Connect With The Context

Is it the sunset you enjoy, or the shadows it casts? Have you stopped for a moment to figure it out?
   In reality, it is how you choose to see it.
   Perception changes, and you with it. It is not the reverse. To shift your perspective requires an influence, but despite what you hear, read or see, the viewpoint of the world surrounding you will come from within.
   Yes, we listen to others: educators, politicians, salesmen or solicitors, and whether we are told that the world is flat, which automobile is the safest, or how a policy will dramatically reduce carbon emissions over the next decade, it is the personal processing this information that will determine your ultimate answer.
   We, all too often, rely on the words of others when trying to understand anything around us.   Explanation involves thinking outside of yourself and considering the consequences, values and benefits. In trying to listen to the flood of information coming at you, it is assumed knowledge that will form your opinion.
   What if I told you that when watching a sunset, you are actually paying more attention to the clouds, than you are to the actual Sun? Would you stop for a moment and wonder what you’ve always taken in?
   The Sun never changes (well, not in immediate terms); it burns, full power, 24 hours a day. We see it more or less, depending on where we are located in relation to the time of the year. It is us that moves and not the sun
   The Sun, quite boring really, is always there. Always in the same place. It’s always round, always bright, and generates radiation that is constant, and powerful enough to light up this world and any other star, planet and galaxy in the universe.
   As it appears to dip below the horizon at the end of each day, the Sun setting is not your focus. All those colours and the glorious view you scramble to capture on your camera or mobile device is more the result of the Sun’s light reflecting and refracting through the atmosphere, precipitation or condensation, or the puffy polluted haze of our ever-expanding cities.
   The view is altered, mostly by your perception. It is still the same Sun it was hours earlier, it is still doing the same bloody thing, but somehow it is more beautiful.
   The Sun glows, alters the shade of buildings, the shadows of trees, and even makes common weeds, like dandelions, appear magical.
   Perspective. It is how we see things. More importantly how we see ourselves, and how we connect with the context.
   Our greatest strength should be admitting we don’t know everything and being open to learning what we need to know. Change comes knowledge, and challenging yourself comes with connecting to your soul, investigating your id and ego and, through the process, discovering your own mythos.
   Seek answers, or self-explanation for who you are, and why you do what you do. Discover solutions, or check your hypothesis for why something didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to, or why success is likely, in whatever area you chose.
   You can make things happen, but you need to unearth what is happening and why. Those are answers you won’t get from teachers, lawyers or policy wonks. You may not even find the answers within, but you will be stronger for looking.
   The inner voice is an inner choice.

©2017 j.g. lewis

Changes With The Change

It still looks good, shines brightly, and responds intuitively to my touch. It is, at times, slow, but that’s to be expected with age.

Unfortunately, technology moves much too fast in this digital age and I’m being forced to replace the sexy laptop that has served me so well for almost eight years.

A 17” Apple MacBook Pro, with everything you could squeeze into it at the time; the fastest processor and the most memory. I bought quality that would last, and it has.

Even though it has been primarily used for writing (its intended purpose) I’ve filled it up with years and years of photographs and treasured music. It has become the home base for my website, and I find it hard to comprehend how many hours I’ve faced this screen.

Not once has it been in for repair, and the computer still has power in its original battery (though remains plugged in most of the time). A battery shouldn’t be expected to last forever, and I’m learning a computer shouldn’t either.

I’ve tried to keep up with the frequency of updates, changes in operating systems, and have added a few things, chosen an additional browser, and have learned workarounds with programs that can no longer be updated. Hell, I’m still working with Aperture, the photo software that Apple decided to not only stop marketing, but stopped providing support.

It is a problem, and it’s not only with Apple. Obsolescence is standard on every computer, laptop, or tablet manufactured. Four to six years is the expected lifespan.

Yes, the mercurial pace of technology has forced so much change. Much of the change is not because end users are demanding it; most of the change is simply because the computer companies are throwing it out there to prove they are can be more innovative than the others.

Innovation comes with a price, and a cost.

Each time a new feature, or model, is introduced, it forces the consumer to (eventually) stop using something that is still productive. For instance, the latest generation of Macs now use USB-C ports. What this means is that everything you plug into the new computer will have to fit into the smaller orifice. It also means that everything you presently own that operates with a USB (and this means anything from a thumb drive to a camera connector or iPhone cord) will not work with the new port.

What they are doing is guaranteeing you will replace the unit after a certain amount of time: even if it is still working fine. You will also have to replace other components because of changes with the change.

There is no trade-in value to this old Mac. I will still continue to use it for photography, until I can find photo software that will allow the creativity and consistency that Aperture does (or did).

And I will adjust to the new model. I mean, who doesn’t want something new, right? Right? But this time around I won’t buy the biggest screen, and I probably won’t upgrade the memory or maybe not even opt for the fastest processor. Whatever I buy is certain to be faster that what I have now.

I probably bought more than I needed eight years ago, so this time around I guess I’m not looking to get the most out of the machine. Or I’m not going to buy into the perception that size and speed means quality.

I like to buy quality that lasts, but I’m going to have to settle for quality that lasts four to six years.


The Best For Us


For many of us, Mothers exist
only in memory.
We had our time, but never enough.
Unconditional love, never
realized or respected.
Even then, as we grew older,
even, then, as did they too,
we remained
a child in their eyes,
in their heart,
in their thoughts.
They wanted only the best for us,
and gave all they had.
So much to learn,
patience and understanding
taught by example.
Wisdom in hindsight.
The words, the voice, the comfort
comes in small doses
when you need it most.

Maybe a certain day with flowers
and cards to celebrate
is not enough. How could it be?
Isn’t it every day, not just
the once-in-a-while,
when the love shows through?
Let peace be, ceremoniously.
Cherish the moments,
so much to yearn.
They only wanted the best for us
and would sacrifice
their comfort for ours.
For many of us
only scattered memories,
with moments for some
still to come.
Either way
there is always time
to whisper
I love you Mom.

©2017 j.g. lewis