Monstrous Spelling Mechanism / Zen practice of giving thanks to a teacher

Monstrous Spelling Mechanism / Zen practice of giving thanks to a teacher

Art is time travel, no question. I didn’t know I still carried this monster around – but here it is. I learned how to read pretty early, before school, scanning my grandfather’s newspaper and imitating the strange throat clearing sounds … Continue reading

How social media changes our reading ability … just a passing thought from a conversation with a fellow writer

contemplation of minor bugsWriting for social media forums is still essentially writing and provides those of us who are not so fortunate to have their writing published in a traditional forum with a most welcome audience but also with the equally welcome company of other writers. I do very much enjoy those (few) who do write/blog well, taking time and effort to polish their work and obviously making it part of their working day to keep their blogs interesting, well researched and engaging. How will social media change our writing? And will it change our reading ability? In my observation it does and I am actually always feeling hesitant to use the opportunity to publish excerpts and ramblings for fear of contributing to something that I see as a competitor to peoples’ traditional reading time. Already, traditional reading is a generational habit, starting to loose the audience under 30 if for no other reason than just a lack of time. Storytelling and reading of traditional stories does take up real time, it also takes a willingness to accept a certain reclusiveness that reading in social media forums never requires – the next diversion always being just one click away. There is something about the whisper of the page, my own breath, the loneliness of reading that I find necessary for engaging in a text whereas I often leave digital reading with the often not followed up upon wish to return to the thought or the writing – later. This is my main reason for still striving to see my work published elsewhere in traditional form.
The 140 characters of a twitter post can be as much of an intellectual challenge as a Haiku. Certainly, the length of a piece does not say much about its quality – and sometimes quite the opposite. But I am tired of hearing that something I have taken time to write is too long to enjoy reading. We have to be careful not to cut down our reader’s ability to process 140 character bits.

… consequently there cannot be an edge over which to lean to catch a glimpse of eternity

English version / German translation

Few travelers have ever reached the end of the world, even in the days of the Aelvor, for it is such an awful long way to go and full of obstacles, too. Yet when my grandmother told me about the Willow as I tell you about her now, it had seemed to me that I almost remembered her as if I had seen her with my own eyes and touched her with my own hands but couldn’t quite remember anymore where or when that could have been.

Of course you know that the earth is a ball and that consequently there cannot be an edge over which to lean to catch a glimpse of eternity. And yet, our elders might not have been as naïve as we are told today by believing that the world is located on a disc and that you can walk only so far before reaching an end. In our hearts we are closer related to ways that must end eventually than the Aelvor were who soberly talked about the eternal cyclic renewal of all times and beings.

Wenige Reisende haben jemals das Ende der Welt erreicht, selbst in den Tagen der Aelvor, denn es ist ein furchtbar langer Weg dorthin, wie jeder weiß, und,  wie es die alten Märchen erzählen, voller Hindernisse und Gefahren. Und dennoch, wenn meine Großmutter mir von der Weide am Ende der Welt erzählte, eben so, wie ich Dir jetzt von ihr erzähle, belebte sich ihre sonst oft müde Stimme und sie sprach so lebhaft und anschaulich, als erinnerte sie eine Geschichte aus ihrer eigenen Jugend, und mir, die ich ihr zuhörte, kam es wirklich so vor, als könne ich mich selbst beinahe erinnern, dass ich den Baum einst mit meinen eigenen Augen gesehen und mit meinen eigenen Händen berührt hätte, auch wenn ich, gefragt, nicht mehr zu sagen gewusst hätte, wann oder wo das hätte gewesen sein sollen.

Natürlich weißt Du, dass die Erde eine Kugel ist und dass es also keine Kanten geben kann, über die man in einen Abgrund stürzen oder über den man  sich auch nur hinauslehnen könnte, um einen Blick der Unendlichkeit zu erhaschen, wie es in den alten Geschichten heißt. Und dennoch waren die Menschen früher vielleicht nicht so naiv wie wir es mit ein wenig Überheblichkeit heute gerne glauben wollen, nur weil sie annahmen, dass die Welt eine Scheibe sei und man nur so weit gehen konnte, bis man an ihr Ende kam. Wenn wir aufrichtig sind, ist uns auch in unserer Zeit die Vorstellung, dass jeder Weg schließlich endet, immer noch vertrauter, als es die Geschichten der Aelvor sind, die nüchtern von der Unendlichkeit und der zyklischening, Wiederkehr aller Zeiten und Kreaturen zu erzählen verstanden.Bild