Quote above taken from a SlideShare presentation from Monika Hardy that is full of surprising anti-takes on the subject of silence and noise. It has never been truer that there are way more voices than listeners. You have to go slow to listen. Slow. Attention needs to stretch and slow.
There are a thousand beautiful ways to start the day that don’t begin with looking at your phone. And yet so few of us choose to do so. For twenty-eight days this winter I lived on the grounds of an…
Here is how I try to keep my attention. I have an office with two desks. One is for online work and the other is for the real world. I have a rolling chair and can stop any time to make a liminal move from one to the other. Plus, because we are shepherds and farmers we are never far from the weather, the stars and the world of chores and keeping a fire set and breaking ice from water and all the happy quotidien field walks with the dogs.
Below is my analog space. I do charge my various tablets here, but I write here and go full-on Gutenberg here mostly.
I do digital here.
I drink coffee in both spaces.
I need balance. Today my wife and I will go walk together doing shinrin-yoku (森林浴). You get balance, too.
By the way, how do you get, keep, find your balance between digital distraction and real life?
A fable for all times by Bertolt Brecht:
‘If sharks were people,’ his landlady’s little daughter asked Mr. K, ‘would they be nicer to the little fish?’ ‘Of course,’ he said, ‘if sharks were people, they would have strong boxes built in the sea for little fish. There they would put in all sorts of food, plants and little animals, too. They would see to it that the boxes always had fresh water, and they would take absolutely every sort of sanitary measure. When, for example, a little fish would injure his fin, it would be immediately bandaged so that he would not die on the sharks before his time had come.
In order that the little fish would never be sad, there would be big water parties from time to time; for happy fish taste better than sad ones. Of course, there would be schools in the big boxes as well. There the little fish would learn how to swim into the mouths of the sharks. They would need, for example, geography so that they could find the sharks, lazing around somewhere.
The main subject would naturally be the moral education of the little fish. They would be taught that the grandest, most beautiful thing is for a little fish to offer himself happily, and that they must all believe in the sharks, above all when they say that they will provide for a beautiful future. One would let the little fish know that this future is only assured when they learn obedience. They must shy away from all lowly, materialistic and Marxist inclinations, and inform the sharks immediately if any one of them betrayed such tendencies. …
If sharks were people, there would of course be art as well. There would be beautiful pictures of sharks’ teeth, all in magnificent colors, of their mouths and throats as pure playgrounds where one can tumble and play. The theatres on the bottom of the sea would offer plays showing heroic little fish swimming enthusiastically down the throats of the sharks, and the music would be so beautiful that its sounds would lead the little fish dreamily to the chapels and, filled with the most pleasant thoughts, they would stream down the sharks’ throats.
There would certainly be religion. …It would teach that true life really begins in the sharks’ bellies. And if sharks were people, the little fish would stop being, as they are now, equals. Some would be given offices and be put over the others. Those a little bigger would even be allowed to eat the smaller ones. That would only be delightful for the sharks, for then they would more often have bigger crumbs to gobble up. And the most important of the little fish, those with offices, would look to the ordering of the little fish. And they would become teachers, officers, box-building engineers, etc. In short, there could only be culture in the sea if the sharks were people.’
Bertolt Brecht: Kalendergeschichten