‘The Machine Stops’ is a science fiction short story (12,300 words) by E.M. Forster – first published in 1909.
Caramany is a commune in the Pyrenees-Orientales department in southern France. 13h century – watercolour/gouache ‘The story describes a world in which most of the human population has lost the ability to live on the surface of the Earth. Each individual now lives in isolation below ground in a standard room, with all bodily and spiritual needs met by the omnipotent global Machine. Travel is permitted, but is unpopular and rarely necessary. Communication is made via a kind of instant messaging/video conferencing machine with which people conduct their only activity the sharing of ideas and what passes for knowledge”.
Saorge is a commune in the Alps-Maritimes department in southeastern France – 14th century. I highly recommend that people read this novella. To say that it is prophetic is an understatement….and remember it was first published in 1909.
Carrieres-sur-Sein a commune in the Ile-de-France region in north-central France. – watercolour/gouache I have chosen to show sketches from some of the ancient villages I have had the good fortune to spend time in.
They remind me of where we have come from…..and illustrate it wasn’t so long ago that we humans lived without electricity let alone smart phones and computers!
Caramany – Southern France – watercolour/gouache These places remind me of the importance of Community.
The very existence of such towns and villages is based on communities sharing customs and working together – passing down knowledge from one generation to another, from learned experience.
Caramany Southern France. – watercolourThe history of these villages and towns teach us everything we need to know about sustainable living and much more.
We have seen more changes during the past fifty years than in the past five hundred years, and the pace of change continues to speed forward, fuelled by greed.
Lock Down has taught us (I hope) that we don’t need to charge through life…..that we can and should stop to smell the roses. That using our hands and creative abilities is key to mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing.
Saorge – southeastern France. – watercolour.gouache
My daughter, Christie Reed, sent me this quote.
It definitely speaks to me and offers hope.
In July I will be going on a VIRTUAL painting trip to the place in Wales where I lived and worked for twelve years. A place where the beautiful Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains meet. A place filled with ancient towns, buildings and wisdom. More about this in the next couple of weeks.
Stay well, stay safe and keep all creative juices flowing.