mid-century maunderings for men who know better
Yes smoothmodernist has a hand-held communicator.
Yes smoothmodernist uses the optical encyclopaedia, sends field telegrams, and enjoys listening to portable gramaphone recordings.
And yes smoothmodernist is busy and must not be distracted.
It is unlikely that anyone reading this post has watched the first fiteen minutes of a motion picture without checking facebook, twitter, flickr, pinspot, their own blog, e-mail, texts or (somewhat forgiveable) IMDB. Or even held a conversation using the instrument while watching the film.
This must cease. smoothmodernist will help restore the equilibrium.
Like any attempt to recover balance through relinquishing dependence on ardent spirits, scented tobaccos, opiates, rich foods or self pleasure, there need to be rules.
BUT, rather than a list of dos and don’ts, trendy buzzwords and cultish adoration of self-help gurus, smoothmodernist offers another way to re-engage the lost art of concentration.
There is an arcane pastime (and rare profession) that requires utmost concentration, self-discipline, maturity and responsiblity from an early age. It is rarely pursued in this 21st century and in an age of garageband, guitar hero, iPad, mindtablet, Xbox, and playstation it’s demise is likely to continue unchecked.
This is of no concern to you. Yet.
What you need to do is stiffen the sinews and summon the blood. Prepare for an arduous apprenticeship. You will need to commit an hour each day during which you will think about nothing else. In so doing you will reclaim your sense of control and equilibrium. It will be as if you are master of the wind and waves. Each day, for one hour you will decide what happens. You will control time. You will master it.
You will learn to play a musical instrument.
If you engage a professional instructor you will learn to breathe and think as a single entity and play music. You don’t have to engage a professional but your progress will be easier to gauge with an expert to support, cajole and hector you. Time won’t make demands on you as it does now, with a flashing, beeping insistence on your fealty. But, time will be your partner, because you will learn to do things efficiently. You will engage with your instrument and nothing else. And you will do it slowly.
It will not be easy. At home you will have to do it all by yourself. It won’t be anybody’s fault. The fault lies with you. Thus the achievement is yours alone.
You will have to concentrate. Rigour and self discipline will be your watchwords. Should you find the wherewithal to devote one hour a day to a single task free from networked interference your sense of urgency, panic and peremptory anxiety will likely abate, and each time you address the instrument you will gain independence and strength. You may even wish to increase the time you spend doing this one single activity.