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Add the spinach and allow it to wilt.

Sunday 19 October 2008

Doesn’t that just say it all? ‘Allow it to wilt.’ You know how a phrase will leap out at you.

It’s what cooking is all about. You don’t make a dish, a casserole or a cake. You assemble the ingredients, introduce them to each other in the right environment, and let them get on with it. (A glass of wine sometimes helps.) If they click with each other you have success; even if they do, you can murder the party by cooping them up together too long.

In other words, you don’t make, you allow. Just like hoping children who are strangers to each other will get along; usually all that’s needed is to put them in the same room, or garden, and stay out of it.

Dancing may not strike you as very similar to cookery but when you look at it again you may see the likeness. The person I know who really Cannot Dance, but loves to, does it this way: he makes his body dance. He puts his hands and feet where they go, and then puts them where they go next, and the between part of his body follows them.

(You want to see him dance now I’ve described it, don’t you?)

Others dance like a marionette: the music holds the control bar and shakes it to the tempo, the strings carry the beat into the body, and the movement of the limbs follows. The music is the pulse, as it were the current of electricity, and the dancer simply allows it.

It’s tempting to broaden the metaphor even further. Take one society, preferably mixed. Pour in the internet, a little at a time. Stir once and leave to settle. Put it in the fridge as long as you like – it won’t cool. Allow to take shape.

We can get hung up on copyright, we can make regulations, and put long limbs (of the law) in positions to net any infringers. We can make structures to frame, and thus restrict, our online life by keeping track of it – that means giving it tracks along which to approach us –  in feed readers, bookmarks, and habits.

Or we can observe that this is a new beast with its own biochemistry. It’s bigger than both of us, kid, just as the yeast in a scone is beyond our making.

Sit back and allow.

The meteorology shaping the internet community is as subtle as the science that paints the sky in many more than 256 colours as the sun goes down. The metaphors on this page are multiplying out of control… and there’s the richness of it. Eschew stylistic guidelines! Squeeze your one drop of an idea into the compound and sit back. Allow. That way, you’ll see a dance worth watching.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Tuesday 21 October 2008 5.18 pm

    You have a totally amazing mind! This is an excellent post :)

    ….sheepish grin…. thank you for your feedback on my poem. I’ve written poetry before, never in that style, but this was the first time I’ve put my work out there for anyone to read. I even started a web page on writers.com by the same name, Stoney House, and posted my poem there too. The goal I’ve set for myself is to expand my writing – I have had no formal education in that regard, so this is truly an adventure. And, I’ve a long way to go.

    Thanks again!

    Wow, well done! sharing your own work for the first time is terrifying. Remember, you know enough to know how much you don’t know… which is the only requirement for improving. They say success takes talent, persistence and luck. You’ve got the first and the other two depend only on you making them.

    My only suggestion (for now) is to join a group if you can, one where people give useful feedback (kindly), not just ‘That’s nice, dear.’ It’s past my bedtime(!) but i’ll have a look at writers.com soon.

    Thanx for the compliment too. Now i’ll re-read what i wrote to see what’s good about it. ;0)

    – mand

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