Embrace The Flaw [on Merely A Thought Monday]

Every week in our website inbox, I find an ominous message: “There are some serious flaws in your code.” No kidding. If they only knew half the stuff that runs through my mind!

The message also warns that the serious-flaws-in-my-code are making it hard for Google to find me. Suddenly, I’m not so sure having flaws in my code is a bad thing. Maybe I don’t want Google to find me. In this brave-new-world, I like the idea that my every move isn’t easily tracked and translated into data miraculously transformed into personalized advertisements.

I realize that the flaws in my data will probably mean that I am less successful than I otherwise might be. I will accumulate less “likes” and my pool of “followers” and “friends” will not reach as wide or deep as it otherwise might. I’m regularly chastised about my flawed code. My shallow success is possibly attributed to my inept working of the social net.

The goal is to gather the audience, with no regard whether or not there is anything worthwhile to say. I’d say that’s a fair summation. It’s a popularity contest sans rules or decorum. It’s the same thin philosophy that confuses a test score with learning or a banana-taped-to-the-wall as meaningful art. We are the story Jane Goodall tells: the monkey banging the garbage can is leader for a day until the pack recognizes that his noise is just that: noise. Not leadership.

I’m more than grateful that I have serious flaws in my code. I may or may not have anything worthwhile to say. That is not for me to decide. As Sam once advised me so many years ago, the quality of my friends matter. Not the number.

Google’s divining rod might have trouble finding my well but I’m comfortable knowing my well is plentiful either way.

[Happy Halloween, by-the-way]

read Kerri’s blogpost about Explore Beyond

Fall Into It

lingering

lingering

Scott said, “In today’s world, if you can’t say it succinctly, you might as well not say it.”

Guitar Jim teases me each Sunday, saying, “Hey, I read the first 80 words of your blog!” I always laugh and he adds, “No, seriously. I didn’t have time to read the rest of it.”

I am like everyone else. I give only 3-to-5 seconds to any website that I visit. If it doesn’t capture me in that vast span of time, I move on to the next and the next and the next….

Click. Click. Click.

We are slaves to brevity.

In The Art of Living, Wilferd Peterson wrote: Travel with curiosity. It is not how far you go, but how deeply you go that mines the gold of experience. Thoreau wrote a big book about a tiny Walden Pond.

Going deeply takes time. My grandfather lived his entire life within a 10-mile patch of earth. He could smell a storm on the wind when all I – a visitor – could see was blue sky.

When I go to a museum, when I need to recharge my artist battery, I find the paintings that demand my attention, the pieces that want a relationship with me. Relationship takes time, too. Like Thoreau, I need to stare into the pond deeply, to spend time with it, to know it beyond mere thinking. Then I can breathe it in, feel the impact that only comes available with an engagement beyond the cursory. When I fall into it, it falls into me.

This is the challenge of our time, the artistic challenge of our time, the expectation that depth can be found by skipping a stone across the surface.

A good poem will not fully open without lingering in it.