Portrait of a subject reduced to a thread

The ticking of the clock, the rain drops, the same sound of the wood burning when it pops. There’s no sound like that on digital clocks. And at the traffic light we converge for a time: everyone looking down, in their laps. There’s Jupiter Beard in the roadside shoulders, double stamp day at the coffee shop…but we remain elsewhere in all the minutes and seconds that consume the day. If we had self-driving cars we could work more, to stay on top of things: but it doesn’t feel like it’s adding more time or space, only taking it. The pressure, working in tech, to go as fast and far as we can but even when we do, it doesn’t satisfy. Maybe I’m too old and lazy, but I like looking out the window at the stop light: my mind needs natural things, and there’s more of interest for me there: though often banal, it’s always real.

Dawn went to the Microsoft tech conference in Florida and got her picture taken with Michelle Obama (who spoke there), got to hug her even: said she talked about what’s needed for business leaders, to find your passion so you can be authentic: that ‘authentic’ is rare, but you can sense when someone has it, or doesn’t.

Outside the elevator at work they’re testing directional robots that sense your presence and send commands to activate the elevator cars. There’s no waiting: the robot senses you and the car opens, and it feels good. The robots are about two feet tall and happy looking, like toys. We joke, that’s how it all starts…

And perhaps it’s those days I don’t feel authentic, I feel blank or randomized, I feel lesser…and have to go back to nature, to clear my head. Then, the clicks and pops in the trees from birds and squirrels, how the light filters through, how the forest gets quiet down in the valley, still.

September, a time of in between: is that all our life is now, “between?”

Sculpture/photo by Ralf Roletschek, Wiki Commons.


Categories: prose, technology

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

17 replies

  1. Ah yes, I have the same feelings working in tech. And that last line is so perfect for today, as I wait to board a plane for yet another day long meeting you in another city, all day traveling and talking and waiting…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just heard that AI might get smarter than humans in the 2030s or so. Not sure what that’ll do in practical terms, but I understand there’s a new Terminator movie in the works …

    Liked by 1 person

  3. and what a stark contrast between the mini robots who sense your every need and the birds in the wild who don’t even notice you and are so much more comforting

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was thinking the other day about how much time you spend in nature. I was walking the dogs with socks over my feet and shoes over my socks so as not to step on the concrete path they’d poured to protect me from the nature. We live, drive, and work in artificial environments, and wonder why so many people are depressed. This is the perfect time for the robots to rise.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah see in your climate you could be out there barefoot with all the hippies and the homeless and nothing between you and the EARTH man. Thanks for thinking of me, with your dogs. Ironic I made that observation about the Jupiter’s beard and so forth and then posted it with my gadget here. Then it dings, and I feel alive again. “Ding!”


  5. Damn! You knocked it out this time my friend. Love the question at the end, I could follow that all the way to the Buddha.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I do find the in-between months (and things) the hardest. This is also the time of year that naturally pushes us outside more due to cooler weather and pretty leaves. I get my treatment without having to think much about it, which is a good thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I heard your summer was atrocious (more like one of our winters). I like the notion of getting out in it when the weather is decent here, before it seems the casket lid closes on us all for several weeks. But one thing I like most here is by the time you get to January it feels like winter is over, in the dark, wet sense…and we get some green back way earlier since it isn’t as cold here. But the long haul to warmth and sun can be too long for most.


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