I thought about the premature discharge of thoughts, about denying oneself an ample or sufficient gestation period of brain activity. It seemed to me that in most things a certain gestation or fermentation period usually improves matters. Balsamic vinegar aged in barrels for fifteen years, twenty year old bottles of French wine…
Many thoughts lead to other thoughts, but only if they are given time, time to bounce around in a brain, perhaps ricocheting against other thoughts, related or totally different. If I discharge that thought to early it might dissipate, evaporate, its energy vanished, its power removed.
A letter is different from an email. A letter takes more time to write or must be printed out. An envelope is addressed and then the letter is folded – one more chance to go over the content of to check whether the tone of the sentences expresses one’s feelings properly.
Later I wondered whether we first developed a culture that had to have everything at once, right away, (instant miso soup, instant film, instant oatmeal!) and where even the tallest buildings had to go up in record time, where we want everything delivered to us immediately and THEN we created web 2.0 and social media to mirror that culture? Or whether we first developed shortsightedness, which in turn created the culture I am describing? These thoughts gave me a fresh appreciation for the books of Neal Stephenson, who weaves long, time-consuming, labor-intensive stories. It was no surprise to find that he has a very simple homemade website, and that he doesn’t answer unsolicited email.
Maybe it is a matter of discovering what fits us best, whether we thrive on instant miso soup or whether we prefer to take the time to make it fresh. And maybe the instant soup will do fine in a pinch, although we might want to make it from scratch on another day.
A Neal Stephenson won’t want to take time to tweet, but somebody like author William Gibson seems to delight in trading small bits of information – he must average twenty tweets per day.