I just got an iphone and my friend MH agreed to help me navigate my way through the thousands of possibilities opened by this new technology. He told me that using my laptop would make this exploration easier.
First of all his ability to teach slowly for my luddite brain made me unafraid to ask the kinds of questions germane to my relationship to technology. His gentle guidance made me feel as if I could learn and manipulate it.
But, of course, the most powerful lesson came when he saw the desktop of my laptop. “How can you find anything? It’s like the library without a card catalogue or a Dewey Decimal system and all the books scattered on the floor. This is not about obsessively organizing, but organizing so you can find things.”
The desktop on my computer is what my mind looks like. It’s how I think. When it comes to handling a few things, this system works just fine. But when one is juggling infinity, it gets a bit cumbersome. It was a bit embarrassing for me to reveal to him (though he has seen my house so it shouldn’t have been quite the shock) the piles and litter in my brain. MH helped me to organize some of the larger features of my computer and left me with the task of figuring out what my needs were and organizing around that in order to be more efficient.
Though the pathways in my brain around organizing are not very deeply grooved, I sat and worked on the larger and nested framework and context around how I work. I have to admit, sometimes computer tasks seem overwhelming, but somehow this organizing felt like getting rid of the clutter I am always bumping into when I try to work; finding a direct path into the work I need to do rather than the circuitous paths I usually take. Art, of course, is usually down the circuitous paths, but this is not what I use the computer for.
This ordering, classifying, and arranging all started with the purchase of my new iphone. And the gentle urging of a long time friend.
Maybe there will be residual and meaningful impact on the clutter, piles, and obstacles in the rest of my life.