Friday, April 29, 2011

Here for the Time Being and Other Thoughts

Here For The Time Being
 Often I want to disappear, evaporate into the masses and be consumed in the cloak of anonymity within the chorus, but then, I also want to be remembered. There would be no other reason to even place these words upon the proverbial (or literal) paper, if that were not the case.

If only remembered as part of the chorus, it wouldn’t or couldn’t be “part” of the chorus at all, but instead the chorus is actually a whole, even if it is a collective of parts. It is as if one can remember a lone note within an entire musical movement on its own, singularly. That is not the norm and would not be likely but the case in anyone's memory of a chorus. It is the background. White noise.

Recently, I went to the opera. Not just any opera, the robot opera. Yes, an opera that included robots. There should be no judgment here. Be it novelty, or curiosity, I went. It was created by someone at MIT, someone that clearly enjoys opera and robots and I am willing to support those that have passions, even when they are a bit out of the ordinary. Fringe opera. Anyway (or bref as my French tutor often reminds me), I went. The robots were the chorus of this Greek-esque opera- a tragedy of sorts. The tragedy being men attempting to live forever within the machine without realizing or recognizing what is lost in the changeover. Not a new concept, but entertaining as it offered movable, lighted robots that looked a tad like Mac computer aliens- the stereotypical alien of triangular heads too large for their small bodies.

I am not an opera critic. Actually, I have only been to a few in my lifetime, but I would say this opera could have been better if it had kept the concept of the robot chorus, but moved away from the clich├ęd man vs machine. And, why is it always men (not women) who want to become part of the machine and live forever? Rarely is the female character depicted as the one that wants immorality in this manner. She can be reasoned into it or pulled into the scheme for the love of the man who wants to live forever, but I cannot say it is a common theme, woman as the seeker of the mechanical ever after. I would have to look more thoroughly into this if I was actually making a thesis out of this, which I am not. It is just my take. I am curious, but not curious enough to run more than a quick search and be done (in which I found nothing that exactly matches this idea). If you have examples of women vs machine in this manner, please share. Otherwise, enjoy the weekend!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Failure to Compute (A poem)

Pounding away at anonymous keys

The zeros and ones abound

Beautiful designs created behind the desolate whiteness

Each zipping effortlessly through cyberspace,

Sending unsympathetic letters and numbers to digitized sub-humans

The failure to compute yours or any syntax in this the wire jungle,

Is a failure of the operator and the receiver, but not the syntax itself

What is less than three? Infinity? Your love?

Love letters and letters of dear John arrive at rapid speeds, before

Cerebral sparks have finished firing,

Their last strokes connecting within the almighty operator god

Last chance to recall the ones and zeros become the past without further thought

Carelessly, like the train leaving the station

With you chasing after it, luggage strewn about

Emptying secret contents onto the platform floor.

Alone and exposed, lighted by the glow of the monitor

A single sub-human tear passes, zipping effortlessly down organic matter

Because it cannot feel the ones and zeros, only the sorrow they bring

(J. Smith 2011)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lessons of Love

Recently on a flight home, I was seated next to a couple. Their interactions spoke of what love is, or should be. They were older, each seeming to know the other quite well. They shared their meals, quietly exchanging sweetnesses. She thoughtfully stored his newspaper after he had finished patiently explaining the art of Sudoku to her; he readjusted her blanket making sure she was comfortable as the plane was chilly.

Each touch, word to the other, seemed so tender. There didn’t seem to be any indifference in their exchange, only kindness and consideration for the other. In a word, respect- something that many relationships lack. Respect is lost in the shuffle of everyday life along with the necessity of intimacy and small niceties that can make all the difference.

I found their exchange very refreshing. I am so often exposed to love gone wrong rather than love in good form. By sitting next to me, they gave me a gift, reminding me that love in its true form does exist. I do not know their past and the struggles they've encountered to arrive at this place, but still, they arrived. They seemed to exude a love that isn’t loud and flashy, but instead patient and simple. May we all have that kind of love and share it the best we can.