Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Cutting edge? I'm on the backside of the blade....

I take a perverse delight in my Luddite Lite view, but it's really as simple this. Anything that distances me from the natural world, from my connection to the stuff that comes in (and leaves) my body, from the delicious sensuous (even sensual) symphony of particles and light dancing on and in my body, this body, the one with a beating heart, well, deserves a critical eye.
  • I am materialistic--I like the stuff around me. 
  • I am cheap--the air, the water, the earth I walk on, the gravity that keeps me grounded, are all free.
  • I am mortal--I am made of this same stuff, and will be returned to the same stuff, and my particles will be dancing on other conscious beings within a few decades, perhaps sooner.
Our iPods separate us from our voices, our kazoos and guitars, our hands and our harmonies.

My favorite teachers out there talk about making stuff. Tom Hoffman and Shawn Cornally cure meats,  Mary Ann Reilly creates canvases, John Spencer writes music and stories, and on and on it goes.

I do not know any effective teachers who are not passionate about something they created by the fusion of their mind and their hands, about their connection to the stuff of creation.

I confess I love playing with iPods and iPads and anything else that keeps my brain buzzing with dopamine. They are a lovely distraction from our mortality.

If I am charged with teaching a child about the universe, though (and why else teach?), the natural world should be the distraction.

A good first step would be to show them that it even exists....

I'm not Amish, but I get the point--be wary of the things that would separate you from the things you believe matter.


Jose Vilson said...

A nice reminder of the things we need to focus on in life. Au naturale ...

Tom said...

I find the whole thing harder and harder to figure out. We have no idea what we're doing on any level. It doesn't stop me but I do worry.

I think you'll like Wesch's video at about the 20 minute mark. It's worth 10 minutes to see his take on the impact of technology on a civilization.

Lee said...

Lately I've been thinking a lot about this stuff (hey, I'm unemployed...I've got a lot of time on my hands!). Revisiting the past, pre-PC and cell phone. Remembering a time when, if you wanted to know something you either asked someone who (might) have the answer or else you took a walk to the library (not pre-automobile but too young to drive ;).
Back then it seemed like I created more art/poetry/crafts/whatever. Nowadays, not so much. It was easy to blame it on "getting older", "tiring quicker", "more responsibilities". But in truth, the answer lies more in too many distractions that don't have much worth, mainly emanating from the elecronic gadgets we surrounds ourselves with. (Yes, I love to play with them too!).
I keep threatening to jump this ship and plunge back into "real" life...[Sometimes your blog is just the shove in the right direction that I need :)]

doyle said...

Dear Jose,

I had penciled you in for creating Alejandro (which you continue to help create with every breath you take), but it came off snarky, so seeing you jump in so quickly was a wonderful surprise.

I need the reminder as much as anyone....

Dear Tom,

I worry, too, then I get outside and know that life, if not humans, is going to get by just fine. I'll take a peek at the video this weekend--I hope it's a bit more optimistic than Mumford.

Dear Lee,

I think if it weren't for brewing, gardening, and clamming, I'd be stark raving mad by now.

Or at least more mad than I already am....