This! This! This!
After a winter of retreat, I’m coming into spring’s gentle scents of evening, and the sunrise so early and the pink moon and all.
Somehow I’m back to you, reaching out to you with all I have to share, and yet not going in fully hot on all this, because to report to you so much of what I see and love would be a continuous live feed - just a monitor of my love for the world, for the thoughts that other writers are sharing, for the sweetness and bravery and art. It would be a 24/7 constant beeping of notifications: this! this! this! It is too much even for me, so how could I possibly subject you to all that as well?
For my mind has discovered there is a door that seems to always be open now, and it is like a dumbwaiter, and I can put what I love or care about onto it, then push a button to share it with you, all of you on all the other floors of the great house in which we now live.
I know it’s not exactly possible to record these moments. Not even just for everyday lunch and dinner, even if we each fix our own breakfast and tea is intermittent, coffee at mid-morning. Evening drink by the fireside.
It is all too much to pour out for you all…so I trust that what I share now is sufficient. Now I understand the impulse of those who write lists of recommendations - books, visuals, ideas, or substacks and send them to their readers. And those who write critiques, and commentaries, and poems based on artworks, and songs based on deep feelings awakened by the touch of a beautiful concept, the glance of a leaf’s emergence. This is part of a natural response to the ongoing living sensorium of our lives. It also includes the media feeds we find sent into our zones of awareness, curated by algorithms in contact with our random preferences and purchases. And also, in the ways of the ancients, curated by likeness, by the radiant immanence of the soul, to create deeper synchronicities.
I am open to this second type of synchronicities, and see them at play also in the meditated matches. It gets me thinking of the interplay and difference between Making and Matching.
Okay, so this idea means that what I am wishing to share when I see a point of contact and have a bit of a dopamine rush at recognition of a lovely thought or a turn of phrase, or a world never seen until this moment eg. Curated Ghosts or Pink Moon 2023 - I’m wishing to share the impulse of gratitude for the creative action of good writing on purpose.
This share-desire-exchange is what is now being meditated and marketed, and I’m not happy with the commercial intervention that it implies, for I come from a time that naively believed such things weren’t manipulated; I am still that innocent. If, as some say, the machine is taking away our natural impulses and installing the False Maria (a la Metropolis) even fueling its creation with the human qualities that it simultaneously is replacing, then I should not be innocent, but wary that such a process is going on at a mass scale. In Zamyatin’s We, even the protagonist eventually goes in for the psycho-surgery. But of course, Zamyatin was observing this and writing it. So it is not a document, but a novel. The acute observer can create.
The message of his book is not the topic or its prescient contents: it is the fact of the writing itself, the high viewpoint observing the field below, articulating what can be seen or glimpsed in the margins. What is coming, what has been. Making sense of something not sensed fully yet so we can talk about it.
Join Me on Notes
And so the paradox of participating here in the media stream: Even though it might seem that there could be no way to share this ongoing flow of thought with you, I am tentatively going in with Substack Notes, and would love for you to join me there! (A twitter-like non-twitter environment).
Notes is a new space on Substack for us to share links, short posts, quotes, photos, and more. Along with other notes-folks, I plan to use it for things that don’t fit in the newsletter, like work-in-progress or quick questions.
How to join
It is on the web, and in the app. Head to substack.com/notes or find the “Notes” tab in the Substack app. As a subscriber to Personal Papers, you’ll automatically see my notes. Feel free to like, reply, or share them around!
You can also share notes of your own. I hope this becomes a space where every reader of Personal Papers can share thoughts, ideas, and interesting quotes from the things we're reading on Substack and beyond.
It isn’t complicated, but if you encounter any issues, you can always refer to the Notes FAQ for assistance. Or ask me about it. Looking forward to seeing you there!
Please consider joining my community of subscribers who help support my work here. From time to time there are special posts for paid subscribers, but mostly I’m sending out free to all. I especially appreciate those of you who have kindly stuck with me from the beginning! I’ll try to get out of the clouds long enough to write to you more frequently.
Till next time!
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Thank you, Carol.
I got a huge rush from "a monitor of my love for the world." Also reciprocal gratitude for
"I’m wishing to share the impulse of gratitude for the creative action of good writing on purpose." Both of these sentences turned me away from doubt and towards faith. You know what I mean.