Sunday Best – September 2, 2018

I’ve been spending time with Robin Wall Kimmerer and Jaron Lanier this weekend – with their books, I mean, not the people (though really maybe that is a meaningless distinction).

Lanier writes with the soul of a poet about the glorious potential of technology, and how it differs from our current deployments. Kimmerer writes about the connections between nature and culture, between science and spirit.

There is more in common between these two authors than you might think. Kimmerer writes:

We poor myopic humans, with neither the raptor’s gift of long-distance acuity, nor the talents of a housefly for panoramic vision. With sophisticated technology, we strive to see what is beyond us… Has the power of our devices led us to distrust our unaided eyes? Or have we become dismissive of what takes no technology but only time and patience to perceive? Attentiveness alone can rival the most powerful magnifying lens.


Labor Day always carries with it a sense of the other kind of labor, the labor of birth. No matter how relaxing the holiday, around the edges there is a tinge of excitement – and sometimes anxiety – about the new season that is emerging. This buzzy feeling usually leads me straight to technology, wanting to organize and respond, to rearrange files and delete emails – and there is some benefit to this, for sure. But last night I took out a piece of paper, and a pen, and a different sort of clarity emerged.

Dear friends, whatever we are preparing for this weekend, let’s try to set our apps aside.

Let’s look at something – or someone – we love.

Look again. Closer.

Attend to what we see.

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