It’s been more than a year since the birth of my son Alexander. Wonder, doubts, love, exhilarating joy, wordless dialogues, an unhealthy number of squeezed cat tails are only few of the billion supernovae managed to fit in these 365 and counting days.
I was there too, fragmented, enchanted, oscillating between two worlds. One of them, the world of quiet research and thinking about semantic web technologies and the way the Web transforms, transforming us and our texts. The other, the world of quiet awe with the wonder unfolding before me: a totally new person, coming as if from nowhere, impossible to fit into words, unthinkable with an analytical mind only, a magical being from a place where things have no name.
The Power of Fusion
As astounding as this world of quiet awe was, I did need a break from it. In the beginning I used the longer stretches of Alexander’s sleep, usually during the night, to continue with my favourite web writing journeys. I traveled unknown mind roads, explored new lands of thinking, built understandings, danced with meaning, tried to conceive the inconceivable. It was great but not sustainable.I soon I realized I could not afford all this. I could not afford allocating mind and soul resources to keep things compartmentalised, labeled, unnecessarily separated from each other.
This is when I chose surrender. I embraced the idea that the door to the wondrous world of awe, to the place where things had no name could and should not be kept away from the world of my analytical mind. Instead, its door had to remain wide open for all kinds of wordless, unthinkable, amazing things to go in and out through it.
There is no separate self that writes and thinks and another one that lives and loves, I realized. There was no line between me – the Mom and me the writer, dancing with concepts and thought structures. There was no no need to try to shift my focus or thinking between anything. I was slowly learning to love and work amidst and empowered by the might and the miraculousness of an unstoppable magma of processes.
It was all about fusion. One thing flowed into another, no strict boundaries separated things, everything slowly and steadily transformed. So did I.
I stopped thinking about my muses as something special, something hidden in the stillness of contemplation. I learned to see their contours everywhere and this made them available anytime I needed them.
I was on the road. Travelling. And writing was with me, no matter in what form. It was a layer, a background, the clouds above, the rainy day, it was everything. And from that everything I was able to pull my texts, the understandings needed, the processes behind the thought structures I tried to build with writing.
Wandering, me and my muses were nomads. We roamed, sought, observed. Then, when time and space allowed I recorded our journeys on paper, in texts, leaving maps for other nomads to follow.
Speaking of nomads, let me introduce you to Bayar, my favourite character from the movie Babies, a movie that has documented the way four kids from across the world got raised.
Bayar is Mongolian and looks like the happiest (and the coolest) baby in the world. He plays by himself, crawls outside alone, discovers the world independently.
Watching this baby exploring the things, the animals and the people around him is an amazing pleasure. The reason Bayar ended up in my post is because of the way he grew – independently, finding his way slowly through the context around him. He did not have pictures of cows, or special toys to develop his motor skills. He had the outside world as his playground. His parents didn’t use things taken out of their context to teach him anything, rather they just let him be.
In the context of understanding, learning and meaning, I was thinking about Bayar’s parents words: “We are nomads. We can’t always be inside and taking care of our baby.” They made me think of me exploring the Web as a paradigm nomad, and of me raising my son in times when traditional cultures are dissolving into something new. Where and how do children in these times get raised? I don’t know. I am to find out the way.
The Wayfinder’s Mind and Soul
In November 2014 author David Amerland asked me:
Does being a woman matter in the online world?
Back then I had answered:
Can we switch the filter? Let’s talk minds not gender. It matters exactly as it matters in the offline world and exactly as much as you believe it does or doesn’t. [I promise to get back to this when I go through the role of mom, I sense that I will cross all that out]
I din’t cross out the answer. I rather had to criss cross it. In 2017, in another wonderful Dialogue with prof. Amit Sheth, I wrote:
I am learning to thrive on unfinished business. Now, I know this sounds terrifying and at odds with the concept that unfinished tasks use too much (brain) processing power, yet there’s something hilarious about circles not yet circled, flying around, waiting to be closed when the time comes.
To translate that into the poetic flow this article began with, I started to study how everyday life contains clues to many of the abstract and conceptual structures I was exploring.
In between daily chores, metaphors found me, in all kinds of places, structures of posts did emerge even in the most desperate times of just doing and lack of time for contemplating. I was gathering data from all kinds of paradigms. Of sources, On all levels. Processing it, chewing it. Using my body, mind, soul, if these were to be refereed to as separate entities, to navigate the Web of Life.
A sort of wayfinding, I guess.
What glued all these disparate sources of inspiration were unconditional love to what I do and unquenchable curiosity.
To cite Elizabeth Lindsey from the above TEDWomen 2010’s talk:
True navigation begins in the human heart. It’s the most important map of all. Together, may we journey well.
Mind Corridors with Doors Ajar Open To Web Writing
Served with care and unconditional love, everything was perfect. Before the wondrous world opened before me, I used to be judgemental about “Done is perfect”. I thought, one can always do better, one can always be the best.
Life with a baby proved me wrong. Done is perfect. Web journeys with a baby on board also begin in the heart and there’s always time and space for yet another text born in interaction, from the desire to connect.
To get back to the doors ajar open, these are the takeaways I want to share and to hopefully inspire the newcomers in the wondrous world. Excuse my telegram style and please don’t let it get in the way of the message wrapped in it:
- Not writing is not an option.
- It’s not a matter of knowing but of a mood. Just dance. Improvise. Deal with what you have handy. There’s always something handy.
- Writing is a state of mind. It is rhythm. The rhythm of Life.
- Connect bravely, Draw Parallels. Make your text a celebration of interconnectedness, of the Web of Life.
- Unconditional love (and understanding of your readers) to everything IS perfect, no matter how crazy and data-undriven (for now) this might sound.
- Don’t take things out of their context. Be in tune with the context.
- Start from the heart. Write to connect and make the Web a better place
- Trust your curiosity. Curiosity’s thin thread is powerful. It reaches out to find what seek you (thanks poet Rumi!)
And now it’s time for me to go.
Done is perfect. (Takeaway #9)