Sunday, August 28, 2022

Further Thoughts on Temporal Density & the Loopy People Club

"There's a Crack in everything:
  that's how the light gets in."

Leonard Cohen

My previous Post has had me thinking, again, of an annoying disillusionment I sometimes feel with the New World  that the Internet has brought.   From this Saturnine point of view, I find myself taking a rather dark look sometimes at the Information Highway.  Are we always better off, now that we can "connect" so quickly? Or has all that access, paradoxically, resulted, sometimes, in isolation?

(as I write, a tiny spider drops onto my laptop. There She is, reminding me that it's all very relative. And my mentor Spider Woman points out thus that there are bridges over every abyss.)

Well, of course. The internet is the greatest library ever made.  It's changed culture so fast we have hardly had a chance to catch our collective breath.   Yet how has it also re-invented communication? Are we so over stimulated, so "busy", that we can no longer tell the difference between real intimacy, conversation, communion - and superficial or just  imagined "connections" with others? What about dis-information?

When I put up my first website 25 years ago I had a guest book, and even made a few friends that way.  Then the guestbook began filling up with spam. Emails between friends became group emails, things for me to "circulate".  I share less and less, and increasingly feel an unarticulated loss.  A loss because I realize that people receive hundreds of emails  daily, or information that is literally streaming by them at 70 miles an hour on Facebook or Instagram.   What I feel is diminished. How can I make myself smaller, faster, more flamboyant, so someone notices me?  There is so MUCH.  Everyone is so BUSY.  

Temporal Density.   And I seem to be falling through the crevices of modernity.

 Could it be possible there are other people like me, fraying, unraveling, beginning to say strange things to electronic answering machine menus that get longer and longer and more labyrinthine........lingering for meaningful conversations at checkout counters........mumbling Rilke or Lessing while ordering coffee at Starbucks drive thru......are they quietly wondering if they really are becoming invisible, and they do these things just to test the waters? 

Not drop-outs so much as drop-thrus.  Dwellers in the crevices.

If that's so, maybe we can find each other, start a secret society.  We'll become people who have fallen outside of the loop. Loopy people.   

Who knows, maybe it smells kind of like the ocean there.  Salty.  Maybe there are old wooden tables to sit at,  where you can watch the moon rise.  We'll have a drink and some of those long, long soul satisfying conversations that went out with the '90's and the invention of laptops and cellphones.   Conversations with pauses, hand gestures, that go nowhere and everywhere.

Our membership will include people who were geeks or misfits, but they reinvented ourselves to become something else, and are now regressing back to our earlier geek template because we're in various stages of aging, breakdown, confusion, exhaustion, overweight, or just waiting for rebirth while still inhabiting a body - all ages, sexes, races and economic backgrounds welcome. 

We can have comfortable campouts (in places like the Berkshires in July, when there are fireflies, and with hot showers and barbeques).......or go to Sumatra economy class and stay in a home stay for $3.50 a night, and drink rice wine and bat at mosquitoes and talk about art, or crumbling temples, or Hindu mythology, or lost loves, or spiritual ecology, or petroglyphs, and live in ways that are frugal. 

We will talk at length.  Leisurely, encircled conversations that wind and spiral around themselves, with memories that are really stories with no beginning, and no particular end, and all the lovelier for a little embellishment.

 We might burn little oil lamps to read cheap paperback books by and fall asleep without clocks or cell phones or bras. We would allow each other our delights, and our melancholies.  Exaltations and Maudlins are welcome as well.

 I won't apologize for "creating my own reality" in ways that leave me sad or discouraged sometimes. If any other aging geek in the bunch has a rough time of it, I won't promise I can make things better, or even that I'll always be able to listen. But I won't expect them to apologize either.  I won't send them any emojis, "likes", or photo-shopped memes either, as substitutes for human empathy.  And we'll never, ever talk about "money" or our various bodily complaints, unless it's absolutely necessary. 

We might, however, remember people we've loved, loved in all of its forms and fashions, agape, eros, hot or cool, and how privileged we were to have loved them, more so, if they loved us back in some way, for whatever moment or place or time. We might contemplate the real value of things, sweet things, hard things, natural things, vivid things, sad things, but all valuable things because they opened our hearts, and made us not only feel alive, but be alive.  We might talk about loss too, and death,  and grief, and learning eventually to live with loss, and to deepen from the hard gift of grief.  Yes, that too.

The threads in the tapestry that you notice, that stand out in the warp.

We might write poems.  Poems that come up in the middle of the night and insist on being scribbled onto a napkin.  Poems that no one else will ever hear, and it doesn't matter.  If we're feeling risqué, we might talk about Dionysus and the mysterious Eros of nature.  We might remember more personal examples worth sharing.  We might talk about books. We might talk about Georgia O'Keefe and Stieglitz and that woman who wrote The Solace of Open Spaces. We might talk about jazz; we might listen to jazz.

We might ask what god a Balinese Gamelan is speaking about, or is it a river, or is the god or the river, or both, speaking through the musicians?

We might come up with reasons why Beethoven wrote the "Ode to Joy", even when he was a joyless and bitter old man.  We might toast to Beethoven for what he gave the world, and then toast to every beach and river and forest we had the privilege and pleasure of walking in and talking to.

We might.  There would be time.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. Speaks out of my heart. Drop thru and stay in love.

kathyk said...

Yes, I'll join you in dropping through!