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september 17, 1999:
Apple's Emergence into Convergence and Burning Ambitions
Juxtaposed opposites have permeated my life, and recently two in particular have entered with particularly unusual force: chaos and order.
On Monday, September 6, my parents celebrated their 40-year wedding anniversary. A couple weeks ago, on Tuesday, August 31, my mother celebrated her 62nd birthday.
Three days before the former and after the latter, on Friday, September 3, I toasted both happy occasions (as well as a couple of my own) in private celebration, kneeling on the white silt alkaline playa of Black Rock Desert, Nevada, shivering in the 40-degree wind at the annual Burning Man Festival.
Ensconced in a sea of glowing, flashing, blazing, shimmering kaleidoscopic neon lights and sounds, I drank in the vivid, visceral tapestry that surrounded me: a surprisingly symphonic collection of temporary art born out of the mostly-unintentional creative collaboration of thousands of individual desert artists.
While deep in appreciation and enjoyment of this unforgettable array, I was unexpectedly overcome with a different sort of admiration: admiration for the far more intentional, quiet, consciously collaborative human achievements that are marked by decades and generations rather than moments of fire cannons, kerosine and burning neon.
Although mortal in origin, these achievements have an immortality lacking in even the best-executed fireworks-and-flames pyrotechnic displays, whose powerful deafening explosions, blinding flares, scorching flames and horizon-slicing graffiti cannot rescue them from their unavoidable, ephemeral fate.
Humble low-tech human feats, sometimes celebrated with birthday and anniversary festivities, need not create spectacle in order to impress. Those ordinary achievements awaited my salute, with my extraordinary surroundings providing the perfect backdrop.
So, lifting my water bottle and kneeling in the cold clay, I silently toasted in solo celebration. Flanked on all sides by flaming wooden towers, illuminated alternatively by blinking, mobile lights, and serenaded by the symphony of electronic drum beats that had consumed my full attention a few mere moments prior, I toasted the stability, predictability and calm in my life - - three elements of order which free me to invite in so much chaos as well.
It was a surprisingly fitting tribute for the occasions it marked. And, despite its complete inability to be enjoyed in real time by its intended honorees, the arguably gratuitous toast was at very least highly memorable: with potential ultimately to inspire a more worthy tribute.
In the meantime, however, the ironic epiphanies it evoked provide immediately valuable food for thought:
Nothing is better for the enjoyment of chaos than a secure stable ground to sit on.
And no stable ground is worthy of its strength if it cannot support the chaos around it.
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Copyright 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 Rebecca Lynn Eisenberg email@example.com. All rights
THE README INDEX
or, if you must, back to Rebecca's Revenge
New! Search the site!
Copyright 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 Rebecca Lynn Eisenberg firstname.lastname@example.org. All rights Reserved.