Darkness

It’s really wild here tonight, has been for a couple of days. Storm Barney I believe. What a ridiculous name for a storm. Anyway, earlier this evening the power went. Only for a few minutes fortunately. A couple of years ago they put circuit breakers on every pole round here so that they automatically reset and only the very small area of the damage suffers for longer. But you don’t know how long it’s going to be, when you’re plunged into darkness. And when the lights go out here it’s dark. Pitch black.

I sat there, in the middle of nothing. No sensory input other than the sound of the wind. It makes you think. I remember the last time there was a power cut that lasted a few hours, and the painting I did, under the light of an oil lamp. That’s one thing you have to do out here. Make sure you have other sources of light, heat and food.

But I keep meandering off where I’m trying to go with this. In the darkness, where there’s no input, no sea of endless information and interaction or entertainment, where you are thrown back onto the inside of your own head, you can be reminded of both the smallness and infinite space you’re surrounded with. Somehow, that engages you with reality.

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Nothing to see here

For a while now I’ve found the internet increasingly tedious. But, in that much used phrase (about other things, anyway) if you’re bored of the internet, you’re bored of life. After all, isn’t all life here? Well no, not really.

I fully accept that what I’m looking at is an incredibly small corner, and that it may say more about me than it does the internet itself, that it’s how you use a tool that matters. I’ve been around a long time, and travelled through many a medium and group. It was new for ages because it was so quickly evolving, and the options and opportunities seemed vast, were vast.

But it’s not just me. It seems as if a few things are happening. One is that in an almost entirely business model, human interaction is the product not the motivation. Selling us the ‘freedom’ to do what we used to do anyway, means that the material becomes increasingly byte sized, and ever more trivial.

Then there’s overkill. Over stimulation and excess of options which oddly ends up with everything competing for your attention, so that attention becomes shorter than that of a gnat. And the less attention you have the more you find yourself skating over the trivia and sliding right off the edge because it’s all geared to attracting you, not intriguing you.

Human nature plays a part too. The desire for more and more attention, which causes a decreasing quality of output. The false raising up of the ‘celebrity’ and the intertwining of expression and income source. Our human frailty and tendencies to be drawn to conflict and of feeling in the right because someone else seems to be in the wrong. A focus on either what is wrong with everything, and a failure to appreciate real value; or a focus on all that is wonderful and an avoidance of difficulty.

We have a tsunami of information, images, chatter, argumentation, homilies, and more, and we are washed away.

I have no wish to tell anyone else what to do, that’s not the purpose of this. I have a sense that I’m at the beginning of a new chapter of some sort. Not online, in life, whatever that may mean. I’ve always found that when I reach a place thrumming with nothingness, I need to accept and embrace that. And when I do, the new chapter can begin.

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