The InsiderOne Daily Report
Wednesday, February 14, 2001
Simply To Live
InsiderOne's Michael Goldberg writes: I went bicycle riding in the rain. Optimist that I am, I had convinced myself that the rain was done for the day, that the clouds would move along and there would be blue sky. I was hardly off the road leading to the bike trail I like to ride on before light rain began to fall. I could have turned around, headed back to the house. A few years ago, if I had ever attempted a bike ride, that's what I would have done. But I've learned to like being out in the rain once in a while. It makes me feel alive. I rode past a huge oak. As I felt the cold air and raindrops against my face, Jason Molina was playing in my head, singing "Simply to live/ That was my plan." Jason Molina writes and sings as part of Songs: Ohia; that line, "Simply to live/ That was my plan," is from a delicate sliver of a song called "No Limits on the Words." I've been paying a lot more attention to the details of living lately. At first that can feel uncomfortable, if you've been rushing along at dot-com speed for a half-dozen years. Leave the bullet train, and before long you can see things that were a blur before. Soon enough you start wondering why exactly you were rushing along so fast. So fast. So, so fast. So fast that you hardly had time to read a book. And when you did, it was something like "Burn Rate" or "The New New Thing." So fast that sometimes it seemed like you were always multi-tasking. On the cell, driving. Responding to an interactive page during a business lunch. Conducting a news meeting while answering email. Simply to live wasn't enough. The dot-com rush hit and hit and hit. It was a drug. And nothing I did, nothing we did, was enough. We needed "more," and fast. We needed "new," and not a minute too soon. Yesterday ceased to exist, and it was all about today. Three hours ago ceased to exist, and it was all about right now. Get that piece of content on the site now! Right now! What's taking so long? Now! Now! Songs: Ohia's Ghost Tropic, an album that came out last year, but which I've only recently come to, is the perfect antidote. Slow, languid, it can seduce you into contemplation. It can serve as a dot-com decompression chamber. Can you imagine taking an hour and a half for a bicycle ride? What an indulgence. Why, it feels almost decadent. To ride along, looking across that field at that weathered shed, wondering what exactly it's used for, and by whom? And the rain is hitting harder now.
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Michael Goldberg is the president of insiderone.net. He founded Addicted To Noise in 1994.