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Archive for January, 2008

Marking Time

My sister gave me a copy of Harrell Fletcher and Miranda July’s Learning to Love you More (the book) for Christmas.  It’s a collection from the website of the same name (which you’ve already learned if you clicked the link) of “assignments” posted by July and Fletcher for the internet community.  They are simple, yet yield profound results, i.e. “take a picture of your parents kissing,” or “write a phone conversation that you wish you could have.”

I like the idea of these assignments because they use the technology of the internet to bring people together in a human, fully-felt way.  There’s a lot of talk about that right now.  I just read an article in the NY Times Magazine about the joys of writing software like Scrivener that allows one to break the chains of Microsoft Word and use technology as if it were more like your old friend paper.  We love technology, but we also need tactile connection.  (This is why I have faith that theater will always persist in some form despite constant chatter that it is on the skids, but I digress.)

Mostly, I like these assignments because I have been giving myself similar ones, and it’s nice to know that other people are just as interested in creating goofy structures to look at the tiny, taken-for-granted things that make up our lives.  This past year, I filled a blank book with little maps of may daily paths, 2nd-grade style “spider diagrams” of where I went each day.  Ok, I missed a few days during the year, but I stuck with it until 12/31, and it’s a fascinating little chronicle of trips to the drug store, commutes to work, and the occasional bright spot of a trip outside the city and the routine.  This year, I’m writing postcards for each day.  Obsessive/Compulsive?  Maybe.  Comforting?  Totally.  Interesting?  You decide – try it for a month and see what you think.

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