Monthly Archives: July 2011

That’s change

When I went to school, my teachers were of the sincere belief that what they taught us will take us through life. Even then I knew better.

Nowadays we don’t know if what we teach today will take the learners through the next year.

Naturally, rather than learning stuff, people learn to learn. Hurray… finally…


Cool and smooth

Water beadsphoto © 2010 Kirsty Andrews | more info (via: Wylio)Admitted: I play Solitaire on my phone. At first, my eyes sort of squinted, as the screen was too small. But whaddya know, my eyes got used to it. Actually, my fingertips are ravished with the cool smoothness of the phone’s surface. My touch finds a response in a slight quiver, as though the phone was alive. The tiny cards snap into place.

Aunt Martha would have been moved to tears. She was so tedious in her play, so careful not to upset the stacks.

When you didn’t grow up with them, smartphones, notebooks and tablets are somewhat of a challenge to handle – at first. Eventually, when efficiency sets in, the ease of doing things is enthralling. I often feel like – not one, not two, no like all three of Sleeping Beauty’s fairy godmothers. They changed whole outfits at the wave of a wand, I do it with a tap of my fingertip.

Y’know, I’m an early baby boomer. When I was a tot, vinyl records were the rage. We used to huddle around the radio. In the seventies and eighties, I thought that video tapes and walkmen were incredibly nouveau. We would carefully slide the records into paper covers and rewind the cassettes back and forth to make sure they didn’t get crinkles.

I look at the care of the designers, to make gadgets sensually attractive. Have you noticed, that in nature there are no parallel lines, no perfect circles, no smooth surfaces? No level paths, no straight edges, no rectangles? The knowledge of these used to be magical mysteries, so much so, that masons and builders died for them.

Our ancestors would have been awed at the mere make and shape of our world, never mind the feats we accomplish, the mysteries into which we have delved and the refinement we have achieved.

We live with far more ease than the nobility of a few decades ago. The power of sending our words around the world…

Sometimes I cannot stand the mindlessness of taking it all for granted. Gratitude is the only attitude that behooves us.

Silence my friend

We talk when our personality has come under fire. It’s a last stand our linguistic brain takes to assert itself and construct a sense of personality.

Sometimes I have to leap across a barrier to overcome silence. It’s like leaving the embrace of a good friend that doesn’t want to let go. And talk then is like a babbling brook that won’t be stopped until the source runs dry.

Never bother about what a person says, look for what he/she doesn’t say.

When I talk, there is so much more I’m not talking about. The silent tears, the upwelling sadness, the dread of company, the futility of trying… it’s all wiped away when I use that most cunning of human gifts: the gift of the tongue.

It’s quite possible to self-hypnotise this way, creating illusion, creating reality… what’s the difference? It’s near impossible to remain silent. Company means joyous rustling of colorful peacock feathers. The dull bird is the odd one out.

And then, I return to my lonely friend, silence, collecting her due for the time of absence. It makes me wish that I had never opened my mouth and dispensed with energy at such cost.

My assessment has touched on writing as well. Crafting word to word, thought to thought, building stories, recapturing memories: it’s a good thing that the end of it is a mystery. Unfortunately I’ve come to believe that mysteries when unveiled are mostly platitudes: the obsession with words is a service we do to ourselves. There is nothing wrong with it: we play a game.

But as it goes with games: never take them too seriously. Always remember it’s just a game. Victory will be less husky, defeat less debilitating.

And life goes on.

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