Wednesday, January 2, 2008

slowing down.

there are a range of personal likes and dislikes found inside myself that set me up as someone to be touched by Kurasawa's last scene from Dreams.

on the "likes" side of the coin, i've always loved being outdoors. i dug in the dirt as a kid, building bmx jumps in the woods by my house. i've spent time around the country hiking with friends to places to experience the "grand majesty of the land." i have my bucolic getaways to my brother's and sister's farms. spending time on the open prairie and slight hills of my home landscape is what grounds me.

on the "dislikes" side of things, i have a stubborn aversion to things that keep people indoors, in front of the television. i'm turned off by the rat race, and by anything that relates to "keeping up with the Jones'." it drains me that workdays seem to be getting longer and longer, and there seems to be less and less quality time in the day. it's of no interest to me that cel phones are getting smaller and smaller, TVs are getting larger and more optically resolute, and internet connections are now blazingly faster than my my mediocre DSL.

the reason for posting the film scene, and the main gist of what i'm getting at, is this - the world is getting too fast paced and bling-bling for me. as funny as that sounds, i honestly mean it.

however... even as i sit here and think about how pathetically short our collective attention span has become, i have to 'fess up that no matter how beautful Kurasawa's last scene here is — no matter how clean and pure such an existance seems — i'd be equally as unhappy with the opposite side of the spectrum.

to use another example, i'll turn to a more current film/book. even though Chris McCandless's story, is mystifyingly beautiful (except for that whole death part), immersing myself in a rawer exsistence would leave me wanting. i'd want days where i could play video games for several hours. i'd want this beautiful mac. i'd still need some amenities.

so... what to do? how does one escape the buy! buy! buy! and the incessant rush, to get back to some tranquility? i don't know. well, perhaps i don't know. or perhaps people fight this hyper-saturated style in their own nuanced ways, and i'm just now realizing how hard i have pushed against the brunt at times throughout my life. this is no huge epiphany post, just some ramblings i wanted to get down.

i wrote the following piece while living in chicago, as a reflection of a particular ride home one night, after work, on the brown line L train. the sun was setting, i was tired of the concrete and grime, hustle-and-bustle of the city life, and i was enamoured with the ordinary, working class older folks scattered around me, amongst the businessmen and women.

tilling away
© matt pulford, 2003

there was always old ordinary jake and his tired workhorse pony.
tilling away at layers,
acting grubbingly,
and all to the ground, down.

on our train rides while bright sun makes squints and winks,
forgotten why’s, do’s…
and how’s.

as each of us see work-toilers going home,
we recall our grandmothers, fathers.
sleep tight, dear ones.
we don’t know what we’ve trampled.


No comments: