Transience and the Art of the Banal


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Social media.

The life of the masses branded as ephemera. No time to consider, debate, discuss. The bigger picture lost in a constant stream of other people’s minutiae; mind chatter writ large and validated by the click of a blue “thumbs up”. Incessant barrage of marketing materials “you may like”, stuff you don’t know you want yet, “must have” consumer goods to keep the market economy buoyant.

A twittering of disdain, righteous indignation, and blatant, self-indulgent commentary on the lives of others; the great and the good, the almost famous, and those who should probably know better. Their entire comprehension of a topic expressed in less characters than would normally be required to introduce themselves.

Most of us are guilty of it, I know I am!

Time and energy, more beneficially spent doing other things, wasted in reviewing images of someone’s breakfast, the most recent touch up of the lippie (never knew what the inside of a ladies toilet looked like till I joined Facebook….), the cats (Lord, please, enough with the cats…). Today must have been particularly bad… gouging my own eyes out with a spoon seemed a perfectly reasonable alternative to the inane drivel that was passing across my screen.

Yet, nestled within the general morass of mind vomit, lay absolute gems of sparkling wit, knowledge shared, words of support and empowerment. Positive movements of political and social change have risen, and succeeded; woven within that random tapestry of the transient, mundane, and outright banal.

Perhaps this is the unintended value to be gleaned? The primal need to connect, resolved and serviced at the click of a button.

Yet somehow, something is missing.

The genuine shared laughter; signified (in hope) with a “lol”. The wild woods call; unanswered. The tang of sea; a vague scent of stale sweat. The siren lure of birdsong; unheard…

Now, if I could just find that dancing cat video again, I could sign off and go and do something useful…

About Running Elk

My given native name, Running Elk, was bestowed in 2008 as I took my first steps as a fully fledged Medicine Man of the Zuni tradition. A most unlikely candidate for the role, my journey as a healer began some four years prior. The detour onto the shamanic way was most unexpected, yet has been one of the most rewarding challenges to date.
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9 Responses to Transience and the Art of the Banal

  1. ‘Tis true… I sometimes wonder just what I am doing. It is hard not to get sucked in. What on earth is a “lippie”– never mind, don’t tell me. Anyhow happy to read your post which is a sobering reminder to us all.

    • Running Elk says:

      It’s crazy, isn’t it? lol
      I wouldn’t mind, but the gentleman that “invited” me to join, all these years ago, has long since removed his account… and I’m stuck in the loop… :/
      “Lippie” is lipstick – for some reason, I assumed all these bathroom “selfies” were post-touch-up… πŸ˜‰

      • I was invited a few times to join FB and declined. Too much like high school which is not my idea of fun. I only use Twitter for activism and to advertise blog postings. But even WP eats up time like anything! Thanks for telling me what a lippie was. A selfie, I presume, is a photo of oneself. And where do you see ladies rooms?? *β™‘* Ellen

  2. Sheelagh says:

    I know exactly where you are coming from. And yet it is those small gems hidden amongst the mountain of drivel that make me smile … and stay!
    After all, were it not for a combination of someone posting on that God-forsaken platform and the 6 degrees of separation leaping into action, I wouldn’t have found YOU!
    And you are most definitely a gem! πŸ™‚

  3. Interesting article! Too many are comfortable in the banal and the dead dung.

    There so much drivel on our TV screens, these days, too! Just tonight, i discussed with Marla,
    how i miss the good — now old-fashioned — specials on dinosaurs and prehistoric animals (and such). These days, it crazy reality shows on people killing and re-killing animals, aliens who are allegedly actually using DNA to blend in with humans, families swapping wifes, and other totally mindless things. One show offered (tonight) was about “a woman and her butt”! Endless commercials on top of paying too much for the rural dish service in the first place. We are talking about jumping out of this quagmire. It’s gotten to be a joke. There may be a few gems here, but on TV it’s “bs gone wild”! πŸ˜‰

  4. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    I really like how you’ve written this – from the minituae to the mind vomit, & the twittering of disdain – and the time wasted looking at photos of someone’s breakfast!!! Loved that. I’m not on any social media but wordpress and linked in, but it is so so all consuming. I can see that.

    And then, yes, the gems hidden amongst. And yes, they are out there. Must say though, I do love the cat videos πŸ™‚

  5. Pingback: Find your passion | Shamanic Paths

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