Voice notes for your time capsule!

For quite some time I’ve been recording thoughts and ideas on my mobile.
On-the-fly preservation of thoughts and mostly random ideas about life in general.
When I wrote this article I decided to transcribe one of my older recordings.
A recording I made about “recordings.”
Afterwards I “re-recorded” the content.
This is definitely not the “raw material” from which the article originated, but I do believe its slightly more palatable than the messy original.

Voice notes for your time capsule!

During my quest for Actively Seeking Life’s Lemons I discovered voice notes to be a valuable tool for preserving thoughts and ideas.
Why not simply write down these thoughts?
Naturally I could do that.
But I do believe that voice recordings bring a different dimension to the creative process.
Consider the commonplace practice of taking photographs in order to retain a visual confirmation of something you lived through.
Instead of simply retelling the story via text or spoken language you can substantiate many elements of your story with visual confirmation.
That amazing sunset you captured comes to life whenever you revisit your old photos or video clips.
Photographs that you took yourself transcend the boundaries of “simply being a picture.”
Without always consciously being aware of it you’re also attempting to retain a memory of how you felt when you took that picture.
The physical document serves to anchor the emotion you felt and helps you to attach it to a tangible reminder.
The recording of certain content is therefore as important to me as recording the “why” and the “how.”
When you gazed across the waves at a breathtakingly beautiful sunset you’re not just committing a pretty picture to storage.
You’re also creating a time-capsule in which your memories of that moment enjoy a context in which to exist.
Perhaps this is an attempt to attain some level of immortality as much as anything else.

I keep my raw recordings for the sake of posterity.
A “summary ” of events are captured in any photograph but nowadays I realize that I often capture a mood rather than content.
That’s why I prefer not to edit photos or recordings.
When I revisit some of the recordings I do pick up on how tired or excited I sounded.
That in itself also provides powerful clues as to why I thought the way I did at that moment.
Sure, we can always revisit the same topic or concepts for later discussion.
But you can’t ever recreate the exact same thought patterns even when rehashing an idea that you felt you’ve all but exhausted.

If the desire to create is a driving force within your life then it could very well benefit you to record your thoughts.
In the future, they might be used as pointers from previous creative patterns that can take you through rough patches whenever you feel the muse has deserted you.
These thought-snapshots, not unlike photos, remind you of things you can easily forget when the pressure of life takes you on unplanned routes!
They are anchors.

If listening to your recordings make you cringe a bit, that’s fine.
You do get used to it.
Like looking at old photos!
Some are just too embarrassing to ever release into the wild.
But, you don’t always pick the professional high-definition specimens as being representative of your life.
Often the out of focus, oddly angled or grainy ones bring back the best indication of who you were when you took that photo.
And pretty much the same applies to the recordings that weren’t intended to be masterpieces of oratory skill, but simply bookmarks for thoughts.
Taking photos has become an instinctive process for many.
Writing down thoughts seems much less commonplace than the manner in which we can visually record our lives.
But to each his own.
I can’t subscribe to the idea that one method is better than another.
However…
Next time you’re stuck in traffic, talk to yourself, and record your ideas!
It’s easy and convenient!
Perhaps the voices in your head won’t ever talk back, but when you press “play” you’ll at least get something fairly close to that!

 

 

TLR

Twitter killed The Wisdom Tsar

Before the prophets of the world poured their wisdom into a text-box with limited character-capacity the words that hit you squarely in the gut were often found in dodgy spaces.
Every local bar, tavern or bake sale gathering had their own herald of infinite knowledge.

In a dodgy dive not far from where I grew up The Wisdom Tsar reigned supreme as the keeper of the key.
The guardian of life’s most profound truths.
The Tsar was a god, he was more than a king, and way too bloody damn cool not to be called “The Tsar.”

Speaking in a voice shredded by a 100 000 cigarettes and low quality alcohol strengthened the power of his messages.
You could ask him about aliens and conspiracies against war veterans.
He new it all.
Almost!
The facts he eschewed were hardly noteworthy anyway.
His steed of choice was a dark red Ford V6.
Even his car dripped, no… oozed masculinity and life experience was etched in the patterns made by cracked leather seats.

Everyone listened when he spoke, because there was no mistaking his crusty voice of authority.
But everyone knew he really cared for all his disciples and hardcore fans.
He knew all by name.
He knew everyone’s most intimate secrets and worst fears.
And he never spilled any beans.

When you dared to disagree, a “Well Fuck lad, let’s hear it then” signalled your turn to speak.
Woe be to your mortal soul if you challenged The Tsar simply to get attention.
His rabid protectors were a phalanx of Stoic musclebound goons not to be trifled with.
But if you had lost the light in your eyes, or the song in your heart … The Tsar was there for you.
More often than not he helped you sort your shit without even giving it a thought.
Because he knew your name.
And he knew your Mother and your younger sister.
And throughout your ordeal you felt a tight grip where he was holding you, lest you fall into the pits of hell.
Legend has it he could bring you back from the depths of hell if he had to.
Because he’s been there so many times.

Ok, so Twitter didn’t really kill this man.
The Tsar is still alive, and still preaching, but wherever he hides these days the room is surely filled with dull eyes transfixed on little screens.
Words of wisdom pour forth from their devices.
Everyone is now a King!
Watch them, because they won’t notice you.
Observe them…
Dripping with exaggerated intellect, and faux wokeness.
Even those who did hear the words of the true prophets disappear in the huge cracks left by vast sludge dams of constantly regurgitated drivel.
The true voices of our generation venture into this ocean at their own detriment.
Because nobody cares to teach a new generation of disciples how to set the ego aside for a while.
And the new disciples only bow to the god created by their own number of followers.
Yes…
There they sit…
Typing, deleting and creating even more derivative soulless content each time they have a go at someone.
Their audience doesn’t look them in the eye, nor does it care.
Their enemies care even less.

For somewhere down the line we traded the raw and gritty sweat of true conversation for comments on homogenized daily outrage and faceless opinions.

Walk, not type!

I remember a time when you either phoned your neighbour when his dog was barking incessantly or you walked across the street in order to resolve the issue.
There was also a third option, you could either have ignored, or accepted it for what it was… Life in the suburbs.

“Acceptance” is not our strong suit though…we’re an entitled species. Our own preferences and comfort needs to enjoy a top-tier priority level at all times!
Luckily for us: Along comes Social Media to the “rescue.”
A lumbering vehicle buckling under its own weight.
So let’s drive into the echo-chamber where thousands clamour for attention.
Let’s blow the horn with our own rants and raves.
Inside this hollow chamber we can lambaste “The Neighbour” for not disciplining his dog.
Unfortunately this is where it all goes pear-shaped.
Animal lovers will immediately chime in to educate us about the sanctity of preserving a dog’s autonomy.
Several others will jump onto the bandwagon and somehow change the topic to “Bad service delivery in the suburbs” thereby causing a totally unrelated outrage!

But then your computer requires a restart and you’re forced to go offline because Windows updates will take 20 minutes.
You decide to bite the bullet, what the hell…
And you cross the street.
For once you’re going to have a real conversation with your neighbour!
But the problem is, your neighbour is on his mobile, busy reading the local Facebook neighbourhood community page.
He is almost too distracted to talk to you…
He is waging a fierce Facebook-comment-war against someone who dared make the false claim that all small-breed dogs reflect the owner’s inability to maintain satisfactory sexual relationships.

It’s not much?

I had already pitched my tent for the night when the Audi pulled in.

The 5 guys in the car were big, and the Audi’s suspension was already taxed by age and neglect.
They succeeded in lowering the car to such an extent that I wondered about the ride quality—Let alone any safety concerns.

A huge but well-travelled tent was clumsily erected between alternating sessions of drinking and smoking.
The revels carried on into the wee hours of the morning.
Somehow all of us eventually scrounged up a few hours of sleep.

The next morning found me a bit ragged around the edges but a cup of good coffee alleviated some of the lethargy.
When I was packed and ready to go The Party of 5 started stirring.
I decided to hang around for a while and make another coffee.

The big cumbersome tent disappeared into the car’s trunk with unexpected ease and speed.
When all 5 were settled into their respective seats the launch window started.
Firing up the engine was a bit of a mission.
After three failed attempts the guy who was riding shotgun got out, popped the hood and fiddled with some wires.
I imagined a World War 1 pilot telling his ground crew to turn the propeller.
Someone surely could have yelled “contact!”
That’s when a cloud of smoke signalled the Audi’s return to life.
The driver put his trusty steed into gear and they drove off—All smiles!
For some strange reason I still remember the first word that came to mind.
These 5 men almost appeared to be “triumphant.”

I also remember thinking how much fun and laughter surfaced that night.
They didn’t have much…but they sure knew how to have a good time.
When I revisited these memories not long ago it finally dawned on me though…
We often think people manage “despite having very little.”
Quite often though the indomitable human spirit says “No, that’s not it.”
“What they had at that moment wasn’t much, but it was enough!”

When the party’s over

Next time you attend one of those parties that you never to end think about it this way—The minute it’s over you can immediately start reminiscing about the amazing time you had!

Our minds can experience the gift of traversing memories without the constraints of time and space.
We can manipulate the very fabric of reality.
The party will never end—But only Because it did!

Grow old gracefully?

Grow old gracefully?
Not in this lifetime!
Aging by definition doesn’t inspire me with thoughts of grace.
I’ll invest in sourcing the most raucous thrash metal until I can’t rock anymore.
Or deafness…
Whichever comes first.
I’m already thinking of purchasing a ludicrously loud motorcycle to treat myself if ever I become a venerable 70-Something.
And should I happen to pass into that long night, play some Metallica at my farewell party!

These thoughts aren’t intended to portray a flippant attitude.
Not in the least.
I once attended a funeral where AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” blared into the auditorium and bore testimony to one who dared to live a full life despite years of experiencing adverse health.
Nothing about those few minutes filled with power chords signalled the intent to rebel, or even dismiss the finality of that goodbye.
And I saw not a single dry eye in the house that afternoon.
Appreciation for a life who dared, against all odds… And the loss thereof affirmed with a loud and fitting eulogy!

Over time I’ve met too many older people who, in my opinion aged because they lost interest in exploring new things.
This is a question I’ve reflected on many times…
Do we lose interest in the complexity of life when we grow old, or do we subscribe to an idea that advancing age automatically comes shipped with a new “more dignified” or “toned-down” set of rules for living?

The idea of turning into a crusty old git never appealed to me.
I also dislike the idea that some older folk feel that their age allows them to be caricatures of insufferable behaviour.
That being said…
If I’m not a danger to myself or society, and I don’t embarrass myself too much then I don’t see the harm in recreating my own language for “growing old.”
Opting to use words such as “Diminished capacity” instead of “it’s done.”
“Recovery” instead of “regret” and “redefine” instead of “resign.”

Packaged Outrage

I remember watching the bottling process in a factory that manufactured bleach.
One tube fed the bleach to the branded bottle and another tube redirected bleach to some or other store’s “House brand.”
Same Bleach, different branding.
When I look at the news and the puerile regurgitated issues on Twitter I see the same thing.
We’re living in the age of bottled and packaged outrage.
It feels like all the “issues” are flowing into one homogenous tube.
Real social issues get sidelined in favour of popular gossip and banal videos that often only serve to illustrate stupidity and human failings.

Ok, so despite appeals to the better nature angels of someone’s nature a “package” gets released.
What then?
Many of these “viral outrage videos” get lost in a torrid cesspool of comments.
Generalization rules supreme—I seldom see comments that inquire instead of merely following the herd.
Make no mistake though, the herd breaks the internet, destroys lives and spawns a thousand memes…
At times creating a secondary outrage that often outshines the original.
But only until the next “Outrage package” is taken from the shelf.
Then in a flash we experience that Groundhog Day feeling again.
Honestly, I struggle to keep track of all the outrage I observe on a daily basis!

Outrage has become ubiquitous, especially in the online world.
And we appear to be struggling to comprehend which ones are cleverly engineered for maximum impact, and which ones should really warrant any attention.
Naturally there are exposes that definitely need to see the light.
And many social media campaigns have actually succeeded in bringing atrocities to light, and thereby putting an end to them.

Unfortunately its a personal desire to be relevant that fuels a lot of posts…
Have you ever noticed how the original poster’s caption has a way of swaying the adudience to veer off into a set direction.
Often a photo or video will result in creating an emotion, but because we’re lazy we latch onto the “packaged message” within the caption, instead of filtering the content through our own set of values and logical constructs.

I wonder if these outrage-mongers are ever concerned about destroying the real brand.
That “brand” which incorporates “being human” as vital ingredient.
Being human, exhibiting some logical restraint— And not merely acting upon the way the product is presented, but being truly concerned about the real implications of the content.
Instead the world often lauds the salesman who gets the most views—Turning him into a celebrity!
At the expense of real tragedy that eventually finds its way to the same shelf where sensation is diligently stored.

Perspective.

You’ve heard advice along the lines of “Don’t worry, nothing lasts forever, not even the bad times!”
We all know purveyors of popular clichés.
But they might have a point.
The Sun barely has enough hydrogen to last another 5 billion years.
It’s going downhill fast!
Let’s not ponder on the bad times then!
I think I should resign, live a life of leisure and quietly wait for the universe to end.