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  • Sarah Menzies

Life Imitating Art?

On the days when I go into the office I usually get up early so I can take the not so little puppy out for her morning walk. I like to walk across the fields as my mind slowly wakes up, and it gives me some precious time with Luna too. On these solitary hikes I find that my brain drifts from the inane thoughts of what we have in for tea later, to my memories of Lauren. I'm often walking along with tears streaming down my face as memories come unbidden to the fore. I don't mind a teary walk. I just need to keep it to the happy memories of the last 13 years, and not allow myself to wallow in the despair of the new memories that we will never make. Cups of tea and tears are my new morning ritual. I am, although, glad to be out while it feels like most of the area is still asleep, even the sheep are dozier than normal.


At these time I get a running montage through my head of laughing Lauren images, like in a dodgy 1980's soap when a sad story-line is being shown. It made me wonder whether the original designer of the soap opera's had suffered loss, and was recreating it's effects for the screen. But I realised it was probably more likely that my brain, in a subconscious way, was dealing with the sorrow in a way that made sense. How despairing that we are so unqualified to deal with loss that we search for help from the fabricated entertainment we have created, as that is where we have learnt about it, and not real life. I wonder if future generations will imagine crying emojis when they try to process loss? It's not even as though I'm a great lover of soaps. My only real extended effort was watching Dallas in the 80's with my Nana (And Hollyoaks in the 90's, obviously)


I can only hope that one day soon I will wake up in the shower to find this has all been an awful dream.......


But if I was being more serious, should this not be cause for concern? We are aware of the problems that seem to be ruining the mental health of our younger people, so it is clearly a worrying sign if we are looking to the very technology we have created to show us how to be human. This seems to be more than life imitating art. If we cannot communicate on the level that we need to show our emotions, what will it mean for the future of humankind. Most of us look at the fact of our communication as the reasons for the advancement of our species. Although other animals clearly can communicate, we would have argued, previously, that our system is more advanced. Is that always going to be the case? Are our communication skills actually diminishing. Could this end up being more sinister than the use of email over phone calls? Text instead of talk? When our abhorrent treatment of other animals seems to be based purely on the fact that we perceive ourselves as superior due to language, can our treatment toward other humans really be expected to do anything but decline as our lack of empathy and personal communication dwindles?






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