Advertising billboards of life…


Do you remember when you were a kid, the wonder you felt when you discovered a new flower, how we would pick them and bring them to our noses, breathing in its sent and the smile that would come to our faces? Do you remember tasting a sweet for the first time, how the flavour took over your mouth, its intensity? Do you remember climbing trees with abandon or learning to ride your bike, the glee you got from learning, from being free?

Why don’t we feel like that any more, why do we lose that wonder we had once upon a time? We seem to get bogged down by expectations, those of others and then those that we put on ourselves. We seem to push and push never stopping to take glee in the simple things, a simple taste of something new falls away forever forgotten. We learn to fear new things, we don’t try something because it is against the grain, adopting the attitude that if it is not what we were taught we don’t try it.

Rat races of the world, politics, discrimination, cultural non equality, making ends meet, advertising space filled with inconsequential details flood our minds, chaos reins and it becomes second nature. We join the rat races hoping that we win never realising that by joining we lose ourselves, who we are, what we really are.

Life can sometimes get too much for us, it breaks us down, it breaks our spirits and we wonder why we are lost, we wonder how far down we have gone. If we’re not careful we face becoming empty advertising billboards without souls along the highways of life spreading more learnt chaos, distress, disrespect and hate.

I sit here watching my little niece, just three years old, dancing with the biggest smile on her face to Sheryl Crow, she doesn’t hear the words, she feels the music flow through her little body and she is life. She runs up to me in the mornings and with such excitement and happiness giving me the biggest hug and kiss in the world saying I wuv youuu, she cherishes without judgement, she is life. She eats ice-cream like I do, we both get it on our noses and laugh, we are life. Our advertising space is love, give, care, light, learn, hope, live… what does yours say?

Read the following lyrics and then watch the video and let me know what you think, what your advertising space says…

There’s no earthly way of knowing
What was in your heart
When it stopped going

The whole world shook
A storm was blowing through you
Waiting for God to stop this
And up to your neck in darkness
Everyone around you was corrupted
Say something

There’s no dignity in death
To sell the world your last breath
We’re still fighting over everything you left

I saw you standing at the gates
When Marlon Brando passed away
You had that look upon your face
Advertising space

No one learned from your mistakes
We let our prophets go to waste
All that’s left in any case
Is advertising space

Through your eyes the world was burning
Please be gentle I’m still learning
You seemed to say as you kept turning up
They poison you with compromise
At what point did you realise
That everybody loves your life but you

A special agent for the man
Through Watergate and Vietnam
No one really gave a damn
Do you think the CIA did

I saw you standing at the gates
When Marlon Brando passed away
You had that look upon your face
Advertising space

No one learned from your mistakes
We let our prophets go to waste
All thats left in any case
Is advertising space

No one learned from your mistakes
We let our prophets go to waste
All that’s left in any case
Is advertising space

I’ve seen your daughter man she’s cute
I was scared but I wanted to
Boy she looks a lot like you

15 thoughts on “Advertising billboards of life…

  1. Thanks for another wonderful thought provoking post. I loved the Robbie song too. I was lucky enough to see him live at a private party when I worked for Vodafone.

    I think we change, as we get older because we learn to fear. It’s like a virus that we catch off our parents and peers but it’s also an inherent survival mechanism.

    As a child, everything is exciting and new. We see the Unknown as a huge field of potential. Anything could happen next and we find that just so damn exciting. We don’t assume that what will happen next will be bad, by nature we assume it will be good.

    We are blissfully unaware of and unconstrained by all the pre-conceptions that others have of us because of our colour, religion or social background. In our ignorance, we are free to fantasise about what we might do when we grow up and who we may be. It may change from moment to the next but who cares – were free to dream. We can imagine and play at being a fireman, a nurse, a farmer or even the king or queen. There are no limits.

    But then one day that pretty black and yellow thing buzzing around the flowers bites or stings us when we poke it and it hurts. Welcome fear into your young life. From now on we will think twice before we touch a creepy crawly, they aren’t just the fascinating things they once were, they might be dangerous and we have learned to fear them to avoid getting hurt.

    We are smart too. So we don’t have to get bitten or stung or hit by every bug, plant or bully to learn what to fear. That would be a rather limiting survival trait. So once we learn the hard way that even roses have thorns we start to take cues from our family, friends and society about what we should be scared of and start to approach everything a lot more cautiously and with a lot less enthusiasm.

    If your little niece had to wonder if it was socially acceptable to express her affection in public or wonder if she would get a hug back she would learn to hide her feelings. Showing what you feel is a sign of weakness in the world we have created for ourselves today. I bet we all threw ourselves into our first relationship whole-heartedly and with absolute abandon. Once it goes wrong and we get ‘hurt’ the chances are next time we will be a lot more careful to avoid getting ‘stung’ again. We may even develop special tactics to survive like – get them first before they get us or never let them inside your defences etc.

    I think most people are in the rat race out of fear of losing rather than at the prospect of winning. How many people would like to change or stop what they are doing but daren’t for fear that all they have worked so hard for will be lost?

    Whilst this inbuilt survival mechanism does indeed help us to live longer, it is a bitter pill to swallow with terrible side effects. As we grow older we learn to fear more and more. The more we fear the less spontaneous and enjoyable our lives become. When we look into the future now we see things to be afraid of and not an open field of potential. Soon we even stop looking into the future, it scares us too much and we start to resist change because it might bring pain.

    The walls we build to keep us safe may keep out the ‘slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’, but they also keep out the love, light and wonder that we knew as children. How then to live in openness and wonder like a child but in the full adult knowledge that it may cause us pain. The paradox of life.

    Love V

  2. V a paradox indeed but I feel that our youthful enthusiasm for life “pre-sting” and our adult knowledge can live together within us if we put the lessons we learn in life into perspective.

    Those walls all have their purpose yes but then we also always have a choice in how we look at our baggage. Yes a hard one, for each circumstance is different, each set of colourful baggage we pick up on the turnstiles of life has its own problems, its own inhibitors, it’s own restrainers. Ultimately we come to realise that each of us gets stung, we are no different.

    If a cake is thrown in your face as a joke do you lick off the icing, savour its taste and remember it as a lesson before you playfully chase after the person that threw it at you or do you get angry and harbour hate towards the person who threw the cake in our face… one is a child in adult skin the other is an adult shaped in the form of society.

    A kid that is stung by a bee will still play in the garden with laughter, fun and abandon… at first though he/she will be apprehensive but when they realise that you can still have fun while the stingers are around then its back to games again…

    Great comment, thanks for your thoughts good to ponder 🙂

  3. I love paradox, it makes life fun.

    I just remind myself how much better life was before fear and whats waiting for me at the end of it if I succumb to it. After that, the choice is easy, the hard bit is putting it into daily practice 😉

  4. Ah, another great post! RE: your comment to Visionary– I think that the cake in the face is exactly what you described. As children we have a very adult intuition that we all belong to each other. Just look at the way kids play- everything ends up in the commons. Sure, one toy may be grasped or stolen, but these are momentary burps in an overall lifestyle of belonging. As we get older we are taught to be self-sufficient, to cease dependency, to be lone wolves. This is not the natural way, is it? Look at societies where everyone self-describes as “happy” (I’m thinking Philippines, Jamaica, Bahamas)- while some of it may be that they are in the tropics, I think the larger part of it is the fact that everyone lives small, everyone lives close to family and friends, they laugh and play, they still believe in the commons.

    I mourn for my country, that we have lost that sense of local and even global community.

    But, I am forgetting myself. To tell you what I think is on my advertising space… hm… I would hope people see joy and love, hope and life. Potential for togetherness.

  5. lol agreed guess it is just living in the now for the now and experiencing the now… sheesh I am saying the word now a lot now aren’t I

    PS If a cake was thrown in my face I’d stop to eat it… am craving cake today dang wish I could bake!!!

  6. Lindsey, thanks you 🙂

    How true, I like your thoughts re community, with that always comes caring for fellow man… if one villager needs milk but has no money someone will get it for him, that togetherness definitely seems to have been lost on the roads of the world.

    I love your advertising space and it comes through in what you write on your blog and in your comments, its beautiful 🙂

    Never stop advertising, the more billboards that go up like yours the better the world will become.

  7. Ayeee….Now I crave for ice – cream..dont talk about these kinda foods — you already making me fat!

    Serious thoughts, Loved this one! Its true, in this fast paced life with never ending expectations we are forgetting who we are..and we are letting others choose how we have to live! 🙂

  8. Deeps I will continue “feeding” you till you put on weight, that my dear is my mission!

    Glads you liked it – while finding images for a side project I came across those adverts, click on them they are shocking.. love the one “More doctors smoke Camels” see how the world became round…

  9. clouds of emotions cross her heart
    with droplets of promises, flakes of hope
    an old desire opens its dreary eyes
    from the underground, an unknown slope..

    when did this seed, this neglected desire
    with an innocent face, wearing bawdry attire
    entered her soul, she can hardly remember
    but her heart has always fallen in its mire..

    an earth plowed by corpses of traditions
    sowed with rotten seeds of ambitions,
    her soul has eroded, her heart is barren
    never in peace with its own definitions..

    ‘O father, why didn’t you let me be
    with my own dreams, and my tiny sea
    why did you always teach me to believe
    in a restless world I could never see..

    I could’ve been me, with a name of my own
    clear and simple, my mind would’ve grown
    but you broke my knees, and pushed me to run
    Ah! had you just loved me, I sure would’ve won..’

    and she, her heart and the old desire
    now too tired to dream or aspire
    walk alone with a crowd of compromise
    so used to darkness, so scared of a sunrise..

    heart is always in war with the reason
    and she doesn’t know to whom she must listen
    whether heart triumphs or her reasons win
    always her soul feels guilty of a sin..

    so her lips move, and whisper a prayer
    an intense urge to be free from dispair
    ‘I want to be strong, I want to be brave
    I want to be in peace, I want to be aware..’

    This was written by Rahul. If I were a match maker, I would definitely hook you two up.

    Intuition is speaking to me today.
    Usually, I let it pass away.
    But today I thought about my dearest friend,
    who at last found her sanity once again.
    And I was reminded of someone I do not know,
    who writes so profoundly, and helps me grow,
    into awareness and ask questions anew,
    so, in respect I’m thinkin of both of you.

    At least visit the blog Aug. Mwah!

    Peace, Light and Love,

  10. Awww Cordie you are too sweet! The poem that insearchofi wrote is beautiful, I especially love the part that you wrote at the end lol! Don’t fall off your chair but I came across his blog last night and started reading lol
    Thanks for your beautiful kind words my friend! MWAH!

  11. How coincidental. Nothing is by chance – remember that. I’m feeling some really good vibes! (smiling big – Peace, Light and Love, Mwah!

  12. Funny and fabulous post. As ever. 🙂

    I don’t remember much about being a child (possibly because I have never actually grown up). Every so often I will experience being completely unself-conscious, and it’s an awesome experience that fills me up.

    Being open to new experiences and taking joy in the small things defines my ambition. Love the imagery of ice cream – I can relate to diving in and getting it on my nose! Mint chocolate chip with hot fudge and sliced bananas – yum.

  13. Oh no now you have my tummy grumbling that combo sounds absolutely DIVINE!!!

    Haven’t grown up either, don’t want to coz its way more fun getting ice-cream and cake all over your face… means you are really enjoying and don’t give bleep (and of course left overs 😀 )

    Right now I need some cake, my SIL will just have to eat along with me and accept our coffee breaks while shopping!

  14. You’ve written wonderfully about what I was thinking/feeling lately. And I love that song! I started to sense some of that excitement/anticipation rising in me, and felt the wonder and curiosity of a child. That’s how I like to face the day, rather than with all those preconceived notions and expectations. Certainly, we learn about and experience things as we grow up, and that does help us adjust in the world, but as adults we tend to forget that these experiences are not always going to have the same outcome. We often want to be safe and sure, and blind ourselves to the present.
    Today I am making the effort to remain aware, to be in the now, and let the past be the past. It is valuable, but it is not the utter truth. Glad you’re enjoying the time with your niece!

  15. How true is that! Our pasts are not always the total truth but rather our interpretations! Glad you enjoyed this post, am missing my darling angel of a niece already she is such a sweaty! Mwah

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