There has been a heat wave here in Los Angeles in the past few days. My mom in Moscow tells me there is one there, too. Climate change is a reality. I can't believe there are still many influential politicians who are denying this particular factoid - well, specifically, that it may have to do something with humans. We certainly hate to take responsibility.
But this morning I did wake up early, although I stayed up late working on music, and made it to the beach. I ran, I played in the waves a bit, I tried to meditate. There were lots of dolphins going by, past the surfers who kept trying to catch the sporadic waves.
I found myself wishing I had taken my phone to take a couple of photos and it got me thinking about the nature of reality as we are living it now. It's almost as if when we don't share it, it hasn't happened. If you experience a beautiful, spectacular moment, one of the first thoughts is: Oh, wait, I must film this. Certainly, I live in and out of the social media because of what I do for a living. I don't dislike the process, unlike some of my counterparts, which is understandable. In fact, a part of me rather enjoys it at times.
However it brings me to thinking about reality and how fragmented it has become for so many of us. Perhaps I am completely in the wrong here and there's a Luddite hidden in me, but how much of our attention in the moment goes to our device, in order to share that moment and get lots of likes, rather than to the moment itself?
I watched the dolphins go by, and one of them jumped a couple of times into the air, for no apparent reason, other than enjoying that moment, in the surf, with the sun rising, fish swimming and the surfers bobbing up and down on their boards, looking like seals. If dolphins had opposable thumbs, would they have invented mobile phones?
I was glad in that moment I didn't have my phone with me and made a resolution to never bring it to these morning outings. I spend enough time in front of screens, as it is.
And then I wondered about the nature of reality again, and what we make it, and how what we share is often not the truth, but something we wish it was.
I have been to so many parties and events where the whole point was not even the event itself, but the fact that it happened, period. People took photos of themselves, making it look like they were having the time of their lives, when it was not necessarily the case. Or, a half empty room can look pretty full and exciting, when someone takes a photo, which is strategically aimed, placed or edited.
We take carefully aimed and lit photos of ourselves, too, whenever we can. Or photos of the incredible food we are having, places we are, or people we are with. It's all in the editing. But it begs the question: do we share so much because there's just simply so much to share? Life overflows with bounty and excitement? Or is it because if we don't share it's almost as if it didn't happen, and we need to convince ourselves how grand and meaningful our lives really are?
You tell me.
It brings me to something someone very wise told me the other day: "When you create, do it to share, not to prove something". It took me a second to truly get where she was going with this because on the surface it's not that complicated, and begs to be discarded as a cliche. And yet, it's so profound, and it's related directly to what I was writing about above.
Speaking of sharing - I am working on a cover of a Def Leppard song. It's quite, quite different from the original. I am having a lot of fun with it, but there is much more urgent and important work to do, so it's a bit of musical procrastination. And yet, I need to allow myself to do this because sometimes I just need to play around in the musical sandbox without any particular aim or purpose, other than having fun with it. I tend to forget to do that and it's a necessity.