Mediating My Media: Am I Old, or Am I Sam Elliott?

If I picture that I’m Sam Elliott, somehow Pinterest becomes less annoying.

The other day I wrote an article on an herbalism website with a cute picture of my dog. I proceeded to pin the picture, and then tweeted the pin.

I realized that if I was more skilled, I’d probably have facebooked the tweet of the pin of the picture. Or maybe that’s the dumb thing to do. I’m not sure.

And that’s what makes me feel old.

I have nothing against technology itself. Not a darn thing. I don’t have a problem with the act of facebooking a tweet of a pin of a picture, but…what if someday there are more?

What then? Can I keep up for forever when I’m barely hanging on a thread now?

How Do The Kids Do It?

The kids do these things so seamlessly; it’s as if their very blood and brains are pumping with html code and built-in photo filters.

(Once, I had a dream that the world started to look like Instagram to save everyone trouble. It was horrifying.)

Last night I had a revelation. The fast-growing importance of the Internet is scary, but not like horror movie scary or even Lifetime movie scary.

It’s more like the wild frontier. The buzzy glowing pulsating world of the Internet is unfolding before us in previously unknown glory, and it is up to us to make the most of it.

Sure, there are some strapping young cowboys and pretty maidens that have an easy time fighting off plagues and jumping from rock to rock over the swift chilly rivers of change, but that’s okay. Good for them. There’s also Sam Elliott.

And he’s not young. But he is awesome.

How Can The Old Folks Do It?

There are plenty of writers that have embraced technology and seem to be dancing over the rocks on that river. Jeff Noon, for one. His blog Metamorphiction is pretty amazing. It is as if he is living in the realm of the Internet and manipulating all of its features like play dough.

Probably because he isn’t afraid of it. Isn’t afraid of learning, isn’t afraid of letting it all in and not resisting the shifts that are happening.

The Truth

It’s time that I fess up that many of the grievances I have towards technology are really my insecurity. Well, some of them at least. I’m afraid that things are progressing so fast that I am having a hard time maintaining speed, and if I fall too far behind at any given moment, maybe I’ll end up in a stampede of gigabytes or an avalanche of megapixels and never find my way to the gentle warmth of the sun again.

Worse, I fear my writing will never find its way to an audience because I won’t know where to put it. I’ll be sticking the newfangled CD into the familiar old VHS slot, when really neither are working because it’s the wrong television set entirely.

So there. I got that off my chest, and also shared my secret.

When in doubt, just be Sam.

Your Turn!

Now, how about you? Is it easy to tweet your pins of Facebook updates, or whatever it is you do?

How many sites do you think we will have to maintain in the next year, four years, five years?

Or are things just fabulous either which way and none of this matters and good writing will find an audience even if the writer is just pretending to understand how to use social media?

Nothing Is Ever Lost: Multiple Manifestations Of The Subconscious

Ray Bradbury- Quote from Zen in the Art of Writing

I have been reading Zen in the Art of Writing ever since reading Vicki Winslow’s awesome post about it.¬† The book is a collection of essays, all by Ray on writing, and I have been working my way slowly through these precious pages. There is one essay called “Run Fast, Stand Still” which has been sitting like dew in my brain cells; and that essay is the inspirational backbone of this post.

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What if the Occupy Movement Works? Being Prepared for Huge Transitions, Naturally

The occupy movement is huge; and I cannot help but feel slightly torn between jumping in and bringing all my herbal medicines to the protestors and staying here, keeping my writing job and helping chop up the wood for winter during this critical time before the snow falls.

However, some thoughts have been arising on how to help people prepare for situations like this in which they are in need of things that may not be supplied to them. People want jobs, health care and financial help. People need things and sometimes, we cannot get them. A great thanks to the protestors who are out there every day for speaking these things out and making potential changes happen.

The truth is that we needed help before the movement, and if it works, we are certainly going to need help after it. But it is going to be up to us. So, what are you going to do?

For the last ten years, my mindset has basically been that at any point, everything could fall apart. The system is as strong as a psychotic delusion but as fragile as the person who is suffering with that delusion and still only  made of flesh and bone. It is bound to fall apart; reality is bound to take over. And in that chaos, that confusion, that transition; people are going to need help.

In my mind, I decided that having my own solution to any problem would be the best way to go. I felt that if I could help people using nothing but the world around me, that I would be far better off than if I expected to get the healthcare I need from Western doctors or if I expected to someday have the money to see these doctors on my own. No matter how much I learned, there was no way to learn it all. I could not become a master of herbal medicine and also a master of building shelter and also a master of being a midwife and also the master of natural pet care and also a master of treating water…you get the idea. We each have our passions.

So I learned that plants are awesome and making herbal medicine can help a lot of people. That Yarrow can stop excessive bleeding. That dandelion can hep out a sick liver. That Red Clover can help stop tumors. That Burdock can help with a variety of skin problems. That Jewelweed can stop poison ivy. That sciatica often originates in the Piriformis crushing the Sciatic Nerve, and that it can be stopped early if you release that muscle.

The trouble with a lot of the alternative treatments I have learned about is that they have to be applied early. They require the healer and the client to be in a somewhat close relationship from the get go. They require you to act early, so that change can happen smoothly. Most of all, they require that the client do things each day that can help them, rather than waiting for a magic cure or an intensive surgery. This has been a great knowledge that has helped me to help others before they need to go to the hospital. Before they need the antibiotics.

If you are like me, and you cannot afford to go out there and stay with the protestors and use your presence and body and mind to create the change you want to see because you have someone sick at home who needs attention, or a job that you cannot afford to lose because you are expendable and you know it, then one thing you CAN do is learn how to help people during and after this situation. Learn how to heal people, in whatever way you feel most drawn to.

If you can do this, then you are going to be one of the useful people when change does happen. You will be the person who can make a splint out of a tree and some strong grass, you will be the person who can give someone Osha tincture if they are going into anaphylactic shock. You will be the one who has knowledge that can be used in real life, on the spot, to help during transitional times when the system is not supporting the people in it.

Sadly, the system is already not supporting the people in it. If you can be prepared to help without reliance on sterilized hospitals and caring doctors, then you are useful not only in the event of a major transition, but right now. Right now, you probably have friends who are unemployed or struggling with meager pay. Right now, you probably know someone who needs medical care that they are not getting. Right now, you probably know someone with a budding health condition that could become serious if left alone. If you have a passion to help people, then find the way to do so with the materials that you can find around you.

Maybe you want to be the one who can start fires with sticks to cook on without matches or flame, maybe you want to know how to naturally treat water so that it can become drinkable, maybe you want to learn about edible plants in your area in case of emergency.Maybe you want to learn how to build shelter with nothing but things found in the woods. Whatever your passion is, if it can become useful in some way in the event that things are falling apart or going through major transition, then my belief is that you should go for it and indulge in the luxury of being able to look things up online and in libraries until you learn the skills that you need to help out in the event that these things are no longer at your disposal.