Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Dis Connect, Dat Connect

Today tastes like the cough drops I favor--the Smith Bros. lemon. They're like lemon drops that wandered through a mint field, lightly kissed with menthol, light and breezy. Almost more breath freshener than cough drop. (Menthol burns my mouth and sinuses--I'd rather eat wasabi! Especially mixed with some soy, on nice thin slices of ahi tuna . . . is it lunchtime yet?)

The Jungiverse1 has seen fit to drop a bunch of references to connectedness and e-mail and the internet (and how all this "connectedness" is taking us away from each other) in my in-box today. I know that this won't go away until I sit down and process it.

So, the quandry of the day is that cell phones, e-mail, and the Internet itself all foster communication. And yet, and yet, with all our e-friends whose blogs we read, all the email groups that we yatter on endlessly with, all these opportunities for connection leave us disconnected from those who are all around us. We seem to communicate more with glass screens between us, and less face-to-face and voice to voice.

And I got to thinking about that. That and the monkey trap that IS the Internet--I can spend hours with my fist trapped in this jug, clutching at grains of inspiration (Oook, I could do this!! Accckkk, I could do THAT! Yipe yipe yipe, this looks like FUN!) And all the while, I'm reading email, looking at sites, taking notes on another blog, and hours later, when I finally stand back up and let my gaze drop to the middle distance, I have . . . a handful of notes and a head full of ideas. BUT I HAVE NOT PRODUCED ONE DAMNED THING. And it's midnight or thereabouts, and I'm too tired to go and do anything with everything I have gleaned.

So I set it all aside for later. But we all know about the mythical later. Later never comes. Because tomorrow arrives, and I go back to the web, and I find a whole bunch more to ooook and ackk and yipe at.

Ironically, though, the internet is what got me into the art things I do. The 'net has given me names and places and people who do what I do (and some who do it better) that I would never have found on my own because of the circles I travel in. I have a caravan of practically arty creatives to hang with--that's NEVER been lacking in my life. But the web brought me to diverse groups of folken with balkanized interests (there's probably an email list somewhere for gay, lefthanded, vegan bookbinders who crochet) and that's where the real learning takes place. Not in the hourlong seminars where you can get a taste of what the doing of a thing is like, but the real in-depth stuff, where conversations can spin out for months regarding the terpsichore of pin-dancing.

So on the one hand, I have more stimulation than monkey mind can realistically handle. I have real people in my life, and virtual people in my life that I hold "real" conversations with, and with whom I trade "real" projects.

The problem, as I see it, is in navigating the fine line between happily stimulated and totally overwhelmed.

1. That Great Big Subconscious in the Sky. One the one hand, why would an omniscient and omnipotent eternal being take a personal interest in a moniscient monipotent limited being such as yours truly? But on the other, from where I stand, the Universe does INDEED revolve around moi.

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