THIS IS THE POST where I talk about the things that are hard to put into discrete bullet points, and that will not easily snap into some template that Spells Out Everything.
Like some of the early writings that had appeared here in the 2000s, I’m just going to talk to you without aiming at a spiffy conclusion. Like NB said once, ‘We are suspended in words.’ Inadequate as it is, here. Let me try to say a thing. If there is resonance, then that’s as good a thing as I can hope for.
SEARCH, QUERY. THIS BLOG is a response, in part, to the ongoing dialogues with the people right near me, and the new ones who have emerged from the aether of real life and laid out What I Am Missing. These things are part of being on the road. The blunt honest responses to things that are murky, that are unclear, that are esoteric, that are apart from the usual consumptions of what we intake, day to day, whether we are participant in the decision to swallow the so-called news wholesale, or not. (The buzzwords here are critical thinking, and resistance to the status quo, and innovation, and other things I don’t know but can imagine are trending in fancy-pants offices in high rises in the big cities of the world.) Which blips of the narrative are scraps, and which are gems? That is up to each of us, isn’t it, to determine.
To show up and ask questions is not popular.
To keep doing this and investigate towards the next thing that feels right (to you), is not mainstream. But, so? Now that DK are warbling about in the fourth dimension, it’s okay to ditch those old frames of thinking. The ones that say ‘Home is __.’ Or, ‘You should ___, and ___, and definitely ___. And you better do it before you’re forty, or else.’
The programmes today we intake, about beauty power success et al, are shaped by the obsession of social media scrolls, all over the place you see it… people on trains, buses, in their dinner jackets, with their phones glued to their hands. Locked in an endless, streaming stream of illusions of what beauty and power and status and food look like. (Maybe if you want to buy a lot of products, bags, clothes, shoes, items that make you feel smart, or important, or gadgets that make you feel connected, that’s your choice. But loneliness is big, with this consumption stuff.) Bangkok. Kuala Lumpur. Singapore. Am seeing it every day, the hard cold fact that More is not landing people where they thought it would. That the pictures they, hey wait, I and they, once held fast to are disappearing in our hands, like that photograph in ‘Back to the Future’ that Marty had in his hand, at the concert, when it was looking dubious he would get back to the Eighties.
SOCIETY OF THE SPECTACLE. But now, Now is a fading photo. Hijacking real life are the online spaces. Where there is ‘ambient community,’ and a sense of place. Sometimes, sure. But not always, and not enduringly, at least not in my experiences, so far. On the road or in one spot, doesn’t matter. You will have to eventually request the time, the space, to look and really see. Who do you ask this to? Yourself, of course. Distractions are there but it’s us who have to cut them out. Editing. Disconnection for connection. Which means selectivity. Which means knowing who, where, when, and how to show up for, not always the same answers, of course. Time, distance, and our pasts and emerging present change how we think about what’s important, what’s frivolous. Scraps can morph into gems, and vice versa. Love can burn us. We can die in any instant. There is no certain future. All this is uncomfortable for those of us who believed in the Programme that says just follow the rules, connect the dots, 1-2-3, there you go, and voila. You get a trophy…but… Did you really? And if you did, who cared about it?
Did you win?
If yes, what?