I have just read E.M. Forster’s short story – The Machine Stops – written in 1909
Given that my computer has been behaving a little erratically and almost seemed to stop yesterday….(computer doctor coming today) – I am moved to write about my own relationship with The Machine that seems to dominate our lives.
First, a brief outline of The Machine Stops…..
‘Set in a post apocalyptic world where most people are living underground because the surface is uninhabitable, we see that people are completely reliant upon a giant machine to provide their every need.
All bodily and spiritual needs are met by the omnipotent, global machine.
The story revolves around a Mother and Son….a Mother who is completely sucked in by The Machine and a son who starts to question.
Finally, The Machine apocalyptically collapses, bringing civilisation down with it.
It is realised that Humankind’s connection to the natural world is what truly matters.’
Detail from large oil on canvas….
I was reminded when reading this short story, just how dependent we have all become, myself included on The Machine.
I feel fortunate to have grown up at a time when there was no hint of the technology we use today. In other words I spent a great part of my life learning to live without all the technological trappings.
However, having said that, I felt a great pang of horror at the thought of my machine not working!:) I clearly have a strong relationship with it…….
As long as I understand that the machine is a tool in my life, and not my life, then I will continue to enjoy.
One of the beauties of magical hummingbirds, is that they live free of all these trappings….and therefore can teach us a great deal.