I haven’t done much the past week with this blog, having taken time out to create a new blog from my book on “being a nomad.” The content is likely not what people would expect from a nomadic “travel journal.” Keywords can hit the mark exactly or be poor approximations; generalized to the point where, once again, language is a barrier to knowledge. “Nomad” conjures pictures of young persons with backpacks, hiking third world trails, or trains of people and camels enduring unendurable hardship, neither of which appeal to me.
But we live now in a world of keywords, which cause us to skim the top of the Internet, skipping like a stone across a pond until our search sinks in the dead end of superficial and generic nonsense. A tool that promises a new and magical human “connectivity” is instead a noxious resurrection and proliferation of old time hucksters, snake oil salesman, card sharks and fortune tellers: hustlers.
“Search” is a dull knife that cannot cut to the heart of being human.
Being a nomad has been a life-long consequence of being me. Why? Because curiosity makes one a natural traveler and the social insufficiency of the Asperger-type instigates a search for Where do I belong? In other words, I’m an observer and wanderer by temperament, seeking and searching whether I’m on the road or cooking dinner at home.
The period described in my book is one of the rare times when the physical and existential journeys coincided, and although I didn’t know about Asperger’s then, looking back I can see an Asperger “lifestyle” emerging; values realized, a way of being in the world that allowed me to discover a genuine self as the encrusted rust of social mythology fell away.
To understand another human being, or the environment, requires sensory information. I know that as a writer and photographer this is difficult to do: How does one write a “cloud” of movement, odor, texture and choice of personal presentation to the world that envelopes a person? We each are composed of a “self” that walks and talks and moves through space; an unconscious being that arises out of the mists of time, just like all other animals. But our clever brains wait, hoping to speak and to be heard, to be recognized for a moment, for someone to hear our story. Being heard is what matters to human beings, but that requires a listener. Communication of that sort is very intimate, and not found on Google, Bing or Firefox, which detour the searcher into a universe of lies and clichés, shopping carts, and desperately lonely faces who “like you.”