online: 13 june 2006
modified: 12, 13 june 2006

12 june 2006 mind, weather and technology

20:01 Parliament Hill... a moment of change as the wind swings round (veers clockwise) from southeast to southwest... and everything (from mind to atmosphere) becomes clearer... i doubt if it seems like this to everyone but to me it is certain, a recurring miracle (at this junction of continental and oceanic weather) of thought and reality interacting as a continuum...

...all day it has been hot, with many people feeling uncomfortable, but now the sun is nearing the horizon, the air is cool and fresh, the grass is green and long, and every detail of the city is clearly visible... no mist, no smog, few clouds, as life seems to become freer and more open to anything... everyone is on holiday, here on the heath (at least for an hour or two)... there is no need to struggle... i'm not hurrying to walk, to follow a route (random or otherwise), all i can think of doing is looking at the trees, the city, the sky and the people...

...i catch someone's glance and he raises his eyebrows meaningfully as he walks by (as if we knew each other)...

an hour or so later:

...however, as soon as i got up to go, i caught sight of the radio transmission tower on the other side of the heath and could not resist walking (in as straight and purposeful a line as i could) towards it, to examine it at close quarters...

...from below it looks as unearthly as it did in the distance... geometrical, a Euclidian diagram against the sky... no sign whatever of the signals it transmits, invisibly and inaudibly, to and from the fire fighters... utterly static... it defies thought and seems to me to exist quite apart from our petty concerns... though of course it was made in order to protect us from fire, a concern most vital.

13 june 2006
...i am reminded of John Cage's frequent remark* that the impersonal but essential public utilities are the only organisations that we need (practical anarchy, not imposed government)... i suspect that the sublime, or inhuman, nature of the transmission tower is a clue to the right use of technology - use it to extend life but not to distort or to dehumanise!

*John Cage, Diary: how to improve the world (you'll only make matters worse) 1965, in A Year from Monday, lectures and writings, Marion Boyars, London 1968 (pages 4, 5, and in later pages and installments of the diary in this, or later, books by John Cage).

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