Monday, November 19, 2012

One-Seam Clutch: March 9th to 13th.

On my app I can see words people in my area are looking up. Someone on Esplanade East is trying to work out the difference between 'wondering' and 'wandering' (I wonder which one they are doing?). I am taking a wide detour around Nott Street when I go out because someone there has looked up both 'influenza' and 'hives' (eek). Somebody close to HMAS Lonsdale searched 'sociopath'—are they with one? Want to be one? There is someone looking up 'shrug' near the Cricketer's Arms. Maybe they are looking at the one I have for sale on ebay. It'll look great on you sir or ma'am from near the Cricketer's Arms (Antonia Shrug). And kudos to the person in South Melbourne who looked up 'antidisestablishmentarianism'—you took me back to my geeky teenage years in a single word. But, on a darker note, someone just under, or maybe above, the mad, seven level freeway interchange in Docklands has looked up 'retrospective'—should I be concerned? How on earth have we become so familiar with strangers? Apps, especially in combination with Location Services, freak me out a little. Okay, a lot.

Apps can do-anything-we-can-do-better? I bought one into which I am loading photos of all the clothes I own. You can then, as one person commented, choose what you want to wear from bed rather than having to rifle through your actual closet. Two things. One: Is it odd if I do that with my uniform too—'Mmmm, navy skirt or navy pants? With navy polo or navy shirt? Horrible cardi, or no horrible cardi? Let me just see how the outfits work together again. Sounds like a great excuse—another great excuse—to delay getting out of bed. Two: Why is that nightmare trap of a device, the i-Pad, reachable from my bed anyway? If it is, it probably meant I haven't had any sleep because I was a: playing WordWelder, b: playing Angry Birds, c: looking at Pinterest, d: commenting on blogs, or e: all of the above.

And because my brain nearly exploded looking for examples in the AppShop, I just googled 'odd apps' and found the following:

* an app that counts the calories in the photo of the food you just sent it. (I'd make the meal in the photo look smaller by placing fake big things near it to try and trick the app. I know I would.)

* an app that tells you if you are too close to the car in front of you while you are driving. (Is this something to do with phones in cars killing people—surely it is just safer to look at the car in front of you and make some sort of an informed decision. That reasoning and deductive capability is theoretically part of the reason they awarded you a license in the first place.)

* an app that records all the details of where you went and the texts and phone calls you made while on your drunken spree. (Don't know if it is admissable in a court of law, and it certainly won't negate any of the things you said, wrote or did, but at least you'll be aware of them. And hopefully be better equipped to start sorting out the aftermath.)

(Via James Kendrick)

Then googling about them made my brain explode too ....

I think my brain is on a hair trigger. I'll leave app-exploration up to you. Let me know what you find.

Poignantly, what with emotions and brain triggers and the like, Osho is talking about moods. Ten weeks spent learning a new work skill, with the chance that you don't in the end get to be deemed 'competent', 'yet', followed by a couple of weeks of having being deemed so and now trying to actually do it without the training wheels, means moods have been a prominent feature of my immediate past. And there I was wasting all that time when I could have been using 'method to enlightenment' instead of just getting pissed off. And I like this upcoming idea because, for me, it negates the need to actually have anyone else involved in your moods or emotions ('coz that just makes things messy). This method says: When a mood against someone or for someone arises, do not place it on the person in question, but remain centered. That is, moods are all about you. Only you. Emotion wells up, or appears suddenly, and you project it out onto what you believe is its cause. You're angry with someone, or love someone. Or something. The other person or thing becomes the centre, the focus of that emotion. Osho says, instead, follow the emotion back to its source—your center. It is (I think), in this scheme of finding your center, an easy-to-follow roadmap. I feel an affinity with this method. Maybe I use it without realising—although not nearly enough because its always easier to put emotion onto a third person than to see it in your self. Emotion is your reaction to something. Never actually caused by someone else. People can, and do, do awful, and wonderful, things to other people, but no matter what they do, the way we feel is ultimately up to us. Simplistic, sure. Idealistic, I agree. Not always going to be achievable, no argument. But if you can take a moment, when emotion starts to leave you, to look at it, explore it, follow it to its source, then you can see it starts in you not in someone else and so it is yours to control. This isn't exactly what Osho is talking about here. But this has certainly stopped me saying things in anger or hate or disappointment or sadness over the years, things that would have caused more trouble than the relief you think they'll bring. Saying hurtful things doesn't change the way other people treat you, but knowing why you are reacting to the way they treat you makes you stronger.

Ah, if only philosophy and the way we actually ran our lives were highways travelling in the same direction!

The to-be-felted clutch that you can see in macro above is made from a beige pure wool and a brown re-utilised wool blend from a beautiful men's jumper that I bought from the op-shop (thrift store) and deconstructed. I've not felted anything before so we'll see how we go. The emotive words you see in the other photos are some i-cord and wire knitted emotions I made for a totally unsuccessful, but fun, pop-up shop we had in our front yard just before Christmas. Perfect for this blog. And now a perfect segue for me to wish you all (now that it is over) a fabby Silly Season and a crafty 2013! I'll be continuing to finish items off and post about my interpretations of Osho, but I also have a new project for 2013—completely mad and way more time consuming than I thought. See it here: Fur Earwig

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Staghorn Cable Wrist Warmers: March 7th to 8th.

Apologies for the delay in getting back to you. I have been training in a new role at work (eek) and it has been taking away all my knitting and writing time. The sooner someone can start paying me to do these things instead, the better. Sugar Daddies can apply in remarks section—only serious, non-perverted offers accepted.

Fore warned: Turns out I am going to rave and rant in this post too/two posts in a row. This isn't planned for your discomfort, it just turned out that way.

Arm-twisted by the desire to spread the good news that I was blogging and needed an audience, I joined up on Facebook. My password betrays my reluctance—it is something along the lines of 'icantbelieveihavegotsodesperate113'. I fully expected to see pictures of my friends' children, cats, drunken exploits and holiday antics. But I didn't expect to be scrolling through the everyday only to be confronted with a skeletal picture of a dog. Graphic, disturbing. I can't remember the exact circumstances except to say that the poor thing had ended up in a rubbish skip or similar for a very long time, unable, possibly through to injury, to get out, and that when found it was still alive but in this horrible condition. I was shocked and very saddened. And this is where the raving begins. Because thousands of people, in a show of solidarity against, and abhorrence toward, the perpetrator of this horrible act had 'Liked' the post. 'Like' in the Facebook world loses its normal meaning, but I still have trouble accepting the liking of bad or distressful news. It emphasises, to me, a removed and superficial emotional attatchment to what happens in the world around us, to what happens to our fellow man and beast. But what irks me most of all, is that it gives the 'liker' the impression that in making a 'like' protest, they are doing something meaningful. I'll say 'to me' again because maybe I am getting it all wrong, but to me it seems that 'liking' atrocities becomes a substitute for taking meaningful action, as a society, against the wrong that befalls it. It has, to me, the equivalent value of carbon offsetting—it justifies changing nothing in your behaviour while at the same time alleviating your guilt!

Slavoj Zizek [the Slovenian Marxist philosopher and cultural critic; you know the one—he starred in a great series, put all together for a Melbourne Film Festival movie one year, which was a marxo-psychoanalytical take on the Hitchcock oeuvre, yeah, him, the one with the lisp] puts it succinctly:
The threat today is not passivity, but psuedo-activity, the urge to 'be active', to 'participate', to mask the nothingness of what goes on.*
I am being harsh. There are lots and lots of people who go out of their way to make their convictions real. And, as I sat and looked at this awful picture that I didn't want to see, I couldn't even begin to say what it was I needed to actually do to have a meaningful reaction, and consequent action, to what had happened. It reminded me of how helpless we feel against what happens to us. Or others. The sad thing is that, properly directed, that people power, those thousands of 'likes', could change things. We forget that governments work for us, not the other way around. We have allowed our ability to personally act to be taken away from us: we don't have to be responsible for anything. We throw money at things. There is always someone we will pay to do what needs to be done—fixing our cars, looking after our children, building our Ikea furniture, stopping world hunger, fixing the hole in the ozone layer. And we have gotten so small in our communities—possibly even so that each community in the modern first-world numbers exactly one inhabitant—that we have forgotten what we can do as a group. What we can do meaningfully, not just as a token thumbs-up on a social network.

But here I falter again. What should we do? What stops that poor dog ending up dumped in a skip? How do we stop a person from regarding life, any life, as so worthless that an action like that is justifiable to them? Maybe it gets down to not accepting it, any of it. If all you want to do is click a button, then do it on something that will make a difference—like Start your very own petition even—My Petition. If you can be bothered getting off the couch, go down to your local elected members office and talk to them about what it is you need changed and how to go about it. Volunteer. Sometimes I feel like the only thing I could positively do is get into politics itself and change things that way. But then I look at politicians and wonder if they started by thinking like that and ended up how we see them now. Maybe all you can do is introduce yourself to your neighbour. And then the one on the other side. Take an interest in what matters to them and help and support them in those things. Already that's a community of three. But will the only people who'll do that be people who want to make a difference? Are we already too late because in the bigger scheme of things so many people just don't care enough to care. How very sad.

Before you get mad at me and my negative world view, please remember two things: I am naturally cynical and loathing of what I perceive to be the horribleness of human nature; and; I work in an industry where I witness that horribleness more often than most people usually do.

What would Osho have to say about my negative overview of humanity. The way I read it, he thinks humanity is lower than a rock. Okay, what he actually said was that man (and I presume by man he also means woman) is stonier than a rock.'If you can love a rock, then you can love a man.' Mmm, I'll start with rocks. This project Osho would like us to feel, really, truly, all-absorbingly, feel an object. Any object. But one that you like is preferable. The rock is a hard start; he recommends a rose. Touch it, smell it, become it. Lose yourself to it to the point where all else around you is absent. Once you are absorbed in it, and once all else is gone, then leave your object. In leaving it when all else is gone you enter the nothingness, the void, even the abyss, of pure light and consciousness—Nirvana.

His little piece of advise is don't try to do it all in one sitting: feel the item repeatedly over time until you can really loose yourself in it and loose all around it. Then do that for a bit longer. A little longer again. And then, then let go. It won't work if you try to manage it between two and three tomorrow afternoon.

About the wrist warmers. I think they are sort of cute. And it is not just because of their proximity to Lollii. They are made from cream pure wool and what I plan to do with them when I finally get around to it in about a decade will probably look outdated but seems hot right now! It'll come back in style one day.

*Violence, Slavoj Zizek, Profile Books, 2008, page: 183.