Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Stuff we make

This morning I awoke to these clear as bell thoughts, well they were more of a series of short clips interspersed with some inner dialogues.

Over the years I, much like most people, have had a number of passions. You might know them as hobbies, interests but passions seems a more appropriate term to me.

There was a period of intense bike riding, building and every thing bike. I spent most of my resources on this and almost all of my friends we into them one way or another. If I cast my mind back to those days I was very happy doing just that. If I had more resources I would have just built better bikes... A lot of fun was had and also a lot of pain, I had to scrounge and trade a lot and when they were finished just right, they got stolen....

Then there was a period of motorbikes. It went pretty much along the same lines. I had a large social circle that pretty much did the same thing. We built them, fixed them, rode them, broke them and so on. A lot of fun was had indeed and once again a lot of my resources were devoted to this, including money. True to form I sold them in the end and got ripped off.

Following closely on the heels of the motorbikes were cars. Quite a few. I bought, improved, drove and even raced some. We, there was quite a number of us, indulged, honed, polished, painted. We added new pistons and polished air passages. Much money was spent on this and I have many happy memories of drinking beers and chatting into the nights.

Then came going out, restaurants, computers and somewhere in there were cameras. Many mornings and evenings were spent waiting for the perfect sunrise or a thunderstorm. The perfect flower or the perfect moment at a party to capture. Many lenses and bodies passed through my hands and much film was exposed, developed and printed. We talked about it and proudly displayed our pictures. Even today, I still look upon some of these and get a sense of pleasure. There's no doubt much beauty was captured then.

Then there was road bikes and so on....

This morning, I reflected on how many people wasted their lives in assisting me in these "persuits". How may lives were spent manufacturing film, how many hours did people pour over developing my photos? How many people produced the parts and tools for the cars that we built, now just pleasant or indeed unpleasant memories? Why do I spin so much in the mud and go nowhere? What was and is the point of it all? I mean in 10, 20 or whatever years from now, how will I see what I do now? What will it mean? What does it all mean? Somehow, right now, I get this profound sense of pointlessness. What would humanity look like without all this self business? Without people turning up for work to churn out stuff just for my esteemed pleasures. Are we just slaves of each other?

Have I churned out stuff for other people's esteemed pleasures? Highly likely. The whole Internet / networking and even dare I say it electronics era was for this? That is why I got out of there. In the end I felt that we could just switch all of that off and nothing would happen. Food would still grow, tomatoes would be ... Tomatoes. Peaches would still pop up somwhere on a peach tree. People would still have food, babies would be had. Meals would be cooked, homes would be built and many years later knocked down all without the labors of the entire IT workforce!

Similarly we could dispense with the whole canning industry, aviation, car manufacturing... How many industries could we switch off and have no net effect on life? Highly likely, our standard of life would go up! We would actually know our neighbors, we would actually need to help them and in turn they would need to help us at times. We would definetly have more time.... Now having 8 or so hours formerly given up to the offices and factories. Of course I am not blinded to the facts either, lots of things would drastically change, houses would be much simpler as they would be built by the communities them selves. Cash registers would just be calculators but I digress.

So to bring it all back, what should I no longer do? What should shape my life? How should I guide my self? Where to place my energy and what do I no longer support? There appear to an endless number of paths open before me with many, I am sure, leading to dubious ends.

The best I can come up with so far is simplicity. Simply enjoy. But what? I mean, I admit it, I did and indeed still do enjoy the bikes, cars, computers, books, pictures and so on for a time at least. So for these reasons "enjoy" seems problematic....and "simple", well, I was simply taking photos or simply riding much for simple as a guiding factor...

What comes up for you? I would dearly love to know your take on this. Please share your story below or if it is a longer piece email it to mhodza (at) I look forward to reading them.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


What is real?

I mean what is it? I'm not referring to the cup in your hand as such but rather... have you ever had a bad day, for argument's case a really bad day - like you got the sack or you stacked your new car, broke up with your partner of a long time.... How does the world look to you? Pretty good? I think not, but keep observing. Chances are you can't because the effect is so overpowering...just fog and dingy grayness. But in hindsight, was there any light at the end of the tunnel? Was there even a tunnel at all? Mates come over and talk of the usual goals and aspirations and none of those have any appeal at all. Strange. What happened? Just the day before they were your aspirations, goals or dreams. In any event they are just not doable. Maybe you contemplated ending it....

Now let's flip the coin.

You got that BIG promotion or your business got that huge client or you just met the partner of your life. How does it all feel? How does the puzzle pieces coming together feel? It's all doable and to top it all, with ease. You have a perspective of a high flying bird and now you can see clearly and easily what needs to happen to tick over your beautiful life. You throw a big dinner for friends and why not, there is much to celebrate.

Which one is true? It easily flips from one side to the other and I am wondering that none of these are true at all. They are at the extremes of the scale. So what do you believe? Where is the center, where is the real in..... life?

The above scenarios seem easy enough but the two sides, the two extremes can play out to you in just one day... lets say that your business has a fantastic day trading and you are on your way home after what was a big day...and you come home and there it is a speeding fine and perhaps an angry partner... High followed by a low... and perhaps later you find out that it was practical joke by you best buddy and there is a surprise birthday party for you at your place....

I just thought I'd post this question into the big wide world and see what happens.