

But.                                        √

But, what?                                    √

I have to drink my coffee first.  There.                      √

I’ll begin with a photograph.                            √

Click.                                          √

And, then, a keystroke.


There.  I exist.  I am here.  Do you see me?

So far, no one has seen me or commented.

Hopefully, they are all listening to President Obama and will discover me later.

©Pat Coakley 2009


10 comments on “Visibility Check List”

  1. better to be heard than seen, I always say

  2. What an expressive face and lovely blue eyes — and an imagination to match. On the other hand, I don’t think she has too many doubts about her visibility quotient — unlike some of the rest of us. Visibility is a funny thing, though. More is not always better, and certainly not always more comfortable. I think we each have our visibility set-point or comfort zone. Enough, but not too much.

    • Don, you are absolutely right about the “funny” nature of visibility. That set point is “set” very early in life, I think.

  3. What a beautiful child, eyes telling of the little hamster running behind them. I’m curious – what did she say after this picture was taken?

    You should try complete invisibility… like me with my busted-ass comments. It’s actually quite a nice change not giving a moment’s thought to it. I was rushing to start anew with a new blog and a working comment section, but decided to slow down a bit to enjoy the anonymity of non-contact.

    • Chris, i don’t remember what she said after this photo. I like it because although indeed being a beautiful child, she has profound moments of shyness and wondering if the world is going to forget her. I am someone who always is on time and have picked her up at her bus, for weekend visits, play dates for years. Sometimes, she’ll ask me, “You won’t forget to pick me up, will you, Pappy?” No, sweet girl, I won’t.

  4. I don’t think that someone who has won one of the biggest popularity contests in the world has to worry that much about visibitlity or what to say.

    In a way I’m reminded of the briefs we were given in design school. Stuff like, design a bicycle powered float with a theme of “queer robots” for the gay mardi gras parade, no higher than 3 metres high based on a sci-fi movie, kitchen utensiles, rococco motifs, using only, black, white and copper as colours (I kid you not, this was one of the assignments I had to do). Some people found such briefs constrictive but I found them to be liberating. Like occam’s razor, what wasn’t relevant to the brief, didn’t have to be considered.

    Obama’s agenda and audience has more or less been set for him. It’s not really in his control that much, unlike you Pat, who stares at a blank page and starts from scratch each day and then howls into the darkness hoping that someone is listening.

    • Ok, Razz…that assignment!! If I could have been sitting next to someone like you when I received it, maybe I could have calmed down and found it liberating, too! But, left on my own? I’m thinking it would be a circuit blower!

  5. invisible? you? never, not here online or anywhere your camera, car and feet take you. distinctive, yes. brilliant and poignant and funny, yes. invisible, never. if you have any doubts get that red car she advised you to sport around in. also, i completely relate to razz’s descriptions of the briefs given in art training and the important usefulness of them=liberation in the sense that to know them expands the vision in ways you can use as most helpful tools and guidelines, really good stuff for clarity of idea and approach.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: