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The Tyranny of the Instant and the Unnecessary

18 Feb

Click on the link above to read more about the Raygun Chronicles project, and see how you can help it come to fruition. Up for grabs are awesome shirts, copies of the anthology, and more. I’m writing a short story that will be included in the anthology.

"touring" historic site (hiding behind the barn) c. 2011, KB

“touring” historic site (hiding behind the barn) c. 2011, KB

I’ve not been writing much this week or last, because life has overtaken me.

And then I thought WordPress dropped two episodes of my science fiction serial, which meant the last two weekends’ worth of fiction had disappeared into the ether.

False alarm.

But life is more than staring at the blinking cursor on a blank page. Social media has seen me infrequently, as well, because life is more than instant updates on the status of someone’s meal, a pet’s silliness, a child’s antics, or the traffic in a city four states away.

Sometimes, unplugging from the web is a struggle. It is, after all, a web. Sticky trap that allures, then sucks out your life.

As you might tell from the photo here, even when surrounded by nature, history, the first green of spring, this new generation can’t seem to unplug from the myriad devices that claim to entertain or inform.

An aside: Information must not be confused with actual knowledge — or truth.

This week — indeed, this whole month — has been an exercise in editing life. Writing has been set aside, work for the publisher has ceased, and I’ve turned my attention to clearing boxes, hauling out furniture, whittling away at the shackles binding my feet, my mind, my peace. Just as a story benefits from the pruning of a good edit, so life enhances when free of the stranglehold of stuff.

Now, just to be clear, owning things isn’t somehow evil. We need certain things to live, and then there are peripheral things that add to the enjoyment of living, but when things themselves become a burden, or when the possession of them becomes our aim– Ah, there’s the rub.

I confess, I still collect books and movies, but I’ve learned to rotate the library.

Or, if you prefer, I’ve learned to thin the forest to allow new growth.

We’re coming on Spring in just a few weeks. New life, new growth, the changing of seasons. The turning of earth, and the tilling of mind. What ideas will be seeded in our thoughts? What visions blown free by the freshening breeze of new perspective?

I turn my face into the wind.

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