The Sunday Nature Call, uke 35
The lure of technology to humans must be like the lure of a wriggling worm on a hook to a brook trout (BTW – not a trout). How can one resist? The truth is we don’t and neither do brookies, and we both pay dearly for our impulsivity. The other morning this week I spied an unfamiliar bird out the kitchen window: game on! Armed with the big camera I was quite excited. But as I fiddled with the camera, trying to find the feathered object in the viewfinder and compose a proper shoot, it flew away.
“Damn!” I cursed. Stupid camera, why can’t it be easier to use, have a better lens… You already know the answer, the fault wasn’t in the camera, it was in the operator. I accept the responsibility and am humbled. Had I just focused intently on the bird and took note of the plumage, the movement, and the voice, I bet I would have added another bird to the ledger. But I didn’t and I am to blame.
Isn’t that how technology lets us down; we get convinced it is really going to help, but then the technology ends up being an interference to the actual lived experience. And that’s what we really want, the authentic, in-the-moment engagement. The lure of technology (read computer and microprocessor-based gear) is that it will help you better capture, augment, and intensify the reality one is trying to experience. It can, and there are times when it does. But I’ve been finding myself too often on the sour side of technology.
Have you read, “Undaunted Courage”? What about, “Beyond the 100th Meridan”? “Walden”? Oh, here’s an obsure one, “Tall Trees, and Far Horizons”? All great adventure stories that relate evocative experiences, captivate, and inspire. For those adventurers not a cell phone was to be found. GoPro, absent. GIFs, JPEGs, Likes…non-existent. No Tweets. And yet, the stories are present because they were recorded. Paper and impresser, contemplation and remembrance, the ancient tools of humanity.
Of course, I will keep my SmartPhone and i-pad. I had a little fun making a GIF of #1 son chopping a log at a kids’ festival Saturday (Norway: kids=free-for-all). If I can remember that technology is an augmentation of the lived experience for human primates, then I’m sure I can live more authentically. If I think my gadgets will save me, then I am doomed to buffering, corrupted files, and not being able to enter the bloody four-digit code and then open the application quick enough to capture what I could have done if I had just stood there and gazed in full sensory enjoyment of the very thing I was foolishly trying to record!
I’ve missed birds. I have fumbled with a device and then lost the moment. Trying to capture some awesome experience here or there, I have ended up frustrated with my kids because they weren’t performing in ways compatible for me to capture the moment for digital perpetuity. You too?
Week 35 Tally:
Stillits (Carduelis carduelis)
Grønnsisik (Carduelis spinus)
There is a change in the air, it’s happened so suddenly. Cooler breezes, an autumnal feeling rain, birds flocking, these harbingers must be acknowledged and accepted. If you practice Friluftsliv, then there is no consternation. Just make the most of today. And if tomorrow is rainy, well, then you’ll need to dress accordingly. My active wool is ready – I just wished I had packed my second pair of running shoes – so I would always have a dry pair to put on.
No hawks, no sweat. Maybe this upcoming week, or maybe never: Semper Gumbi!
Looking ahead, looking up, and keeping my pencil sharp. -jlh