Friday in Santa Fe

02010-09-11 | Uncategorized | 7 comments

A seed becomes a tree. A small thought becomes a big thought, a few paragraphs turn into a novel. Quarters become dollars. A bubble grows in time. I feel that Twitter cuts off that process, for me. By giving in to the temptation to tweet brief thoughts, I jeopardize the possibility that the small thought can ferment into a better thought. The small thought remains a small thought. Words don’t grow beyond one sentence. The bubble bursts too soon. 140 characters can stunt my thought-growth. Fast food for thoughts. More self-reflection, more monkey-chatter (((a Buddhist term for the constant self-reflection of the brain))). Your milage may vary, but in my case, I am glad I stopped tweeting and don’t miss it. When I notice something on a walk through town, I no longer feel the need to pull out my phone and communicate it. In fact I might turn my phone off altogether and enjoy an hour of not being connected.

And when I walk here, in the Mountains, I don’t get reception anyway:

This week I spent several days cleaning my garage – got rid of 500 lbs of stuff… then I couldn’t stop there and cleaned out my closet. Then started on the studio…

I am trying to remove disposable items from my life. Pruning and paring down.

I like a well-made item. I don’t need ten items in various colors. Just give me the one, made with the right attention, the correct intention, with dedication and expertise. I don’t need ten or thirty or a hundred guitars. I don’t need lots of clothes. Just ones that were made by people who enjoy their work, instead of in a giant factory under horrific work conditions. I discovered that I like clothing that is somewhat atemporal, not made for today or imagined for tomorrow, or retro – just well-made and functional. To hell with Fashion and their seasons.

Here is a very good sentence from William Gibson’s new book “Zero History”:

She was big on patination. That was how quality wore in, she said, as opposed to out. Distressing, on the other hand, was the faking of patination, and was actually a way of concealing a lack of quality.

That sentence is brilliant and says so much. Patination is a fake story, a fake history. Distressed clothing delivers a false story… acid wash, stone wash and so on…

No, I live my own story, thank you very much. Serious denim, long-lasting denim, raw denim, Japanese denim, clothing that will outlast the less expensive, giant factory-made fashion.

I like small restaurants where the chef is also the owner, and preferbly is a person with no interest in creating a chain or franchising. We ate in such a restaurant a couple of days ago, the tiny “La Boca” on Marcy Street. Specials created from fresh local produce, like a grilled peach, wrapped in ham and cheese – well, the ham was probably from Spain, but the peach was local.

There is a theme here, somehow. Maybe it’s simply “real stuff”… handmade, preferbly local, from people with expertise, items that are lasting, things that can be cared for. Somehow my rejection of Twitter, Facebook and MySpace and all of the other social media, my enjoyment of real denim, and small restaurants, it all fits together somehow. It makes sense to me, but maybe just to me.


  1. Carol Anderson

    I really like what you’re saying. You’ve said so much. I’m glad you didn’t just Twitter it and not go on with more depth.
    I had an interesting example of living the wrong way this morning. Someone told me friends were going to hold up a ‘welcome back’ sign for my son Jeff on the Today Show, and I just had to get a photo of it, so I was all tied up in that, blurred the photo, and missed it completely. You help me to remember to enjoy what I have, and the friends I have and not ruin my life wanting something else.

  2. Guy

    I find the social media services mentioned too invading. I like my privacy: no cell phone, no Twitter & no Myspace. As for Facebook? I don’t condemn people who use the site but I see it a means to relive one’s past. I get a kick when I hear people mention how many ‘friends’ they have: aren’t they acquaintances? People that one knew from high school – or wherever – who simply decided to accept a ‘friendship’ request? I knew people in high School but life tends to drift people apart to never be heard from again: and that’s fine… from my point of view, the one’s that decide to maintain communication throughout the years are friends.

    Re: ‘buying real stuff’ – unfortunately the big box stores took care of those small business in my town…

    On another note: off to see Johnny Winter tonight!

  3. Ottmar

    Carol – I am glad your son is well.

    Guy – the nice thing about the internet is that it changes the definition of local. What I mean by that is, we can reject the big box stores even if we don’t have local alternatives, and shop at local stores elsewhere. Enjoy Johnny Winter. I remember meeting his brother in Tokyo:

  4. marijose

    The more popular social media is probably fun for lots of people, but it would drain me. I have a laptop at work; at home I’m happy to share one desktop with my family and not have a data plan on my cell phone. For me, having to constantly check or respond to things online would be like chasing after my kids when they were toddlers–fun initially, but very tiring after a while.

    “…the nice thing about the internet is that it changes the definition of local.” Yes indeed. I was just thinking that as I drooled over some lovely photos on etsy.

  5. Matt Callahan

    “To hell with Fashion and their seasons.”

    To some extent we’ve all been there. Buying clothes that seem to make sense for the time but have no place in the greater scheme. Instead of waiting for bellbottoms to come back into fashion, find the style that fits you and be comfortable in it day after day. Why does it matter what everyone else is wearing?

    Fashion. There’s an interesting concept. We buy new clothes that look worn out but we inject chemicals in our faces to remove wrinkles caused by age. Buying fake character in clothing and paying to remove our naturally occurring character. Perhaps fashion has become the opposite of style?

  6. dave

    Matt, how about red plaid bell bottoms? I had a pair in 6th grade in the mid-70’s.

  7. Carol Anderson

    Thank you, Ottmar. I’m so proud that Jeff got a bronze star, not for combat but for improving the hospitals and mental health facilities, as well doing all he could to foster good relationship with the fine people of Afghanistan.


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