Monday, January 22, 2018

Port Style

Many of us suffer from time poverty. An overwhelming sense of too much to deal with. 

I believe in Monotasking. We can only possibly have one conscious thought at a time. We can 'do' lots of things in parallel. We can build processes that automate action. We can't think in parallel. Which is why most meditation isn't thinking 'nothing', it focuses in on something - e.g. breathing. Then practices coming back to that focus point when you stray. Stilling, rather than killing, thought.

I am wary of specialisation. One response to 'busyness' is to be brutal in your selective ignorance. 'Say No' more. Ignore more. Specialise. Go deep. I am too keen to go wide to make that choice. I want to go deep in going wide. To be a constant beginner.

It is like we are at a bustling Port City during the age where far-flung places that used to be connected by foot, were now connected by sea. Do you choose to focus on just one language and only speak to those who speak that language? Move away from the Port. Or do you listen to the rhythm of the noise. Open up to whatever new words arise. Open yourself up to learning. Develop comfort in the discomfort of the Port.

Languages like Afrikaans and isiXhosa show lots of influence of the various cultures that brought them into being. A Pidgin is a simplified language formed by a few groups that don't share a common tongue. A Pidgin is kitchen talk. Cooking. A Creole (like Afrikaans) is a more stable language that has developed from a variety of languages. Afrikaans only stabilised by moving out of the Kitchen. The formal Afrikaans I learnt at school is not the stuff that gets spoken in the homes of the diverse communities that make up the original kitchens. Eusebius McKaiser argues that it is time to 'decolonise Afrikaans' and get it back into the kitchen.

That 'Age of Discovery' must have been similar to the tech ports (social media) we are now facing. It must have been overwhelming. New smells. New sounds. New tastes. New animals. New buildings. New colours. New, new, new.

The challenge is how to sit on the docks, being open to the new, while not jumping around excessively. To always have time. Being open to learning Pidgins, while leaving the Port now and then to focus.

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