Squiggle line

Fill the Kettle Slowly

The idea for this journaling spread began with inspiration from Terry Tempest Williams who references the Indian teachings of Samkhya in her book Refuge (1991, p. 168), writing: 

“If you consciously hold within yourself three quarters of your power and use only one quarter to respond to any communication coming from others, you can stop the automatic, immediate and thoughtless movement outwards, which leaves you with a feeling of emptiness, of having been consumed by life. This stopping of the movement outwards is not self-defense, but rather an effort to have the response come from within, from the deepest part of one’s being.”

This stopping of the constant movement outwards also reminded me of Judith Duerk’s writing in The Circle of Stones (1989, p. 26) where she described:

A woman in her kitchen, pouring tea slowly into cups standing in a circle on a round tray . . . slowly . . . slowly . . . listening to the sound of the liquid as the cups filled . . . a slender stream of fragrant steaming tea . . . knowing that the quietness of the pouring and the warmth of the cups held between each pair of hands made a difference, was somehow important . . . knowing that this moment and this way of living out this moment was significant . . . that it made a difference in the meaning and experiences of life.”

Life moves fast in the digital age and even faster still as the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted much work online. A conflict in my schedule arose recently and I was contemplating how I might be able to join two Zoom meetings simultaneously. But then I remembered that I am only human– and literally to be in two places at once would set a dangerous precedent for remote employment, undermining the quality of professional presence and participation.

Although it’s over ten years old now, Douglas Rushkoff’s book Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age (2010) sustains as a thoughtful caution for us to celebrate and hold fast to our human-ness amidst the wilds of a rapidly advancing digital future. In particular, I am reminded of I. Time and II. Place. While I will no doubt get caught up in the unnatural-always-on-screen-based-digital-realm again, I am dedicated to my time-based body and mind and to the natural rhythms and cycles on which I depend for my sense of self.

Image from Rushkoff (2010). Copyright not claimed.

Fill the kettle slowly . . . “listen to the tranquilly flowing liquid . . . listen . . . listen” (Duerk, 1989, p. 26).

Citation: Redmond, T. (2021, February, 21). Fill the Kettle Slowly. Retrieved from http://theresaredmond.com/media-and-technology/fill-the-kettle-slowly/

Duerk, J. (1989). Circle of stones: Woman’s journey to herself. Innisfree Press Inc.
Rushkoff, D. (2010). Program or be programmed: Ten commands for a digital age. OR Books.
Williams, T. T. (1991). Refuge: An unnatural history of family and place. Vintage Books.

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