Monday, 6 February 2012

Magical realism

Sunday is a snow day spent at home, the unaccustomed cold and quiet outside the window a disconcerting echo of my cold, quiet mind inexorably rehearsing present fear and future scenarios of destitution. Hours and hours of this before I'm able to remind myself that actually I don't much want what society tells me I must want and am stupidly putting at such risk. Well, I want it a bit, of course, don't hate stuff, some stuff: clothes, for example, furniture - their shapes and colours, a kind of art; or digital toys for grown-ups, the hardware and software of on-tap words and music. But they haven't proved much comfort, really, in the face of tedium and alienation. The stuff I most want is not for sale: fresh air on my face, an unpaved path for wandering and soil to dig in; a quiet place and time to explore meditation; community, communion with others who dissent. Such a small space these have been squeezed into and now, whilst not crazy enough to completely disdain realism, I need to hook them back up and hold them close, embrace more radical priorities, let the realism be a bit more magical.

7 comments:

Dorothee said...

I love this line: „Let the realism be more magical“.
Yet it’s true: day by day by day we are told that more, newer, bigger stuff = more, better happiness. It’s an equation that is almost engraved in today’s culture. And something in the stone-age part of our brains will probably always be drawn to it: stuff = better.
Here’s a blog about it, with some interesting contrasting notes – i came across it this weekend: It includes this quote from Thoreau: “A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.” it also includes an interesting scientific research that ends with the equation: past a certain point, more money does nothing for happiness.
Here’s the link: http://youarenotsosmart.com/2011/12/14/the-overjustification-effect/#more-1728

Lilian Nattel said...

And who's to say which is more real--the the stuff that caters to manufactured need or that which satisfies the actual need?

Dale said...

Amen.

Taradharma said...

YES.

Rachel Fox said...

Out here in the sticks there is not so much stuff. It's quiet, sure enough, plenty of fresh air and meditation. Community... that's a bit trickier. People are messy!
x

Jean said...

Rachel, I'm sure you're right! I don't think my notion of community is an naively idealistic one. I just think it would be nice to have more time to keep in touch with the friends I have and perhaps make a few more, not necessarily living up the road, but also far away (but on email and/or Skype), even also including characters in books and films that are meaningful to me :-)

Rachel Fox said...

I am naive idealist one day, miserable hermit the next!
x