Metropolitan Homesick Blues

Southampton Stories & Other Stuff

Posts Tagged ‘ipad

MAYBE IT’S ME!

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“You have notifications pending.”

The message popped into my email inbox. It felt like a reprimand from one of my high school teacher/priests. Recently I logged out of Facebook because I saw no reason to waste my time there. (No offense to all my ‘friends’). Still the notifications and comments come. I thought I was done with all that. Obviously membership in that social network is like membership in a street gang or the mafia…you’re never out completely.

On top of that, I’ve spent the last few days playing catch up with the planned obsolesce thrust upon anyone who owns any device from Apple. In order to stay connected I’ve had to download upgrades for my laptop, desktop, iTouch, iPad and iPhone (yes, I have all the toys) or be left behind. Without the latest operating systems I would be lost to the world, forbidden a fully functional roll in the ether or should I say The Cloud. Because I failed to stay up to date some of my files were rendered unsupportable: believe me the feelings of loss, anger and frustration were palpable. There are too many passwords to remember.

‘Simplify, simplify, simplify,’ said Mr. D, Thoreau. What with so many applications, so many games and so many sites pushing so much information there is too much to keep up with and no time to keep things simple.

Twitter has trivialized the world. In 140 characters the detritus of people’s lives, the superficial urgings of private agendas spills on to your screen. The only ways to stop it is to unfollow or log out.

Yes, we have the choice of being there or not. I am probably one tiny squeaky negative voice in the vast multitude. The irony in this is that I maintain this blog. And I’m writing this post…complaining. 

And this is nothing new. Back in 1807 William Wordworth reacted to the first Industrial Revolution with this sonnet: He was right then and he’s still right. OK. I’ll stop now.

THE WORLD IS TOO MUCH WITH US       

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;

The winds that will be howling at all hours,

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be

A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;

Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

 

Written by metropolitanhomesickblues

November 20, 2011 at 5:21 PM

LOOK DEEPER THAN THE SURFACE YOU SEE

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The last day of the Huron Fringe Festival began with heavy rain and the promise of a wet, uncomfortable day. As we turned on Highway 6 toward the North Bruce, the wind came up the sky partially cleared and the sun played peek-a-boo with the clouds. That damp-day promise would not be kept. It was perfect for hiking the Alvars north of Dyers Bay.

We were treated to a guided tour of some carefully preserved properties under the watch of the Nature Conservancy of Canada (www.natureconservancy.ca). Two of which are not yet open to the public. Our guide gave us explanations of the history, flora, fauna and geology found on these natural wonders. It is amazing what the ancient glaciers left for us.

As we walked and listened to his descriptions of the what, how and why around us – some lines a well-regarded local naturalist likes to quote popped into my head:

The wonders of this world.

The beauty and the power,

Their colours, lights and shades:

These I saw.

Look ye also, while it lasts.

[On an tombstone dated 1560 in a Suffolk, England cemetary.]

It must have been one of those days for me because, later, at their private Cape Hurd property, on the east side of the Peninsula just below Tobermory, this line from Wordsworth kept running through my mind: “The world is too much with us; late and soon…”

Here I was amid all this impressive natural beauty and Steve Jobs is turning the publishing business on its ear while making millions off  the iPad and introducing the iPhone 4. Harper is spending wildly on the G8 and G20 to impress the world. And the world and its people – after all this time – is no further ahead. The one constant is this; the natural world pays no attention to us and adapts as it sees fit.

Wordsworth was right:

The world is too much with us; late and soon

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,

The winds that will be howling at all hours,

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

It moves us not. -Great God! I’d rather be

A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;

Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

[William Wordsworth circa 1802]

Have things really changed between then and now? Exponentially, perhaps. But, back then people, pundits and poets had the same concerns, the same problems and world view as we do today.

We just get to blog about it.

Lakeside Daisies growing on a limestone alvar

Showy Lady's Slippers