I am lying on my bed, looking up at my ceiling, listening to The Smiths. It is 1985, maybe. Meat is Murder is on repeat on the turntable, and hours go by. My ceiling has polystyrene tiles with random zigs and zags, lines at obtuse angles, a meaningless mélange of shapes. Yet within them, staring deeply for hours at a time, I can see many strange things: animals, narratives, emotions, thoughts scattered and now ordering. I am making sense of myself.
It is 1998, I am living in Japan, and still staring at the cracked ceiling, lying on tatami. My girlfriend, much more driven and organized than me, looks up from her computer and wonders why I am wasting the day away.
“I am not wasting the day. I am thinking. I can see shapes, ideas. I am following my thoughts. I am making sense of myself,” I explain.
She leans in…
I often think about to those times, times when I had time to stare at the ceiling and make sense of the world and my place in it. Of course, I don’t think about those times whilst lying down staring at the ceiling. No. Not anymore.
Now I do it in random moments of existential clarity, a brief snapshot of the day when, whilst everything around is plunging forward at an accelerated rate, I am momentarily under water, soundless, mute, floating, seeing shapes and connecting ideas and making sense of myself. And…I’m back, in the tumult and texture of the world.
The irony of the situation is not lost on me. As data, flows, networks, demands get all logarithmic or quantum or whatever other scaling mechanism you like, the need for ordering and making sense is ever more important. Yet to do so, for me, is to slow down and allow space into the process.
Blogging is the closest mechanism I now have to know myself (professionally) – what with work, kids an’ all. It invites me to consider and reconsider; to draw new lines of sight. That is why the blog is first and foremost for myself, working (through things) out loud. I make no claim for greatness here, but that you will know me (better) by it.
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