This is real life.

Yep. This is it.

Look around you – away from this blasted screen.

All that stuff? Real.

If you run your hand over it, you can feel the texture of its surface. Real.

Right now? This is it. This is your life.

This may all seem blatantly obvious to you, in which case you’ve probably stopped reading. For whatever reason, however, when I stop to consider that this is real life, it is almost always a revelation.

Have I always been so disconnected?

Certainly as far back as I can remember I’ve spent most of my time more in my thoughts than my body.

Lost in a book or a movie or a song or an idea. Full of hope, worry, regret or nostalgia. Seeing what I think is in front of me rather than what is.

And when I stop, when I stop like have right now, when I make an effort to cease the babble in my head and see this moment – this moment which is the essence of what this life actually is – when I do that, everything tends to appear a liitle absurd.

But again, perhaps that’s just me.

Whatever the case, this I know: in a moment I’ll stop writing and you’ll stop reading. I will get up from this park bench and go buy some fish. I haven’t the foggiest what you’ll do next.

And for both of us, this will still be real life.

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  1. Thanks for this great little piece of thought-wasabi-for-the-brain-taste-buds.

    I’m one of the worst offenders when it comes to getting caught up in what I am doing, and then turning around and realizing: “Hey, where did the time go?”… or “Wow, I totally took that far more seriously than I needed to…”

    I think it’s kind of awesome, too, that we’re so utterly vulnerable to the awesome mediating power of our imaginations – that we live so protected/shaped/warped/sheltered/whatever lives – wrapped up in those little bubbles of the stories we hear, and the stories we tell ourselves.

    It’s a cool feeling of connection when you have people to share those imagined stories with – think of the way that something like SF0 changes your perception of the world around you, and gives you a connection to others – or the way that you re-live a movie or TV show together through re-quoting it after the event, or singing the songs together.

    Is this shared, mediated experience of the world is somehow BETTER than the real world itself? Michelle, Jem and I went to see Max Bellamy talk about his Microcosms exhibition over the weekend, and I was particularly struck by two of his works:

    One was a diorama of a gallery, with three tiny digital picture frames, showing tiny images of hundreds of famous artworks, just cycling through.

    The other, was a ‘replica’ of times square – which Max had replicated from looking at it on Google Maps.

    In my reading of those two works together – it struck me as a cool connection – and kind of interesting in terms of the mediation/augmentation of experiences by technology.

    I’ve never seen famous artworks like the Mona Lisa, but I’ve heard they’re actually pretty underwhelming to see in person – they’re tiny, the paint is faded – but I can see high resolution, full screen reproductions with a quick Google search!

    In the same way, if I ever visit Times square, I’m unlikely to have as “accurate” an experience as I could through street view, and google maps.

    Well, what is an accurate experience anyway?

    I’m not saying I don’t agree – it’s important to stop and realize that the world exists around us – and I try so very hard to be aware of life happening all around me – because I know what a total dreamer I am usually.

    But I guess what I feel is that, even as I do this – try to see the world around me – I’m still looking for a story to tell, feeding my imagination, thinking in social and narrative terms…

    I don’t think I’ve ever completely escaped to feel the texture of REAL. But I’ll keep trying!

    Thanks heaps for this post – I saw it a while ago and thought it was really cool, and meant to say something – but, as they say: “real life got in the way”… ^____^


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