The Traveler's Ruminations

Guest Blogger: The Traveler

Children and technology. A curious combination this is. Guided by some strange and yet natural desire for this interaction, they find the greatest delight in electronic stimulation – digital images that excite the mind and confound our perceptions. Its use varies significantly and arguments choose both sides to defend with reasoned explanations and passion. Though distracting video games, cellular phones and other digital platforms may be, time use has been made more efficient in many ways through technology.

Businesses revolve around the central philosophy that time is money. Indeed, such a statement carries much weight in this world. Efficiency and utilization of every waking moment is an optimum desire striven by myself and many others. But to what end? We rise in the mornings, add sustenance to our growing, yet aging bodies, and always fill our hours with mental, physical exertion, all governed by monetary values, responsibilities and personal pleasures.

We fill our minds with global media, applications of varying interests and kiss our children goodbye. Well established cycle, followed rigorously and blindly. Yes, we are all aware of it, all acknowledge its inevitability, and few reconcile to see it any other way. Our perceptions of time is something truly, fascinating.

Endless, like most subjects and stories, analyzed, told and sold many times over. All is new when learned, yet already existent. We know so much, yet understand so little.

Truly, what is time?

The Complexities of Feelings
Guest Blogger: The Traveler

Love is a funny thing. And curious at that. You may be a man – or for that matter, a woman – of certain fortitude, bent upon setting career goals; ruthlessly pursuing some lifelong dream of success, exploration or pre-eminence. Your sights set straight on personal ambitions, relieved only for a short time by limited pleasures, fancies or, dare I say, vices. And so onward you steer a course in life with a single-minded goal of self-preservation and ignorant quest of promotion. All interspersed with the odd contact with certain family members and friends, many feigning sincerity and love, only to return to the source of all that is grand, vital and the very reason for your existence – namely “I” or “myself”.

But when love strikes you, it does so like a ton of bricks. Your equilibrium shot, core upturned, your mind, reasoning and very sense of reality muttled and, suddenly, illogical. What was once so simple, focused and unmovable is in utter and chaotic disarray. Your emotions spike and your heart, the source, beating beyond your control, fluttering at a rapid, inconsolable rhythm and pace.

The reason, the cause of this unforeseen, always unexpected onset – if I may call it that – is that key opposite figure sitting across the table from you. See them now. It begins ever so subtly. The introduction, the grasp of the hand tender and gentle – or firm and confident. Note that. The minute look, gesture. The stare that is held only just too long. The eyes meet, the heart skips ever so slightly. And so it starts. It may come suddenly and immediately, an almost Dido-like captivity. However, often times, it has a more gradual curve. Yes, there is immediate striking attraction, but not of the Shakespearean proportions – or so one should hope – not strong enough to break the hard, cold shell of mental fortitude and resolve; one’s focus in life.

To sacrifice such things for emotional entanglement and eventual investment of time and resources would be – foolish, you say to yourself, subconsciously whilst lighting a cigarette. Soon, a casual conversation is struck up. Light, hearty topics of interest or intellect; evolving gradually into material of a more personal nature. Yet even further it goes, down the rabbit hole into sensitive, intricate areas of intimacy. Then, before the boiling pot is safely removed from the heat, a spark suddenly – in the night. You find yourself smiling at every feint and parry. The conversation soon becomes enjoyable. Your heart beats ever faster, your face begins to flush with colour. Still, you are simply enjoying each other’s company. No harm, no confusion. No doubts. You part ways and all is clear again. The world resumes its regular flow. Mind at ease.

For the moment.

Somewhere along the way, there is an ever present thought, a whispering idea, and finally, an image. Your recent acquaintance is beckoning to you in your mind. You may be sitting in your study, at your desk, or standing by the bus stop; conversing with your mother, swimming, or simply contemplating about the infinite fascinations of astrology. Yet there it stands: you are thinking about the very same person from the night before. The casual associate who only a few days ago had been a friendly dinner party contact. A friend of a friend, who shared only a few noticeable interests with you, yet had such exquisite eyes. This person had monopolized your thoughts, if only for one weak moment of your fragility.

What were you just doing? Funny, you cannot recall.

Willingly or not, the two cross paths again, eventually. Usually in another group setting. You find yourself instantly floating towards them once more. Their voice, charming. The presence and scents even more desirable than the last time. And although he or she is the exact same person, they look distinguishably different in some way. Yes, the clothes have been altered, the lipstick, the shoes. No, something…Why yes, he is wonderful or she is irresistible, the beauty and conversation palpable beyond belief! The eyes sparkling with intrigue and delight. Everything else in your life goes inexplicably on hold. You simply want to spend more time with this person. Revolve you plans around them. Live in an overabundance of intertwining joy.

Ah, the beautiful extremities of love and passion.

For now, however, scatter those pesky butterflies, douse that burning heart, settle thy nerves. And forget. Oh yes, that would require much more explanation. Quite.

On Responsibility
Guest Blogger: The Traveler

Global affairs and issues are things that I traditionally have strayed away from. Topics abound of wars, economic deficiencies, cultural clashes and strife. Sitting, unaccounted for, and curiosity stirred, there are countless media and information receptacles tinging with headlines. A computer’s web of misinformation, facts and images is luring and draws in a person with accessibility and ease. Captured, connected and wired to an over-relied upon machine, fingers crawling over the keyboard. An obsession. A drug. Committed. Eyes darting from page to page, littered with videos, text and burdensome information. Purposeful curiosity, idle browsing. The need to know what is amiss in this large globe of ours.

To deny and defy ignorance.

The saturation of knowledge is terribly useful, positively overflowing. It is historic and unprecedented this availability and accessibility. Taken for granted much too soon. If I could only recall a time when books dominated the landscape. The slightest bit and scrap of facts embedded on pieces of paper. What once was dynamic is irrelevant. Global news evolving from medium to medium.

What is all this idle chatter? They speak of religion, violent intervention of suffering, a shortage of work, a celebration of rebellion and idleness. Living in daily fear for many. I cannot possibly imagine the tumultuous lives that must be lead, grasping for morsels of bread, safety and survival.

How to respond to such news is beyond my imagination or understanding. To know what is occurring. To comprehend its impact on those directly involved versus others who live far away from the conflict or problems. These simple concepts are sufficient enough for many. Their lessons we must learn from, digest, store and apply. “Vigilance is the price we must pay.” Is that what you think? No courage, action or even subtle support. These things I understand. We are but frail creatures who at times show such magnificent strength and conviction.

Sometimes, in the shadows of the night, I hear the whisper of words:

‘Are thee not a member of the human race?’

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