Friday, January 27, 2012

Je ne sais quoi

"The world is a big place," doesn't quite do it for me.  Big, does not put the thing into proper perspective.  Let's try on ENORMOUS, IMMENSE, TREMENDOUS.  In short, this blue-green blur in the solar system composed of Fire, Ice, Earth and {insert Periodic Table Here} is quite large indeed.  That brings us to the notion of human understanding.  It is lacking.  Who among us has all the answers?  In such a vast place there is too much to see and experience to tack it all down.  But people learn both actively and passively. The things we don't know can often be gleamed by going out into the world with an open mind.

What does it take to effect change in the world, in our lives?  Staleness, that same phenomenon that makes the bread in your pantry less palatable, is a good kick off, for it affects lives as well.  "Diversity is the spice of life," and that makes habit, a fungus.  Habit and routine are dangerous; they fix blinders to our potential and rob us of the fresh and new.  To bring about change you need to see the world as it is: the beautiful, the grungy, and yes, the stale.  To change have to want change.

Life, our lives, need inspiration.  We need a creative outlet.  By God, sometimes we need a good rant!  Where does one find inspiration?  And through what kind of outlet should such inspiration be channeled?  That one's a tough question but the act of seeking an answer often becomes an answer in and of itself.  Some of the most amazing photographs are of the most mundane things.  What is worth consideration, capable of inspiring, is open to interpretation.  The kicker is that we have, in all our inventiveness and creativity begun to cut ourselves off from the best form of inspiration, other people.  We are socially dependent according to biology, not personality.  The most introverted of us wouldn't have made it a day in this world without other people to care for and protect us.  And one can not deny, in a world more crowded than ever, we keep more to ourselves than ever before.  Gone is the town square, replaced with sidewalks full of cattle.  Brushing against one another and never a hello or a good bye.

Regret is not something there is room for in life but it irks me to know how little I can do for myself.  At 22 years old, I have never changed my own vehicle's oil.  I have no carpentry skills to speak of, and knowledge such as what foods grow in what season, well they don't necessarily teach that in the public school system and the farm belt ain't what it used to be.  Self sufficiency isn't common here and now, but how could it be?
 We go about with our ears plugged, eyes front and center.  How could we hope to learn from our outings in the world when we only see the fabricated one, not the natural.  We are desensitized by movies, games, and the media.  Observing atrocities briefly without experiencing them has allowed us to turn a blind eye.  Global warming, war, the destruction of biodiversity, what does it amount to but rumor and superstition?  Living behind a sterile curtain how could we change?   The age of enlightenment was about figuring out how the world works.  And for all our advancements in math, science, technology, we are only gaining tools without knowing their function.  What happened to that curiosity of childhood that compelled us to break things open and see what made them tick?  When did we start accepting rather than asking?

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