January 4th, 7:04am. O’Hare International Airport
If I were to give you the short-story of what has happened in my life over the last few weeks (Dec 2010-Jan 2011), it would fill a 500-page novel. This is why I don’t write novels.
A great deal has changed — as if things were consistent before. These days I’m headed to New York for an indefinite amount of time, back to San Francisco, LA in February to join a panel at a conference, and onward into the unknown.
There was no way to plan this, there’s no way I could have.
In fact, I think there’s no way to plan anything anymore. The world is moving too fast for plans, agendas, or other set-in-stone type behaviors that we crave for a momentary and completely artificial sense of security.
I keep coming back to the how Ray Bradbury wrote Fahrenheit 451: on the ten-minute typewriter that cost a dime for his time, fingers blazing, not knowing what comes next in the story.
When I watch the endless line of people swirling by me at the airport terminal, I see destinations, I see plans, and I see people who are frustrated and confused as to why they aren’t at the end already. “When do we get there for frak’s sake?”
We don’t get there. There is no end. We just keeping pushing this techno-cultural-evolutionary wave, and ride it at it’s height.
When I look back at my life, I see a series of well-placed accidents in between moments of stillness. I see that every time I tried to hold onto something that I either had or wanted, I ended up with a fist-full of frustration. Maybe you do too.
Instead, let’s choose a different approach.
Let’s say yes, yes to everything.
Let’s say yes to the impossible.
As all of this, the change, the shift takes place, we’re going (and we have) to see the people we know clinging to the lives they once knew – their jobs, their homes, their stories, their pasts, their supposed futures. We’re seeing these people filling themselves up with surface information in the hopes that it will guide them. It won’t.
It worked a certain way for them before, and they want it to stay that way. It worked a certain way for us five minutes ago, but it didn’t stay that way.
What we forget is that twenty years ago we were still sending letters in the mail. I had a pen-pal in Sydney when I was a kid back then, and it took a month for the letters to get here from Australia (when they got here at all.) Now I have a crew of remarkable people in Melbourne living in my head all day via Twitter — directing my thoughts towards the emerging nature of technology.
(Sometimes I even wonder if Ross Hill and his band of Melbourne-based psychic technoninjas are training me to become an cyber-consciousness super-weapon. They might not even know what they’re doing consciously.)
We forget that most of us just got on Facebook. We only started being plugged into our Twitter feeds all day a few blinks ago in space-time. This reality is new, and it’s getting newer.
This is a fundamental change in human nature and reality that never happened before. We are unprepared for the consequences, but we’ll have to deal with them anyway.
We cannot anticipate how reality will change.
We have no idea where we will be even a day from now. A week? Ha, good luck.
…and 95% of people are terrified of the fact that they won’t know where they’ll be standing.
We’re going to have to get used to the idea that our closest allies might be the person who reached out five minutes ago, or five minutes from now. We have to get used to the idea that our next idea is far more powerful than the idea we had last. We have to learn to destroy our pasts in order to avoid being ripped through the space-time continuum as windshield bug splatter on the change of the universe.
We have to get used to the feeling that we’re all swiftly going insane as technology spirals out of our control into the future of our creation’s evolution.
So here’s the plan: there is none. In a few hours I’ll have two feet on the ground in New York again, and then I’ll take one step and then another until I find myself on the yoga mat.
The rest happens from there, moment by moment, breath by breath. Throughout, we’ll seek a deeper truth.
As I look uncertainty in the eye, and smile. I know that there’s only one way to approach the now: accept everything, stay grounded, and bend with the will of reality.
If you’re in New York, and this message computes, hit me on Twitter and we’ll grab a drink.