Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Zen, Motorcycle Maintenance, Technology, & Me

After all these years, I've finally decided to read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Persig. It was written way back in 1974, so I know I've heard the title many times in my life. Every time I hear it, I am intrigued. I've never done very much delving into zen thinking, though, and actually riding motorcycles have never been my thing (they definitely have an aura of coolness, though!). This would be why I shrugged off the idea of reading this book for a good twenty years.

I finally bought the book over Christmas, deciding I would learn something about zen or motorcycles or both. Guess what? It's really a book about philosophy, told in novel style. I haven't read it all yet, but one part so far really struck a chord with me.

The part that struck me was not a particularly deep part of the story. Well, the discussion gets deep, but the draw is the difference of opinions about technology between the narrator and his friend. Technology should be my friend, it really should. . . but it is not. Co-worker, assistant, yes. Friend, no. I am trying to change that, yes, definitely trying. I learn to do things on the computer as needed. I am starting to just use tools, instead of always asking my dad to grind this or cut that. Baby steps, baby steps, but steps, nonetheless.

So, I am calling for a more hospitable truce between me and technology. I will give it a bit more respect (ie, maybe not use as many curse words?), and I will keep trying to learn its ways. That's where the sculpture in the picture comes into play. I wanted it to flow like a waterfall, and I wanted it to create a visual relationship between the spirits/faces and the recycled rusty things used to hold it. It is called Cascade of Spirits: An Industrial GlassFall.

As usual, however, technology is baffling me. I really am working on getting pictures of the whole thing! I just can't seem to make my camera "see" what I see, can't get the 360 degree view to pop out from the two-dimensional photos. . . Back to work for me, and hopefully, more pictures for you later :)

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