Human behavior is predictable, robotic. Acknowledging peak screen further cements a broken will — even the most mindful urge won't let us put our devices down.
We've officially extended digital into our cells, with the reality forthcoming. From the iWatch to iSkin, the future is implanted. From neuron to neuron, we'll check email and change the tv channel with the flick of a thought.
Dopamine is a superpower. Our brain hunts it down with the expectation of feeding it with some type of satisfaction, be it coffee or social media.
But our anticipation often exceeds reality. The coffee aroma smells better than the grounded beans actually taste. We only go on vacation with the promise of taking photos and sharing them on Instagram. Looking forward to these experiences energize us but fade just as quickly once we realize them.
Our neurons swim in desire, all the while ignoring the risks for drowning in it. Like a magnet, we are drawn to the pleasures of stimulants and irreality.
There's no stopping us from swinging into the emotional rollercoaster, only to find that the high is not permanent like a tattoo. We can only rent moods and activities for so long.
Imprisoned in time, a lack of stimulation urges on the most painful of boredom. But ennui is designed to wear off, as the next snack of dopamine puts our eyeballs into a trance.
The quest for enlightenment runs through that rectangular glow, injecting dreams of reality that light up the brain like a Christmas tree. The virtual world is the present. In perpetual awe, everyone learns anew through the retina.
The time is ripe for a walk in the forest, to remind us how small we are again. ‘I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing,’ wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson on his adventures in nature. Little do we know if he too was trapped in thoughts of irreality.
The artist over the critic, the maker over the collector, the writer over the reader. Once we become creators rather than passive consumers and dive deep in, we preserve our own history.
Ignoring our calling to shake off a responsibility merely postpones an itch that intensifies with time. Unlike robots, humans are light inside. We want to live the stories we see in our heads, otherwise, what's the point of slogging on to work that fails to define us?
We can put a fence around our intuition and simply buy things to feel better. But investing in our own heads and hands produces manifest discreteness. Individuality is happiness. How are we going to be remembered if we can't be ourselves?
“It is 6am and I am working. I am absent-minded, reckless, heedless of social obligations etc. It is as it must be. The tire goes flat, and the tooth falls out, there will be a hundred meals without mustard. The poem gets written.”
Who needs the muse when you've got a proper habit?
Mary Oliver wrote over 15 poetry and essay collections over her writing career. Her prolific output rested on a simple rule of showing up and filling up the canvass every day.
But she was also jotting down notes all the time, out and about, in nature where she felt freest.
Oliver's poetic vocation called her wherever she went, as she engulfed the world with an insane curiosity. Slow and deliberate, she let her notebooks bleed into the world.