Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The 200 Club

Not to be confused with the 700 club.

This here blog entry is number 201 of all-time here at Tripolarity: Living Bipolar.  The milestone was at the previous blog, but you know how sometimes you miss the odometer turning over to that milestone sort of a number?  No?  Oh yeah, that's right.  Those are digital now.

Some of the fun has gone out of driving, not because I'm older-- no, no... none of that-- but because we've "advanced" or "progressed" such that cars are different now.  I once rebuilt the carburetor on my Chevy pickup.  Now cars don't even have carburetors.  So I'm told.  Maybe I am old...

Used to be that you'd glance down at the odometer while driving a stretch of highway and notice that an event was coming.  With a glance, you could see things shaping up.  All those 9's lined up in a row, all turning to 0's in a matter of seconds.  It was something that you could witness visually.  It was more than just a "blip" and done.  The dials would start to crank, turning slowly until all of the 9's had become 0's, over the course of a few seconds (depending on how fast you were driving).  Nowadays?  Blip.  You're not even sure if you witnessed it happening.  One moment it's all nines, the next it's all zeros. 

There are a lot of things that used to be that aren't anymore.  Used to be that people sent each other pieces of paper with scribbled penmanship on them.  They were called "letters" and were sent all over the world for the price of a stamp.  How much did it cost to mail a letter when you were young?  I remember stamps being 23 cents.  Or was it 22?  It was less than a quarter to mail a letter.  And you had to take your time writing it out in your best penmanship so that the person you were sending it to could actually read it when it got there.

Now I think it costs twelve dollars to send a letter to someone.  And there's no guarantee that the person you send one to will even know what to do with it.  Mail?  Oh that's the crap that the businesses send trying to get you to spend money on their products.  Coupons.  Junk mail.

Who killed the personal letter?  I don't think it was me.  I remember writing letters to girls that I liked a lot back in high school, and even into college.  I was shy, so writing things down allowed me to get my words "just right" and I felt that I was more effective through written word than spoken word.  My rhythm was all wrong when I tried to speak, there was so much going on in my head that my mouth couldn't keep up.  At least with writing, I had time to chew on the ideas and words a bit before I cast them to the page.  And even then, after I'd blurted something in my scribing I could scribble it out and start over if it didn't sound right.  So even in the beginning I did my own editing.

I don't have a smart phone.  My phone didn't go to college.  It didn't even get its GED.  So I'm outside the speed bubble that our consumer society has created with gadgets replacing gadgets, and things becoming obsolete-- the treasure to trash acceleration-- going faster and faster, like the merry-go-round... and I'm feeling like I'm losing my grip.  I'm about to be flung from the planet and catapulted into the out-dated teeter-totter for a mouth full of slivers.

Why are we in such a hurry?  For what?  Who am I working this hard for?  And for what?

My wife is an amazingly productive multitasking juggernaut.  Sometimes she thinks that if she lets herself rest, she'll get sick.  Better to just push through and keep moving.  I don't think this is healthy.  (She's home sick today, and did a good job resting and eating soup.  Good old fashioned home-made soup-- thanks Aunt Laura).  She does her job, she does volunteer work, she organizes fund-raisers, she goes to meetings, she does conference calls, she helps her family out, she cleans the house, she makes dinner... What the fuck do I do anyway?

I'm too slow.  I live at a different speed.  Had a car dealer tell me that I needed an upgrade to a faster processor-- in my head.  Yeah, way to close the deal, asshole.  Give me my license back, I'm taking my stupid money elsewhere.

So I'm trying to live in this world I've inherited.  And I'm still trying to change along with it.  I want to do right by it, by the people I love.  I want to leave it more beautiful for the next.  I want to keep what is good, what works, but be open to innovation and possibility.  I want to share what I know and what I love in hopes of giving gifts to anyone and everyone that wishes to receive them.  I want to heal the world, and heal myself.  I want to know what there is to know, and be genuine.  Honest, I do.

I hope to enjoy the ride.  It's not the rest stop, or even the destination, but the journey that is most memorable.


Deb said...

The world does go by faster than it used to, I agree. Your post brought back reminiscence of Ray Bradbury's writings-- how people are embracing technology and reading/ imagination are in danger. I am trying to enjoy my ride, although my car seems to be morphing into a leer jet.

Miclaundry said...

Yes-- Ray Bradbury. At some point when I was writing this one, he came to mind, and I meant to pay homage to him and thank him for his legacy. Somebody paraphrased him on one of my facebook groups when she learned of his passing... I don't know. I'm of an age now that I realize that death is a part of life, somehow. And so I don't have the same reaction anymore when a great writer or artist or humanitarian passes. I feel a loss, yes, but I am inspired by the remembrance to learn more about them. It's like I put a post-it note in my mind to at least google them and see where it leads me. I've written about Ray before (yeah, that's right, we were on a first name basis...) when I talked about books, I believe, and how Fahrenheit 451 was a pillar in my intellectual development, adolescent as I was... Geez, how many product placements did I do in this short rant?

(t)om said...

Congrats on the blog milestone. I hope to read the next 200 entries!