oc·cu·py /ˈäkyəˌpī/ verb

  1. Reside or have one’s place of business in (a building).
  2. Fill or take up (a space or time).

The Man expects me to occupy my cubicle every work day. This morning, the Woman expected Anne to occupy the school’s black-top at 7:15 AM, for before school duty. It seems longer then two-months that protesters have been occupying Wall Street, but today is that anniversary.

They’ve held, lost and then retaken a park, but it is the word, occupy that is their greatest prize. They own it now. An innocuous, non-threatening verb, as such words go, occupy has garnered a certain gravitas as of late. Once the past tense, past participle of Porta-Potties, occupy has shed that stigma and now has real street cred.

It is interesting how a present/past tense change can influence this word. To occupy oneself, as with a pastime, seems both peaceful and pastoral. Occupied, like we occupied Iraq is anything but. In the past tense, the word sounds squalid, like an unclean Porta-Potty. In the present tense it transforms the act of being into a pursuit.

Not yet privy to the future, I can only guess at the future of the movement and the word that defines it. Will it remain transgressive or become anodyne, like the Tea Party before it? Mayor Bloomberg of NYC, Slay of Saint Louis, the mayors of Oakland and a handful of other cities have all expelled their respective occupies. I think that they have done the movement a favor. This will be Occupy’s first winter, a time with ample opportunity for failure. I do not want to see the movement descend into a shantytown, a Hoover-Ville. A little respite from the cold may come in handy. This pause will give the movement time to put out tendrils that come spring may reap rewards eight-fold.

I will continue to occupy my cube, resolute and non-violent. I pray that Occupy also remains so too. People of the street, I mutely salute you.

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