I wrote down the other day in my notes, “it’s easy to dissolve. we all will dissolve. It’s hard to choose how we dissolve.” Like many of my notes I’m not sure exactly what I was thinking at that moment (there’s a note above it that says, “Ifá Johnny slaughtering chickens,” which is a really great story, but not really relevant to the note I want to touch on… it is unclear why I thought of Johnny yesterday, though).
I think I jotted down that note as I was reading an article about the National Radio Quiet Zone in Green Bank West Virginia, a town where microwaves, bluetooth and WiFi are all banned, and cellphone signals fenced off in order to allow the super sensitive telescope there to peer off into space and try to detect whispers of the waves meandering in from Big Bangs, Small Bangs, and maybe just stars falling in love (Biggest Bangs). All these signals that heard last call and plunked down in a taxi cab called Earth.
The article takes a romantic twist on the story, commenting more on the life that is required to live in this town, smartphone free. What does that do to the citizens? I like that the author doesn’t take a judgmental stance on whether smartphones around us are good or bad, but more just the impact they have on our day to day interactions. The way they augment and shape the formality of our lives.
I’m an addict to my phone, which is one of the reasons I don’t use social media, as it removes from me one more hook that sticks deeply in my brain and tugs on neurons for the entirety of the day; phantom buzzes and an extra sense of urgency isn’t something I need more of in my life. But DISSOLVING seems to be the path all of our lives take and phones are one more way we dissolve. Our boundaries are frayed and we are consumed by things in our lives. Even the self can consume the self. Our time and energy, our focus, they are all offered over fence posts only to realize the fence itself disappears and soon new pastures that once were “over there” are “in here”. And this is a good thing, if it's done with intention and carrying.
Marx wrote, “all that is solid melts into air” (which is also a title of a novel that I really liked the first 3/4 of… the last 1/4 was sorta patching up plot holes and all the beautiful writing started to feel so rushed. A line from it that I still think of was something around being the most lonely among the company of strangers. But written so beautifully. Shit. Can’t find it in my notes. But I did find the note “there is no perfection of the object”. Look! What a great idea to be dissolved in.), which I think was meant to be a statement about coming to some truth about the nature of being. The truest things we can’t hold on to, if we assume they will never change. Instead we should look to the space of these things we find truth and gratitude towards and appreciate how that space can change, requiring us to move and fix our fencing.
I’ve dissolved into ideas and people. I recently think I even dissolved a bit while picking blackberries with someone in Surrey of all places.
In large and small ways we all continue to dissolve and we find ourselves in the things that both we penetrate and penetrates us.
The Roses XXVIInfinitely at easedespite so many risks,with no variationof her usual routine,the blooming rose is the omenof her immeasurable endurance.Do we know how she survives?No doubt one of her daysis all the earth and allof our infinity.– Rainer Maria Rilke