We’re getting worse at looking where we’re going at every turn. […] Technology is hijacking our minds. As a result, we’re noticing less and missing more. […] We’re spending most of our waking hours reacting and responding to external inputs that we allow to steal our attention – those important, not urgent emails and notifications that draw us in.*
Take me down to the spring of my life, and tell me my nature and my name.**
There have always been notifications, coming from without and coming from within.
When we do not listen to the notifications (whispers) coming from within we lose our names, or replace these with titles, but it is our name and the living of our name that brings the imbalance and asymmetry we need you to bring into the world.
The protagonist descends into an unfamiliar world where they discover who they are even as they are overcoming great challenges, finally obtaining the boon they must return with. This is our gift:
‘Gifts are the essence of art. Art isn’t made as part of an even exchange, it is your chance to create imbalance, which leads to connection.’^
It isn’t as if it’s once and for all, the listening goes on, as Lauren Elkin proffers:
‘I had already learned that self-discovery is a lifelong experiment.’^^
There are so many notifications that came to us from without; it’s as though the universe has something to say to us across our lifetime and is not content to wait. Bruce Chatwin speaks of this through his explorations of the native Australians songlines:
‘In theory, at least, the whole of Australia could be read as a musical score. There was hardly a rock or creek in the country that could not or had not been sung.’*^
All of these signals and messages will be lost to us unless we turn notifications on in our lives to more than compensate for those on our internet devices, so that we can connect to life-in-all-its-fullness.
(*From Bernadette Jiwa’s Hunch.)
(**George Appleton, quoted in the Northumbria Community‘s Morning Prayer.)
(^From Seth Godin’s V is for Vulnerable.)
(^^From Lauren Elkin’s Flâneuse.)
(*^From Bruce Chatwin’s The Songlines.)