Let me tell y’all about how exit signs both fascinate the living daylights out of me and also upset my soul sometimes, to the point of tears.
While on a recent stay at The Standard Spa in Miami, I lazily meandered along its many walkways, admiring the stunning landscape whilst nibbling on fruit. Quietly pondering every possible aspect of life, as I often do for, you know…fun; I suddenly became fixated with the various exit signs posted about. It could’ve been my renewed mindset following my recent steam room break and hamam nap or just the or just overly-analytical virgo in me. Either way, I suddenly became aware of how deeply I rejected word exit and its meaning. Let me explain.
First off, the word doesn’t make much sense. Every exit is really an entrance into somewhere else. But in a hallway, another room, stairway, or sidewalk, you’re ultimately led into a new place. An exit doesn’t so much indicate a departure from one place, but an entrance into another. In case you haven’t realized, every single exit sign you’ve ever seen in your entire life has lied to you, or in the words of Malcolm X “You Been Had”. While I’m at it, let me call conspiracy theorist and point out how “The Man” is using exit signs to subliminally bring you down. He doesn’t want you to know that there’s more ahead…that you should keep on going. He want’s you to think you’re leaving something behind. Departing.
If you’re not conscious, exits can signify goodbyes, separation, and sadness. I stood right there on a pebbled walkway and got all choked up thinking about it. Don’t laugh. Art will do that to you. Then, being all obsessed and whatnot, I took a million pictures of all the exit signs I could find on the hotel property. I realized, while photographing, that in order to find more of what I was looking for I had to ENTER, not exit, into a new place.
If you ask me, the Rasta man’s got it right. Words like “overstand” versus “understand” and “everliving” as opposed to “everlasting” convey the need for eliminating negative words and replacing them with positive ones to bring about abundant consciousness. Even my five-year-old niece know’s what’s up. Homegirl drew a door on my fucking wall. As if to say, “yeah, there’s a wall here, but make a door and you’ll find there’s more.”
Be aware, y’all. Don’t get took.