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Tuesday Dec. 24, 2013
Connections are hard to make.
Hard to break. Once connected – we tend to stay that way. It has nothing to do with healthy/unhealthy, we just do.
Sometimes we want to break a connection, sometimes we don’t but we should. Sometimes we bust one and watch it, like a dish shattered on the floor – debating if crazy-glue fixing or the trash bin is the right choice.
Dishes don’t answer the phone or reply to email. Dishes won’t hug you or kiss you or shake your hand –but people will. Sometimes reluctantly. Sometimes not. Don’t know unless you try. Thinking about it isn’t trying. Actually doing something is required.
Breaking connections, when we do, prove this point. Some people we miss horribly, some we can’t seem to remember – but those are few. Sticky tendrils of connection last a long time. Sometimes long after a connection is severed, many years after someone has departed our life, there is a connection still there.
At this time of year, being out of touch with people I count on – and too long out of touch with people I miss is an interesting thing to observe in myself.
And, to some degree, I observe it in others – when I hear from people who want to connect, re-connect or fix a frazzled connection . . .
It is all about connection. Healthy/unhealthy have little to do with it.
It probably is more about lonely/not lonely, whole/splintered.
Most of us, methinks, are bits of all those things.
All the time, forever and always.
Reach out, touch somebody.
Not for the holidays, not for an occasion.
But because. Just ‘cuz!
Because we need them, and they need us. Today, tomorrow – and lots of other times. It isn’t about ‘having something to say’ or ‘expounding great news or glad tidings’.
It’s about meaning. And value. And being valued. Whether we get that meaning or communicate it effectively remains a vexing problem to challenge us, to test our sensitivity and to expand our brain . . .
column written/ published from Calgary
morning walk: -4C / 24F, another sloppy-slushy afternoon ahead, breeze nipping cheeks, Gusta drawn to lots of fresh rabbit tracks which were on the other side of the fence – no rabbits, just tracks, and watching a retriever trying to force herself through a Chihuahua sized hole in the fence was hilarious
I'm so glad it's not just me! I broke two e-mail chains last week which had the potential of going on forever without resolution and asked our people to "pick up the phone". We're very busy being busy and not resolving issues which need to be closed. That being said, have a wonderful Christmas and best wishes for a spectacular 2014 Mark. Cheers, RA, Calgary, AB
Yes, unfortunately I live in Calgary ...... The weather hasn't been very kind lately either so that adds to my misery (it's a long story). I sure found out who friends weren't, during this family tragedy. I also discovered that many human beings have an incredible lack of "humanity": these days I tend to prefer my cat's company. Enough said ..... I really do enjoy your daily musings and I have forwarded your newsletter to a long-time schoolmate, who is in the process of self-publishing her own "New Age" book. Thank you for listening. Happy Holidays!, CK, Calgary, AB
Hey Mark: the question of codifying and reducing information come up again and again. We want everything as brief and succinct as possible. Why? Because we think it's important to speed everything up, that's why. How much "extra baggage" is there in a DNA strand? Apparently it doesn't do anything. Itjust takes up space! Wouldn't it be better to get rid of the "junk" and have the "Cole's Notes" versions of a DNA strand -- or "War and Peace", or "The Structure of Evolutionary Theory," for example? Couldn't you get through them faster? Or better still, just the bullet-point slide deck versions? You know -- compress everything down, and then just do mutual "data-dumps"? Wouldn't that be simpler, better, faster, more efficient? Wouldn't that "save time"? How much "junk" can you strip away from everything you do, and still get the "necessary and sufficient" information through to the adjoining brain, or into the next generation or your favorite ecosystem? The assumption is that there can't be any value in "extra stuff" whether it's so-called junk DNA, or all those bothersome extra words in a heavy novel or book -- or, to pick up from your column today, those long, tedious, longhand letters from "really slow cookers" who spent weeks or even months writing in days of yore. How quaint! Well, guess what -- "junk DNA" isn't junk at all. We may not understand what it does or when it does it, but that doesn't mean it's "junk". It just means we don't yet know. How presumptuous that we think nature is being wasteful and inefficient, that we know what "junk" is, and that somehow WE are superior! Same holds true for our own communication. Why can't I just wish you a "Merry Christmas" instead of feeling automatically and unthinkingly compelled to write "Xmas"? I can hear the critics now: "Look, it's the same thing. Who cares?" Marshall McLuhan's "The Medium is the Message" is a great start to thinking about the social effects of technologies, especially in communication. Oh wait -- why can't we just have a compressed, point-form, instant summary of "Message"? Who needs the whole thing? Last comment, Mark: you can now buy a "Fast Slow Cooker"! No joke. I still have a copy of the advertisement, if you would like to see it. Why waste time cooking up your food slowly in a crock-pot? Speed it up! Strip away everything you don't need! Faster! Oh, wait -- that's a book by James Gleick. Quick -- send me the Cole's Notes version! BFN, BE, Calgary, AB