Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Storms......

.....Across Indiana last evening, some of them quite severe. I had no internet to do a post at that time; even if I had I think I would have been cowering with the birds and occasionally popping out to see the weather radar.
I was dumbstruck by how dependant I have become on this machine for almost everything. Communication, weather (well, in our part of the country, weather is a biggie....), planning of all sorts. My inability to access all my correspondence sent me into a fit that was most unfit and disgusting for those who had to be around me.
The worst of it is, as I was thinking about it all was how do you change--technology changes US. Either we keep up or we are lost in our world. We become Luddites by chance or by choice. Change is inevitable, but is it all good?
I recalled how each morning, even on the coldest days of Winter, I would take my first cup of coffee out on the porch and watch the sunrise, hear the birds, smell the fresh air. It was a ritual I loved dearly; it was relaxing and a wonderful way to start the day. Even when I worked part time or full time (elsewhere), I would try to get up early enough to allow myself those moments of quiet with nature. That sense that the goodness of the whole universe is surrounding me and readying me for the day ahead.
Now each morning I sit at the computer dealing with various e-mail; some personal, some commercial, some business of my own. Coffee to my left hand, I start the day before this glowing electric god who has taken over a good portion of my life.
My art lives in it, my notes, my photos, my collections of ephemera that would otherwise be cumbersome to keep. My photo records and various appraisals of work reside in the Studio file. It has allowed me great strides connecting with other artists; I have made friends I would have never had the opportunity to make and it has gotten my artwork into far flung venues.
BUT.
At what cost?
While the title of this post refers in essence to the *real* storms that passed through here, I feel the amount of my life sucked into this machine has caused storms of it's own. I wonder; How do other artists feel? Do they, too, feel they have to fight to keep their soul their own--that they are not forced to be at the demands and whims of a piece of machinery? Is this the same in each age, except with something else that is new and different? Am I, indeed, a Luddite for wishing my time back and the simplicity of how my life used to be? (okay---reality check Anne---your life was never *simple*, just not as spastic as it is now) Is the world I recall a pleasant dream? Living life by the turn of the seasons, the smell of the thawing earth in the air as I stood wrapped in heavy robes upon my back steps, enjoying the warmth of coffee and the visuals of heavy steam and fleeting birds? Turning the soil to plant, watching daily as small seeds---little wonders---struggled and popped through the earth with me tending them carefully?
I have no answers---they are musings. They are the rambling thoughts of one who wishes for a bit more calm in all aspects of life, and yet I know that this thing, this machine, will remain as a part of my everyday existence. My storms will continue, the ability to juggle too much and still come out smiling.
Have I become the ghost in the machine?
To all who work in this medium, I wish you the peace and wisdom and ability to separate yourselves when you must, and not go through the infantile withdrawal I experienced yesterday.
The quality of our lives should not be determined by the number of strokes upon a keyboard.
Have a creative, beautiful, storm-free day!

15 comments:

Vicki M. said...

I didn't really want to delete...now I have to start over!

I have doctor's appointment, so I'll be back with my opinion...

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Hang in there Vicki! Hope it goes well!!!!!

Leslie said...

We are having storms too. Still having issues with your ISP, I would be lost, lost I tell you.

Glad you are here, however briefly.

Love the photo, yet again.

teri said...

Anne, what a deep and thoughtful post. I simply enjoyed the storm and the light show.
Great photo.....any more????

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Teri.....I always have more photos!!! That's the problem! I have so many I don't know why I keep taking them.
I've been wanting to write this post--or something like it for a long time. Things bubble up when they are supposed to, and this morning was it. And I have no answers, but it seems to be a question I hear more and more from people. Where does our time GO???

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Leslie....I guess I take the saying "Carpe Diem" seriously.....I wonder how you could translate "Grab the computer while it works"?????? ;)

Georgina said...

'puter problems suck! As for storms in one's life, we all have them...I feel I'm going through one right now...fighting for time for me...why is it so many people don't consider what we do is "work?" It really chaps my hide when people refer to us as "artsy-craftsy" types...it's minimizing...oh oh, I'm off on an other tirade...still frazzled from yesterday...me needs to go into my cobbed webed studio and work!! Oh, send some of those storms to west TX...we need it here!! LOL

Gayle Pritchard said...

We had terrible storms and lost power last night. I'm sure they blew our way from Indiana-way. More expected today. I could relate completely to your comments about being handcuffed to the computer. When I got a laptop, I had visions of sitting outside again, because I would be "portable." In reality, the only difference is that I sit at the kitchen table, drinking coffee and answering email, instead of upstairs in my office. I tried for awhile last year to not go online first thing in the morning, but that didn't last too long, either. I love my computer, and staying in touch, reading blogs, and so on, but I don't like that I can't be away for a week and not have my work life come crashing in on me when I get back to it.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Georgina and Gayle,

These were sort of the answers I suspected; that indeed we are losing time to computer issues, that we can't get away from it, and that somehow, we all have to "juggle cats" and still make art.
It is one of those things that puts us in a complete transition mode---I liked the way it was before when I did not have all the computer work to do.
Yet here is a blog I love doing, I love the people and having the contact.
So how do we win with this? Is it the proverbial Viscious Cycle?

Linda Moran said...

Great thoughts. I find that I have to be very conscious about computer time and art time. During the school year I always say there's only time for computer - takes too long to get going on art - but the summer is showing me otherwise. I can get a lot done in 30 minutes! I think the computer is a necessary evil if we want to make progress in marketing - the web presence seems to be critical to people deciding to buy - plus it gives us up-to-date info about what is happening in our field, easy access to ordering (whether we need stuff or not), and lots of other benefits. I'm enjoying the journaling aspect - now I can look back on my work and really see how far I have come.

I think we just have to become one with the machine for brief times and take from it what's good....

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Linda,

Interesting thought. Take from it what it good.......
I am thinking I need to print and post it, right on the screen.
And the aspect of a journal that is public is something I find interesting in looking back at my thoughts, what I was working on, etc.
I often am in such a hurry I think I have accomplished nothing. The blog proves otherwise.

Vicki M. said...

I'm baaaccckkk. Long day...2 doctor appointment. It started out checking my multiple e-mail accounts! :) I have been zooming around cyberspace for nearly 20 years now.

I enjoy it more now than ever...back when I started, by joining a quilt guild, on Prodigy, it was long distance to connect! I love the quilt guild...ok, most of the time, but the phone bill...yea gads.

I'm not done, but Ayden is home! :)

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

your experience with morning - both past and present - mirror my own.

I've gained much from my time online - mostly, friends who would have forever been strangers - but I've given up a lot as well. Mornings with my mate, my dog, and the world outdoors.

Also, I've noticed since I've started spend a good amount of time online (10-12 years) I haven't had one decent tan - so maybe it's also saving me from skin cancer!

Vicki M. said...

Tristan...Save the skin, surf online! :)

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

....I do so miss coffee on the porch, watching the sun rise, or the smell of rain coming in, or the chirp of the birds as they wake......
I guess I need to set some limitations and stick to them. I feel it is time for some changes in how I much I DO, and it truly is the little things that count.
(sigh.......)

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