I spent the evening in a room full of creatives at the Kit and Ace: Wall Launch Event. Featuring work from artist Sara Pearson, we gathered to celebrate the local Toronto art scene. Looking at the oil painting hung eloquently on the wall, I look deeply into what she could be saying. The delicate curves of the paint forming an intricate line. As any art purveyor (or an art bullshitter i.e. me), it is known that the interpretation of art is held in a subjective manner to the viewer.
The artist (Sara Pearson) begins to describe her work with chronicling the age of imagination. “As children we were always held in a sense of wonderment.” Describes Pearson “Children are easily impressed by the world, and I believe that is because they exist where magic is normal. Conversely, as we become adults, life’s distractions distance us from this relationship. We take from the planet; we manipulate and mold it to suit our needs. We forget to pay attention.”
Looking down at my BlackBerry, my notification light begins to flash, and dozens of emails begin pouring into my Hub. I begin to wonder: Have I lost my sense of wonderment from being so consumed within my work and personal life? When will I stop living with these continuous distractions and grow up!
Standing with a Heineken in hand, I think about Sara’ speech. As millennials, we spend a vast majority of our day deeply involved within our social media channels; Thousands of images pass by our screens, and we absentmindedly scroll through them. I will go out on a limb and speak for most millennials when I say that we have lost our ability to observe for ninety persccent of the information we hear on a daily base is received from technology. These are not the days of Woodsworth or Hemmingway, and we do not find moments in our busy schedules to achieve solace through silence. If we want to hear about a current city event, we open Twitter. If we want to hear about if it is a rain/snow storm in our city, we open Facebook. We no longer have the ability to view the world on our own without any technological backing, we are firmly reliant.
My mind is burning, but my hands are cold. Looking at my own mind, I am fortunate to not have lost my childlike instinct; My mind is in continuous motion, and my thoughts range from topic to topic and through imagination I begin to dream. While my mind can be heated and burn through sight, I find that I have extreme difficulty in acting on my childlike observances. As a child if we see a bug we will touch it, and If we see a sign that says “Do Not Touch” we most definitely will touch it. As adults, the mind has been conditioned to act on a basis of social cues taught through years and years of influence.
We aim to look out on life through a window of wonderment; we aspire to sit with our elbows on the sill and silently watch. Silently observing the world that moves in a continuous motion. When burdened by the opinions of others, we are adorned with a crown of thorns digging into the scalp preventing us from acknowledging anything other than the pain. It is much easier to live life through the system of the ‘alternative’, for the alternative refers to a social scheme that operates in contrast with the true world. The alternative can be experienced when you find yourself aimless scrolling through social media feeds, do we really care about what bob or jill are up to on a Friday night? Probably not, but we seem to use social media as more of a time filler than a genuine interest in humankind. It is much easier to live vicariously through the lives of others than to actively participate, and step back from and see the world on the edge of sight.
As Kit and Ace literates, “time is precious”. Our entire life is based on the hands of a clock ticking away at each breath. Is there a way to make more of this? To turn our time into something substantial, something tangible! Yes. Make the most out of time and live life through the conscious mind. Look up from your screens, unplug your earbuds and listen to the world around you. We need to go back to the days of continuous wonderment, because without wonder, what do we really have?
Have I let my distractions guide my life? Most definitely. Ask yourself the same question: How do I remedy this situation? Well, the first step is to identify the distractions, and once identified, the true causes of stunted growth can be seen. Once conquered, you will find that the distractions of the past will act as stepping stones onto the new plane of your future.