The one, the only, the greatest of them all...
Not to be outdone, Fightin' Jack Aubry and his manly crew
Just read a bit today of this article on boredom and I have to say that I agree with the general principle. We pale-skinned, frog-eyed denizens of Netland often forget that what we write about, life, happens outside our apartments, outside the computer-generated world. If SOMEone weren't out there doing real things in The Real, we'd have nothing to blog about.
I've been invited to be interviewed on Vatican Radio some time in the next few days about the Vatican's blogger conference, and this is, essentially, what I'm going to say. The internet isn't the Real. Blogs aren't very important.
A couple of weeks ago on a Saturday I felled a small wild cherry tree, sawed it up and split it. Not one minute of the work was dull. I didn’t wonder what the world was up to. When you open up cherry, all you want to do is smell it and look at it and open up more of it. I can’t say the same about what I did Monday to Friday, much of which involved managing—nay, fending off—electronic distractions.James Tiberius Kirk didn't get to be the youngest-ever captain of a Constellation class starship by spending his youth playing internet computer games, and Jack Aubrey was learning the ropes (literally) on the high seas when he was 14. Lord Baden Powell began serving in the army at 19 and defended the town in the Siege of Mafeking in the Second Boer War. Churchill too fought bravely in the Boer War before going on to become Prime Minister and trounce the Hun.
And none of them, in their entire lives, was ever "bored".
Last night, I was terribly tired, but a thought was trying to germinate in my mind and it was something like this: I'm almost glad about cancer because it has forced me to think entirely in the Real, to concern myself exclusively with real things and to forget about the Fantasies and dreams my brain usually entertains and distracts itself with.
This is something to remember the next time we're sitting in a room that has grown dark because we've not bothered to get up and turn on a light, feet growing cold from lack of circulation, arguing in a commbox somewhere over the minutiae of some damn thing or other...
I've said it before. Go outside. Weed the tomatoes. Talk to a pretty girl. Swim in the sea when it's freezing cold. Draw a picture. Go to a gallery. Make soup.
Today, I'm going down to town, to pick up Katrina Ebersole at Trastevere train station. She's coming here for the Blogger conference and the Scholar's Lounge Blognic. She will be fulfilling a dream and meeting a real live Swiss Guard.
The Real is waiting for you.