One day by the fire you wrote a story.
About two stones on a fireplace, between them an entangled piece of wool string, almost floating, as debris. Behind the string a small steal tower, resembling a wind mill; two brass blades, a magnetic motor and a clever cluster of pillars, extending up behind the blades like fingers, ready to convey. Leaning on one stone a small piece of burnt cedar kindling.
If you look closely you see that the stones both resemble hearts, one whole, an organic shape, it appears almost as a real heart, smooth yet inconsistent and as such unique. The other looks like half a heart, sheered down the middle, a perfect sheered heart, almost like a fairy tale heart, broken, darker, absorbing light, while the whole is matte, speckled black, grey and white.
Two stone hearts, each with their own story. The half heart, TheDark heart, is beautiful, and yet it looks cold, inaccessible. The whole heart looks worn, as if formed by kneading hands, melded by work, warm, this stone is the Brave heart.
On the round peak of TheDark heart is a source of heat, a match and against it the kindling. TheDark heart appears isolated, as if nudged, slowly over time, it would just drift away. TheDark Heart looks to be cut in half, once whole, now alone, it is consuming itself, end to end, as all of its energy is now focused on sustaining only itself. The kindling stands like a desperate extension, a temporary prolonging, and the string the debris, cast off into the space in between.
At one time the Brave heart had a match too, it lay in the valley of the heart, between the mountain and the hill, cradled. What makes the whole heart brave was the letting go of the match: as it slide down it lit and when it fell it started a fire. As this fire burned the steal tower began to shake, at first a wobble but it couldn’t be contained, and when it spread up the fingers the motor began to twirl, and the blades began to spin, and the debris that once was, was no more, now fuel for the fire below.
Clear of all debris, free of distortion, there is safe space between them.
The Dark heart lived with indifference; isolated, alone, it cared only for itself, the Brave heart had courage, to surrender its source, in service to others and in doing so bless the space between them.
To be welcome, to be invited, is to bless the space between you, clear of all debris.
"Man is the animal that makes pictures of himself, and then comes to resemble the pictures" Iris Murdoch
Sitting on a park bench I surrender myself to the sounds of the city beyond this small sanctuary of trees, flower beds and narrow dirt paths which meander throughout an urban garden.
Cherish empty space.
I am unable to reconcile my relationship with the world around me when engaged in
social media digital intoxication during this age of screens. Inevitably it leaves me feeling uncalibrated. Constant contact slowly consumes me as i lose propriety of my thoughts and actions through persistent interruptions leaving me feeling continuously unsynchronized; contemplation, self determination and systematic intention casualties in the battle for my attention through the manipulation of our psychological loop holes. I have been induced into a digital coma by these little black mirrors, and each time I emerge, my face no longer lite by a flickering screen, I am quietly aware I have been subjecting myself to a virtual sequence of hidden function command buttons determined to betray me and draw the focus of my mental landscape away from the present.
"Stimulation breeds the need for more stimulation, without it we feel antsy and unsatisfied."
Social media has evolved into manufactured spontaneity. I am unable to use it and find value in it without it reverse engineering and administering me. LifeLive becomes an orchestrated play acted out in front of the camera; recorded and distributed as manicured content carefully curated to reflect an image of uniqueness and identity justified by the fallacy narrative that we must express our individuality. The actualization of our true self being sold as the path to enlightenment, the road to happiness, as if differentiating ourselves through distinction, each i a unique snow flake, is the cure to loneliness and an answer to an apparent need to find meaning; when in fact it fuels the source of any depression, as reflections on the regrets of a past self, and erects pillars of anxiety, as we become detached from the present, borrowing time from tomorrow to worry about the possibility of disenfranchisement in the future. As if being special and unique will enable us to feel a sense of belonging. We belong when we come together engaged in skilled attention, in common enterprise, as service to others. Constructive defiance. I am weary of the need to express my true self, "Be true to who you are" - the Mantra of the self help generation who are being told to look inwards to discover who we truly are, finding what we think we need to find and defining ourselves with labels now adhered to the image we choose to project. And yet these narratives are not us, rather they are a reflection of where we think we are at a particular time in our lives, and we risk disabling our ability to change and adapt by deciding and projecting "I'm the type of person that" when in fact we "have become the type of person that", the first suggests we are set in stone, the second acknowledges our capacity, through small incremental change, to shift our behaviour and the decisions we make, the actions we take, to avoid the self-fulfilling prophecy complicit in the predetermined. Social media becomes an echo chamber to "this is the way I am" and "this is what I believe" reenforcing and entrapping us in an un-malleable image of true self.
In 'the nature that emerges from the decree' "just as the world itself is fragmented, we are too. Instead of thinking of ourselves as single, unified selves who we are trying to discover through self-reflection, we could think of ourselves as complex arrays of emotions, dispositions, desires, and traits that often pull us in different and contradictory ways. When we do so, we become malleable. We avoid the danger of defining ourselves as frozen in a moment in time".
Matthew Crawford -
"We are living through a crisis of attention. Our mental lives have become more fragmented. We are moving towards less settled purpose. Disregarding ongoing projects. Attention is fundamental to our mental lives. Our lives are now highly meditated existences. The human experience has become a highly engineered and therefore manipulable thing. Skilled practices serve as an anchor to the world beyond ones head. A point of triangulation with objects and other people who have a reality of their own. Think of an attention economy. We are more susceptible to various claims on our attention, this is due to the intensification of nervous stimulation. This has caused a crisis of ownership: our attention isn't simply ours to direct where we will. Our changing technological environment generates a need for ever more simulation. The content of the stimulation almost becoming irrelevant. Our horizon of experience is exploding, every manner of once- weird stuff is now a click away. We have little in the way of authoritative guidance of the sort that was once supplied by tradition, religion, or the kind of communities that make deep demands on us. What to attend to is a question of what to value. We find ourselves isolated in a fog of choices. Our mental lives become shapeless, and more susceptible to whatever presents itself out of the ether. These presentations are highly orchestrated; commercial forces step into the void of cultural authority and assume a growing role in shaping our evaluative outlook on the world. They do so in the guise of individual choice. Our mental fragmentation can not be simply attributed to advertising, the internet, or any other identifiable villain, for it has become something more comprehensive that that, something like a style of existence. Joy can find no grip on us when we are engaged in the posturing of the busy, the over worked, the dance of the verbose multitasker. here we have no basis on which to resist the colonization of life by hassle. Stimulation begrets a need for more stimulation: without it one feels antsy, unsettled. Hungry, almost."