Do you want to be left behind too?

Saturday 1464 – 7th July 2012.

Freedom” by Zenos Frudakis

Today has been all about gardening, rain, watching Wimbledon and thinking about being left behind..(some questions for you at the end 🙂 )

It started well with glorious sunshine and out I went to my garden to try to do some much-needed work in it. I’m lucky in that I have a very long garden that backs onto fields at the edge of a village but it requires work !! It’s been so wet these past weeks that it’s been hard to get anything done except harvest strawberries, raspberries and now blueberries.. yum!

By lunchtime clouds had gathered and then this..

torrential rain.. yes the white stripes are rain!

Naturally me being me I went indoors to grab my camera and out to the door of the garage to take the photo above and to the front door to take the photo below which shows the force of the water on the top of my car.

So sharing rain aside and an enjoyable afternoon watching tennis that’s not what I really want to write about today.

I want to write about separation or rather feeling separated out from the world. Sometimes I feel very much as though I don’t fit in with the world of today which I often find too fast, confusing and orientated towards selfishness and greed. Don’t get me wrong I can be as selfish and greedy as the next person but I don’t rate these as being good qualities.

Do you ever feel as though the world is moving too fast and that you’d prefer to be left behind and not move with it?   As though the emphasis is on ALL the wrong things ? 

For many, many years a mantra of mine has been that life should not be about collecting possessions but should be about the quality of the relationships we have with people.  ( I’d be surprised if I haven’t said that somewhere before on this blog! ) By that I mean all relationships not just those with family or friends but with the local shopkeeper, your work colleagues, neighbours, the man on the train, those fleeting smiles or words with strangers. I think all these interactions whether short or long inform who we are and the impact we have on the world and the people in it.

So if I believe that why am I thinking about separateness?  Unfortunately it seems to me that even though on a macro level we are more joined together than ever by technology like the internet, mobile phones etc we are also separated by it on a micro level. How many households do you know where the family don’t even eat together anymore ? instead eating at separate times in separate rooms in front of televisions, each in their own cocoon of technology escaping from the pressures of surviving in this fast-moving world.

A dichotomy for me as I enjoy my computer with the freedom to engage it gives me and yet I often shy away from technological advances ( my mobile phone came out of the ark and neither sings nor dances!) and don’t have TV – the opium of the masses; preferring a more simple life.

That Love is all there is,
Is all we know of Love;
It is enough, the freight should be
Proportioned to the groove

Emily Dickenson

I would like the world to slow down and take a breath and feel more love for humankind  and less for obtaining things ( well I am an aging hippie!) .

Is anyone else with me on this ?? I’d be glad to hear your thoughts.


The Sculpture photograph and cartoon are taken from this Facebook page Art and Freedom which I recommend to you

That’s all for today Saturday girl signing off .. see you next week and who knows what I’ll have for you then..

 I also have a daily photography blog called Helen’s Photomania which you can find here I hope you’ll pop over and take a look if you haven’t already.

19 comments on “Do you want to be left behind too?

  1. […] injustice has surfaced again and again during the course of this year.  I have written about the world moving too fast for me, a lot about War and Peace ( no not the book ! ) guns and Wikileaks; discovering anew the activist […]

  2. Adrian Lewis says:

    Hi Helen! Good pictures here, and I can identify with the train of your thoughts.

    First – you haven’t got TV (tho you may have mentioned this before), well good for you – the few eschewing TV that I know are all very lively, interesting people. I don’t watch much TV, the news on the text mainly >>> + lots of Last Of The Summer Wine which I love, and also anything about Anglo-Saxon or earlier history. And my mobile phone is out of the Ark too – my the salutation on my answerphone says “Go away!” and the whole thing is only really there for emergencies.

    I’m all for slowing down and taking a longer, more relaxed look at life, the universe and everything – and I’m very much looking forward to retiring, which can’t be more than 2.5 years away now – assuming I can stand the job that long and that I live that long.

    I think I aim at the simple life – and the only exeption to this is photography I suppose – which can be expensive and also technical at times.

    I’m not an aging hippie but the older I get the more I feel like one – if that makes sense!

    Hope you’re still doing well! A

  3. Interesting thoughts Helen, thank you for sharing. I often think people do move through life WAY too fast and unfortunately (for them), they don’t take the time to “smell the roses”. They don’t see the beauty in an old rusted piece of metal. They don’t see the beauty in a run off pond on the side of the road. I honestly think photography has made my world a better place as it’s made me stop to look, it’s made me notice beauty in what the commons would view as “ugly”. So yes, I do believe people move to quickly through this life and miss out on the beauty that surrounds us every day and it’s a crying shame. 🙂

  4. mary says:

    just back from a weekend in cork in the camper van so know where your coming from my internet down at the moment so sending this comment from work………….having a cup of tea and bar of chocolate : )

  5. ~mimo~ says:

    Very interesting contemplations Helen. I totally agree with you. I strive so hard to keep the traditions of family life, being with nature, remember the awe at the little things and slowing down as much as we can. A very thought provoking post that I feel comes from deep inside you. Real issues and concerns that demand real answers…

    • Helen Cherry says:

      Thank you Mimo… I cannot shake off the feeling that humankind is moving faster with technology that our bodies/minds/spirit can biologically cope with…. despite it all I have managed to keep my child like wonder as I hope shows in some of my photographs and which definitely shows in many of yours Mimo.

  6. scillagrace says:

    P.S. Love the sculpture and cartoon!!

  7. scillagrace says:

    I prefer to live a slower, simpler life than the “convenience”-driven American norm. I value depth in thought, in relationships, in connection with the earth.

  8. As a women who drives around in a forty year old campervan, boils water in a whistling kettle, sweeps the floors with a broom and draws with ink pens on paper I’m more than happy to take things slowly. On the other hand I love my smartphone, laptop and have fallen in love with my two day old purchase of a DSLR.(yes Helen, you’ve inspired me and I’ll be hanging on your every image.)
    There’s nothing wrong with new technology per se, what’s wrong is people believing their life will be improved with the latest gadget. Advertisers powers of persuading us to want that which we don’t need is incredible. And the idea that you throw away a perfectly sound piece of equipment because it’s been superceded by a newer model is, for me, appalling. Yes, I often feel out of sync with the world, but I take comfort in knowing that others feel like me too, and those are the people I choose to spend time with.
    And I love your photo’s of the rain 🙂

    • Helen Cherry says:

      Whey hey…delighted to hear that you have bought a DSLR… look forward to seeing some photos Ziggy… I too take some comfort from others out of sync but there don’t seem to be many around Cambs 😦

  9. Mark Goodwin says:

    Interesting topic Helen and some good points made by Rachel.
    I love my gadgets, I love technology. Is that because I am a man? I don’t know however, I have a strong feeling that this conversation about technology and spending time together etc is not new. I am willing to bet that the same type of conversations were happening way back in time.
    Imagine what people said when they saw the first Steam Combine harvester in the field. Or the first train or motor car, did people think that, that would be the end of the horse and the whole equine species would die out?

    I was a musician back in the late 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s. When I first went into a recording studio to record in about 1958, we didn’t even have stereo let only two track recording. Today my son is a music producer and he talks to me about multitrack recording, and I say how many tracks do you have to play with, and he says how many do you want? He doesn’t use tape anymore, they use a hard drive. When Frank Sinatra first became a teenage idol, they didn’t have tape, they recorded direct on to the black acetate. However, the point is, that the musicianship to day – of the individual – is greater than it was in my day and further back in Frank Sinatra’s day.
    I used to practice 5 and sometimes 8 hours a day and was classed in my time as one of the best on the scene. And I played with all the top leading musicians and performers of the day, working semi-pro by the age of 14 and pro at 18. Yet I have seen today young men of 12 and 14 playing things that I would have thought impossible and, much, much better than I could have dreamed of being able to play. They all play two bass drums today, or at least have two pedals on one bass drum. That was very rare in the 50’s and you could count the number of drummers doing it in the world on one hand. But technology has helped produce a special bass drum pedal that enables this. But you still have to use two feet and legs, just like in the old days.
    So technology has not hindered today’s musicians in any way. You still have to use your hands and fingers to play the Violin, no matter what can be done in the studio to make the Violinist sound better or even great, when they stand on the stage, they have to be able to play it, the microphone will be far greater than it used to be, but that is for the audience to hear better, it doesn’t improve the ability of the Violinist, they have to play just the same as the Violinist of 100 years ago.
    We can’t stand in the way of technology and we shouldn’t. BUT, it is up to us as parents and grandparents to continue to teach our children and grandchildren about the things that are right and proper in life. And I don’t necessarily mean the Holy Bible -but that as well if that is what you believe. But I do mean that they should be aware,
    – that no man is an island
    – that we should treat others as we expect to be treated
    – that family is the most important thing and
    that we should spend time together as much as is possible. We shouldn’t allow our children to stay holed up in their bedroom playing on their hi-tech computers. But that is up to us, we can’t blame the computer! We need to understand that material things aren’t important but financial stability is! Otherwise, if we don’t have the financial werewithall we will not be able to look after our loved ones, or help out someone who is desperate for sustenance but can’t afford it. I don’t mean that we should all aim to be billionaires, but to have enough to support ourselves, family and others sometimes where necessary.
    As one who was there in the day of the Hippy, I can honestly say wherever I was in the world, I always felt safer, that anyone could become a good friend very quickly. Many youngsters today scoff at the flower power people, but the whole idea of free love, wasn’t necessarily about free sex! It was about handing a stranger a flower and saying simply, hi we are fellows of the same planet, and here is a symbol of my love and peace be with you.
    We can still do that if we wish, only now we can do it via the internet as well if we chose!

    Sorry to have rambled on Helen…..didn’t set out to hijack your blog! x

    • Helen Cherry says:

      It was an excellent ramble Mark and I wanted people to respond with their thoughts.. I took a look at your flickr page and see that you platyed with Lonnie Donegan.. my mum’s favourite at the time!
      I completely agree about the free love 70’s ( although I seem to remember there was quite a lot of free sex too !! ) and I do indeed try to still do that.. I guess it’s not so much the technology I want to stop as the obsession with having the latest this and that when people cannot afford it and really don’t need it.. You are already aware but there are many millions out there who are not and use the TV, computers etc as nannies for their children
      I think one of the worse inventions was the credit card because so many people seem to have divorced the piece of plastic from real money… (that and de-regulating banking…but maybe I shouldn’t start on that one ! )
      I worked in a specialist dementia unit within a residential home for 10 years and saw many people dying. What was important to them was having people around them who loved them not how many possessions they had… Of course I recognise that my post asked more questions than it answered.

  10. Rachael says:

    It was interesting to find this post when I got home from a trip to London this morning as I had just been reading in a magazine about a new TV show by the Bad Robot team (who made “Lost”) based on the premise that an EMP has destroyed all power, and therefore technology, leaving mankind to forge a new identity for itself. There is so much potential in this idea. On a facile level, I would miss my Apple gadgets and (of course!) my digital cameras. (I do not hanker for the good old days of film!) But I would not miss cars, for example. Would we have more time or less time for each other, obliged to do without labour saving devices like washing machines, hoovers etc… The problem, I suspect, is not the technology but how we use it. Do we save time on washing up to spend it on the internet or to spend it with our family? Do twenty first century parents spend less time with their children or more? The cult of the child has seen many middle class aspirational parents devoting more time and attention to their children than the laissez-faire generation that preceded them. All interesting questions. Coud we do with thinking less about possessions and more about others? Definitely. Are we worse in this respect than our predecessors? I am not sure but I rather doubt it.

    • Helen Cherry says:

      All intersting questions which I don’t have the answers to, though as a child in the 50’s/60’s living in a working class back-to-back terraced house I remember a distinct sense of community… if you were naughty your neighbours ( even from some streets away) would come and tell your parents.. I can’t imaghine that happening now to the same extent..
      It’s my sense that 21st century familes spend less time with their children because both parents are now working…. certainly in working class families.
      If we didn’t have all the labour saving devices would we be so obsessive ( I’m not!) about cleaning so much and changing clothes every day etc etc.. I think we would do more together maybe because we would be forced to? and maybe talk to each other more and make our own entertainment?

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