Joan Siegel has two incredible poems in Raritan, hurrah for Joan, she is an exceptional writer, and Deerbrook Editions published her collection of poems Hyacinth for the Soul.
The Image Nation. Julia Cameron gave me breakthroughs with identifying things, situations, difficult people, personal blocks in creativity, and playing with words. For anyone struggling with their creativity, her book The Artist’s Way is helpful in moving through and finding out things you didn’t know you knew already, and I recommend the audio version which used to be on cassette, but who knows now. The audio makes it easy to absorb the details while doing something like driving.
Good feedback to the blog; thanks Judy Barker. I never considered myself a writer, so when somebody says something I wrote was well written, it registers. Of course there are levels of readers just as there are levels of writers. The discussion of how we find the exceptional is a topic for another essay.
I began reading in Raritan an article about , well, I admit I can’t name it in one word; Berlin, memorials, memory, images . . . (I will add to this post later) the thing is, and this is an aside, but for me reading, and writing goes in hand, reading is an inspiration, the author mentions the things that work with memory, including technology such as film and video, art, memorials; truly other inspirations are found in human creativity as it deals with difficult subjects; and as I was digesting the sensitive words of this author and the intelligent way she reflected and connected, I was reminded of my contemplation about imagination. What is imagination and where is it going? Well, to back up a moment to the object relative to my question, and it comes in various forms, technological devices that deliver content, and images are in a top percentage of the content, this content allows a great deal of learning to take place, saves time and answers questions, entertains, we all know these devices from the DVR, VCR, computers, screens, to the tablets and phones, that they are here and probably for a while. There are questions about resources and materials used in them, and the radio and EMI fields around them, all which don’t seem to stop their production or use, because they fall into the same realm as the book, a personable object of human scale, digital, after all, refers to the fingers of the hand, the digits, the numbers, binary codes, and so forth.
The question that keeps coming into my mind is not a simple one to explain. We all use some form of technology, though there are those who still don’t or think they don’t because they don’t use computers. My question comes under the heading of imagination. A foundation to consider is history, the history of creativity, and in my case art history, which is not confined to pictures if one considers the note books and sketch books of DaVinci with its drawings of inventions. To lump things up for efficiency, our history in art and humanities, even in engineering, is full of examples of the human imagination that for hundreds of years was brought forth by writing and drawing.
Today and for probably ten, twenty years, technology has been helping imagination in so many ways, especially for those that can keep up with personal computers as they upgrade all the time. I once had a concern that in some areas such as games and videos, and now all the apps and hand-held devices with alluring commercialism / well designed icons, this kind of well-meant assisting, the realm of virtual reality, provides the imagination with everything. So the question is, does the use of such captivating imagery based microcosmic interaction limit the development of imagination, especially in young people, and is there any way to measure it?
There are at least two sides to the expecting argument; the good outweighs the bad; and our young people are the future minds we need to be sharp and functioning in order to solve the world problems that linger from the past century or more. I can’t answer this dilemma, if in deed it actually is one, but there are concerns, beyond what might be the most important in the cognitive health of our population, which are in resources like the black stuff they make so many parts for things like cell phones out of, and the effects of which there seems to be in damage to the brain after using a cell phone over ten years. There are warnings that come with video games, or there used to be, that there can be side effects to vision after using video games.
So the question is not whether or not we should use them, it is too late for that, but when we depend on things for storage of sensitive material, archives, films, documents, etc., (and the resources used can be difficult to obtain; there is question of the practices and culture the gathering of some elements and their disposal creates, look at the computer waste dumps in Indonesia and India) and is our dependency sustainable, and should we have back up of another kind? Good old-fashioned libraries still exist and can be made secure and made greater in capacity. In light of disasters where power shortages or outages render enormous grids of technology and reactors and infrastructure useless, at a standstill, dangerous, there is a need to consider the process of providing assurances that begin with healthy minds in a healthy economy, just to name a couple. Does anybody else share this concern or am I suffering from cabin fever? Since there have been no comments I assume this is too long or I do have cabin fever.
And I don’t think that I am usually one that ponders doomsday scenarios. That is another discussion I am afraid, to the question of entertainment and news effectively making us numb to certain parts of life, like war, disasters and death, not withholding happy endings.