Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thoughts from reader "David"

I always wanted to be in your class. This is better. I get to hear your thoughts without doing any work.

No you can’t not work, David! Do your homework! Read! Think! Read about spiral dynamics and Bucky and Bill and Bukowski and Bern! Organize a discussion group! Make something! Chop chop!

Is that what I want? I don’t know. If you’ve the read the posts, you know I frequently struggle with the purpose of all this. I have 193 facebook friends, 69 people are following me on Twitter, my blog is viewed by 100+ regular readers and I am not sure I know what it adds up to?

Something to do with connection. It’s why I asked you what you cared about, to get a sense of who you are, so this can feel like a conversation and not like I am just typing into the ether.

Connection feels great. I’ve flashed my headlights to let a trucker pass in front of me and gotten goosebumps when he flashed his brake lights to say thanks. It’s a reason I love my work - creating things and sharing it with other people – making connections.

But what sort of connections? Connections with whom? Connections for what purpose? Connection for the sake of connection? My facebook is an odd assortment of intimate friends, strangers, people I never knew at work and a few I didn’t like. Old students, but some of the students I was closest to are not there, and some who rarely wanted to talk to me at the time are. It’s all so random? What does it mean? What does it add up to?

Is it appropriate to talk about sharing a purpose? We are so tolerant and diverse as a culture that it feels oppressive to suggest that there might be some Idea that we all share, some idea that trumps everything else.

That’s what I have been thinking about a lot lately. Purpose. What is our shared purpose? What is our individual purpose?


John Helm said...

How do I connect to your twitter comments?

Bill W said...

I've been thinking a lot about individual and shared purpose too. It's led to more questions than answers. More journey than destination. For some time I've been working at finding how I could be of the most value to others. Both in work and in giving freely. Ideas fly out of the top of my head and few become grounded. Your blog has been helpful. Important/Not Urgent. Poetry. Links to other artists and services. Sharing the knowledge that has influenced you - that is of value to me. Thank you.

Christian said...

Connection is not touching. I connect with people who don't know I'm there. Like this: I look at a man on the bus. He's reading, he has headphones on, he doesn't look up once. I admire his clean hands lined with protruding veins. I think about his age, the fact that he knows more than I do. I think about what I don't know. I think about the life I still have to live, the books I still have to read on the bus. I connect with my place in time, and with him. For weeks I think about him and this moment. He didn't feel a thing.

David said...

Marco thought that this was a comment from me, but I'm pretty sure it's from someone else who has the same name.

David said...

Marco thought that this was a comment from me, but I'm pretty sure it's from someone else who has the same name.

MarcoPolo said...

Nope. I still think it's from "David" Neevel.

He just loves to sit around and listen to philosophy all day long, yet do nothing in return. He's practically an aesthete, which means one whose pursuit and admiration of beauty is regarded as excessive.

Not that I know what that word meant...until David taught me!