Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Spinning Off Our Axis

Last weekend Chile was hit with an 8.8 earthquake. It had a devastating effect on the region and the people who live there. Their lives are forever irrevocably changed. My heart goes out to them.

But what you may not know is that it had an effect on our entire planet. The Earth's axis moved roughly 3 inches due to the plate tectonic movement, causing a mass shift in our planet. It sped up the rotation of our planet a tiny bit, and thus shortened our day by 1.26 millionths of a second.

Now I know what you might be thinking...that's an imperceptible amount to us. The human brain wouldn't even notice that right? So what's the difference? Six years ago we had another imperceptible shortening of our day by 6.8 millionths of a second, due to another earthquake mass shift changing our axis. These changes aren't anything we notice. But we have only been monitoring things of this type for a very brief period compared to the entire history of the planet. If we added up the total amount of every time the day got a bit shorter the change would be quite noticeable and a little bit shocking.

Scientists say the moon was 15 times bigger in our sky several billion years ago. It's moving away from us gradually, but the changes are so slow we don't notice.

Now if you've been reading my blog recently then you have read that I have been struggling to figure out my life lately. Something seemed different. As if something had changed in what I was doing or maybe not doing. I have been struggling to figure it out and fix it.

But I had a moment of clarity thanks to a comment my friend made and a trip to Best Buy. She wisely observed that we have so much technology bombardment that people are starting to get sick of it and won't want it. A week or so later I went to Best Buy and saw all these endless things that we don't need, some of which I couldn't even identify. I am sick of it. I realized I was sick of it when she pointed it out, and I agreed with her.

I also realized it's not just my life that has changed so much. It's our lives in general. Maybe the fall out of simple longevity makes you notice these things more accutely. But I do believe that we have changed our lives radically in the last decade or so thanks to technology. It's like that change in mass that is spinning us off our axis. It's imperceptible on a day to day basis, but when you look at the big picture it's shocking. I feel like I can't keep up lately. I don't want to.

That's the thing that is causing me discomfort. When the world and the way human beings as a whole live our lives change we don't have a choice. We either keep up the best we can or we move to a cave somewhere.

Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, from my perspective it did for a while, and now it isn't. It's complicating it in ways we could have never imagined. But the machine will crank on and spit out new things we don't need. The earth will spin off it's axis again whether we approve or not.

All I can do is choose how to adapt so I don't feel lost and unbalanced by it. But I find myself wondering just for a moment...how much do you think it would cost to heat a cave?


Cheryl @ Bingle Bears said...

Ahhhh, Kelly, you are not alone. My quest to understand this question, this unsettled feeling started at least 20 years ago and has lead me on quite a journey.

I can't even remember where I started. I learned and read about beliefs of the Indian Nations. Read many thought-provoking books including "In the Absence of the Sacred" by Jerry Mander and many books by Thomas More such as "The Care of the Soul" and "The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life." I read and learned about simplicity and the simplicity movement.

We encorporated changes that felt right and let go of changes that didn't work for us. It's always a trial and error, but we tend to err on the side of what may be called "less is more."

In the end, it became a spiritual journey for me because that is just how I approach life. I became a Quaker. Am I a pure Quaker? No. I follow the lead of what may be call my "inner guide" or my "gut" and it rarely fails me. I use it to make simple decisions and hard ones as well. I also try to teach my girls how to trust their own "gut."

We don't watch commercial television--watching bits of the Olympics during the past couple of weeks was a bit of an eye-opener. We do watch movies from Netflix and from our small DVD library, and we watch PBS all on our 17-inch television.

We homeschool the girls--not to keep them away from the culture but to allow them to firmly know who they are. We want them to learn how to be "in" this world, but not necessarily to be "of" this world.

We live in a smaller house than we could "afford." And have less stuff than we could "afford." I have had a cell phone for a couple of years so that if my health became precarious, I could contact someone. My husband just got a cell phone a month ago as it was required for a photo shoot he will be doing.

We try to keep what is useful, beautiful, and meaningful in our lives--this includes both stuff AND activities.

I know I have gone on and on, I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone and that it's all a process and it's all related to how you look at things. Even developing a chronic illness which keeps me further out of regular "life" helps me to live by the motto "Life is a gift that's why it's called the present." I'm just grateful for life and all the gifts I've been granted.

Heaps of Hugs,

julietk said...

Kelly you certainly have opened a can or worms. I often worry about the Materialism in our modern society, We all love our stuff, have our things. This new technology and the rate at which it now becomes out of date and you are expected to discard and get the latest thing is just getting shorter and shorter. Personally I don't get on the roller coaster but I see the children around me who are drawn into it and it worries me. The first compliment (well I took it as a compliment) my mother in law ever gave me was Juliet you never buy anything you don't need.

Joanne@ Desertmountainbear said...

I am also right there with you. Lately I have even been questioning the time spent on the computer.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Current copyright laws allow for all work to be automatically protected when it is created. All original artwork, photos, text, logo, descriptions, and derivative works from Blondheart are not to be copied, imitated or distributed in any way. All rights reserved solely by the artist, Kelly Dauterman.

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Map