Monday, 26 April 2010

Drop The Needle

Dear Written World,

Good morning! I've just been speaking to a friend about Nature and birds. I live in quite a suburban village and it's close to a Nature reserve so we get some beautiful creatures and lots of green, which always makes the two of us feel so calm. We both agreed that, no matter what happens in our own lives, things are always the same outside - the sun rises and sets, the birds and animals go about their business. This adds an interesting dimension to the argument about purpose. I realise we are more than animals, we have a consciousness that animals are without but I wonder how much I can cultivate that slowness and stability in my own life that I see outside. Despite the hierarchy, humans are still Nature beings and I suppose it's equally valid to recognise that, coming from humans, technology, computers, mobiles (...) are still Nature, or at least an expression of it. An expression of our Nature, human nature, one that wants to progress, advance, understand, express, conquer. Where is the line? Who, if anyone, draws it?

My new phone reminds me that a man has only two arms, only 1 brain. That's to say, regardless of how many accounts I'm attached to (Facebook, Twitter, email), the truth is I can only do one thing at a time. I can only concentrate on one thing at a time (and that's a real challenge at the best of times). Perhaps there's a danger of rationalising it and killing the joy of the end result - ultimately this technology exists to facilitate the processes in our lives and I appreciate (and am often bedazzled) by its marvellousness. If we were all back in the Neanderthal days, there's no doubt we'd be having to make the most of the resources around us - getting water, finding shelter, hunting for food, foraging for berries, spending time with people we love. At the risk of sounding naive, has anything really changed? Of course, the way we do these things has and there are a thousand or more moral and ethical arguments, but essentially, we're the same creatures.

I find myself recently longing for simplicity by appreciating the calmness that it brings. How can I make a living while holding on to it? Is it a valid way to live, or just an opt out clause from challenges that I stumble across? If a life represents an alphabet, Z being the place we finally see, then do the letters naturally unfold? Is it important not to get caught up just on the curvature of the lines and the colours of the letters? Most days I still feel like I'm still perfecting the triangle of A.

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