After not having blogged for a while, I had a great conversation with some friends from church this afternoon about the relationship between God, living out a relationship with Him and cool. Inspired me to blog more. This is not a deep blog post though. Or maybe it is. Dunno.
I thought I would let you all know I’m actually alive and still care about dissecting cool and understanding how it can be understood and grasped (or not if it comes to it) while journeying on the pilgrims progress. What I thought I would do is shamelessly self-promote another social media venture, which is my pinterest. Check it out if you’re into that kind of thing. It’s mostly used as a memory board for things that I like the look of but would otherwise forget about. What pinterest does inspire me to mention is; in the process of creating an online persona, or signifying your artistic/creative/fashionable/etc side; it has become perfectly acceptable to reconstitute or simply pass other’s work as your own. By this I mean finding other peoples pins (in pinterest as an example) and repinning to your boards and letting that be the extent of your creativity, without more than the briefest mention and/or recognition of the original work. It has gone further than bricolage. Creativity now for some people involves finding things you like the look of and broadcasting without changing it in any way.
Confucius said that “by three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is bitterest.” (Quote from BrainyQuote.com) Creativity involves the process of drawing from sources and inspiration, but should grow work, should build and reinterpret and subvert rather than just copy.
I feel like I need to expand on this more in a subsequent post, so I won’t go further with this except to say that the coolness of creativity, that can have such a big effect on us, must not be confined to the widespread dissemination of an ever decreasing number of creatives. If you do feel the compulsion to reblog, repost or repin, add your own mark to it, and let me know what you think.
(Thanks to Miriam, Jessie and Lucie for the conversation that sparked the post).
I’ve been enjoying being married lately and therefore haven’t really spent a lot of time thinking about how cool things are as I’ve mostly been focused on how cool marriage is, being committed to someone through a vow and an act that entitles that person to be entirely secure in the knowledge that the other person will be faithful (or at least thats how I see marriage to be as a concept).
I love that the concept of being married is a full-on all in commitment. It shows guts. It isn’t half-hearted. Being married is being committed to that person whatever (although I’m aware that there are certain things that could justify a breaking of the commitment) and that sense of throwing yourself entirely into it is one of those layers that you see in artists and musicians, that they live their 100% commitment. The thing is, which is tragic, is that for an artist for example, you can look at them and see the creativity that they are committed to; and see how that influences their fashion, their living space, their choices about how to live vicariously etc. We look at that and see a malnourished artist with charity shop clothes and see cool because, well, that’s what we’re told to think. We don’t look at a married couple and immediately see or even look to see how the decisions they make reflect the wholehearted love they feel for each other.
Some great friends of my wife and I are a young married couple, and they came over from the States to the UK so that he could study, and she has worked as a nurse so hard to pay for the fees for his PhD, and that commitment to him is really humbling and very very cool. But we don’t see it this way. Well, I think that it is. And it’s hard. I think that being wholehearted about anything, whether creative, in loving someone, whatever, is so difficult to maintain while loving Jesus wholeheartedly is why Paul says that it’s better to be unmarried. Because it straight up is easier to have one thing in your life that you are entirely 100% committed to.
But for me, the commitment I have to my wife reminds me of the commitment that Jesus has to us. For him it was no turning back. Go to a cross for her. Go to death and forsakenness of God for her. I would say that young married couples can equally be some of the most frustrating people in a church, and the least cool, but it’s not about the people and as much as younger people who look up to young married couples who have it all together and are envious of them for being encouraged to enjoy the fruits of physicality in marriage, while they are going to bed alone and wondering how great it would be to have the woman of your dreams next to you, and I used to be that person. It’s not about them and I wish that this didn’t happen because it’s unrealistic and it’s unhelpful.
But that’s about people. Marriage itself is cool. It’s not ironically detached nor narcistic and I think ultimately it’s cool because it’s a picture of living sacrifice that is based entirely on love.
Btw, thanks to Seymour for encouraging me to write more. Check him out at http://seymourjacklin.co.uk