2020-07-19 - Pause
What, was that two weeks? Never. It felt like a month and a breath all in one. Lots of things happened - comings and goings, reconnections and endings and re-birth. A happy time and a sad time. A busy time, and a relaxing one. It was a good time to have a break from writing, to be honest.
I've been watching though. The world around us is into its difficult stage now - the initial urgency of the Covid pandemic is giving way into second waves, gradual rippling around the world, and more chances opening up to ask - what next? and what are we supposed to be doing? And so far, I'm not sure anyone has any real answers.
There's a depressing lack of imagination floating around. The most imaginative we can get is to tell ourselves that there's some sort of "new normal" coming. But we daren't imagine what that look like, and so we seek out any return to the old normal. Sales are seen as a bridge to the old economies. Slogans help us put a veneer on old habits. Our cupboards and drawers remind us of all the plans and holidays we had lined up, put on pause and waiting to be resumed.
And the floods come and the sea ice melts and the sea creatures move their hunting grounds and the Way Of Things knows there has never been a way back, only forwards and yet round in huge, vast circles that envelop entire species and mountains. Circles beyond the grasp of most humans looking for return in the small print of newspaper headlines.
What is the Beamspun newsletter, what is it I've started?
On the one hand, it's an experiment mostly. But an experiment in what? Not simply the fastest way to collate a set of handful of links together and scatter them like salt around the world. No.
An experiment in enthusing myself, perhaps. A spell to bind my own imagination. A routine become a ritual. You see, when you write and when you publish, Things Crystallise. The things out there become things in my head, and the way in which these are wrapped up in pretty words and pictures and bows? These are the giving-of-life and of form to the Things. The output - what you see - is entirely adrift from the process - the change and the acts that I, as curator and author, must go through. What is interesting for you is something else for me.
For me, Beamspun is a portal. The ideas I've come into contact with over the last few months have had their effect. Only I'm not quite sure what that effect is, yet. But it's real.
More than an experiment, Beamspun is a gathering point - for ideas and for people, but also for change. A shift, towards webs. From the interwebs to the webs of life - there can be no distiction between what is change for me and what is change for you and what is change for the world as a whole. Always, but even more so in the 21st century, everything is linked together, and yet all that lack of imagination comes from seeing things as being disconnected. Once you can see that that isn't true - that every action comes from somewhere and goes somewhere else - then we are moved as we are, and we have a choice to amplify our own reactions.
And yet we also see how small we are, how we must work with small changes even though we are screaming out for big ones. That nothing changes overnight - if it did, then we were just sleeping for several months already. We have to work on things day by day, and rest night by night. Then we get somewhere.
I want to set Beamspun into a background of change - disruption and doubt, curiosity and learning, doing and reviewing, resting and breathing. It should be inspiring and yet natural. Plain, and yet magical. Stage 1 was just the start of that, a rapid attempt at doing something. Stage 2 will be rough, still, but with an inkling more of grimly satisfied direction.
But it's only been two weeks. And it's been a long two weeks. So I'll still be back, but not quite this week. Does this post count? There's a koan for you.