Mumford ar mo Shon

Mumford ar mo Shon
-An t-aireachas (mindfulness) sa saol linn inniu

Ní rún atá ann go bhfuil bá faoi leith agam don ghrúpa ceoil Mumford and Sons. Is le linn an tsamhraidh i 2013 a cheannaigh mé ticéad ar DoneDeal.com do cheolchoirm dá gcuid a bhí ar siúl i bPáirc an Fhionnuisce ar an turas ‘Gentlemen of the Road’ in éineacht le Ben Howard, Ham Sandwich, agus Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, agus níl mórán nach raibh ar an eolas ag an am go raibh mé ar bís faoi.

Faraor, buíochas le hansmacht uilíoch an idirlíon, agus easpa taithí ar mo shonsa i dtaobh úsáid leithéid shuíomhanna, diúltaíodh isteach mé ag na ngeataí bonnoibrithe toisc nár thicéad cuí a bhí agam. Ag siúl ar ais in aghaidh an easa, na mílte daoine ar a mbealach isteach don cheolchoirm is mé liom fhéin ina gcoinne, bheartaigh mé gan mhuinín a chuir in aon suíomh idirlíne nó grúpa taobh amuigh den chóras oifigiúla ariamh arís. Ag mallachtú an saol agus an fear slítheanta ar cheannaigh mé an ticéad uaidh, d’éist mé leis an gceol ag taiscéal tríd an aer do m’chluasa is mé ag fanacht ar bhus abhaile.

Ó shin, níl rud ar bith ceannaithe agam ar líne a bhain le tríú páirtí nó ‘fear sa lár’, mar a deirtear. Scaití is in ionad na táillí breise a íocadh a gceannaítear na ticéadaí seo, nó chun brábus a dhéanamh nuair atá ceolchoirmeacha díolta amach, ach i ndáiríre is minic a bhíonn costas níos mó ag baint leis an sealbhú a dhéanamh thar cheann de na suíomhanna seo chun go ndéanfar brábús ar an táirge. Ní ar an tomhaltóir atá na mangairí seo ag díriú, ach orthu féin agus ar na féidireachtaí atá ann dóibh – an t-airgead atá le baint ó lucht leanúna na ngrúpaí ceoil seo ag iarraidh ticéad a fháil ar aon chostas. Go pointe, is dúshaothrú ar an ngnáthduine atá ar siúl acu, agus dar ndóigh ní ceart go mbeadh an féidirtheacht sin ann dóibh. Dom fhéin, tuigim nár cheart dom dul sa tseans mar sin arís agus muinín a chur le rud nach bhfuil aon bharántas nó chinnteacht ag baint leis, ach ag an am níor éist mé le m’instinn agus réasún, comh fíanta sin a bhí an fonn ionam an grúpa a fheicéail.

An uair sin bhí an locht orm nár fhiosraigh mé tuilleadh eolais ón bhfear a bhí á dhíol. Chas mé leis i Leamhcán, thug mé an t-airgead dó, thug sé an píosa páipéir dom (droch-chomhartha dá bhfeicfeá ceann riamh) agus as go brách leis ina Fiat Punto beag glas. Bhí mé comh sásta liom fhéin gur éirigh liom ticéad a fháil nár lig mé liom fhéin smaoineamh a dhéanamh ar na laigí atá soléir dom anois ag cuimhneadh siar. Ach mairimid uilig ó ard go haird, agus ba chúis sealadach an ticéad sin dom a bheith ar bís agus ag súil le rud eicínt faoi leith – cé gur ceannaíodh é gan mhórán pleanála a dhéanamh ar.
Ní dhearna na ‘Gentleman of the Road’ turas an bhliain seo chaite, agus i mbliana níl siad ag síneadh comh fada le hÉireann leis an bhfiontar. Ach ón méid atá cloiste agam d’albam nua Mumford and Sons go dtí seo, is cosúil go bhfuil draíocht d’shaghas eicínt eile ag druidim linn, agus má’s fíor sin táim go breá le bheith ag feitheamh ar an gcéad ghig eile. In amhrán amháin nua, ‘Snake Eyes’ s’acu, tá líne amháin a mhíníonn go mbeidh baol i gcónaí ag baint le rudaí den tsórt seo – ‘I can tell, you will always be danger’. Is orainn atá an brú a bheith ar an airdeall maidir leis na nithe beaga ag baint leo, agus gan dul amú is muid sa tóir orthu.

An t-aireachas atá tábhachtach sa chás seo – a bheith aireach ar an saol agus ar ár n-aigne agus inchinn féin, ár gcosa ar an talamh fúinn agus ár n-aird dírithe ar an nóiméad atá ann i láthair na huaire. B’fhéidir dá mbeadh an meon seo agam is mé ag dul leis an ticéad a bhailiú an lá sin, dá mbéinn ar an airdeall maidir leis an nóiméad sin ar thug mé an t-airgead dó, seans ann nach mbeadh gá leis an tubáiste ag na geataí iontrála. B’fhéidir. Scaití bíonn orainn botúin a dhéanamh agus ceachtanna a fhoghlaim ar an gcaoi seo ionas nach ndéanfar arís iad, agus le fírinne glacaim anois go raibh orm an botún sin a dhéanamh. Níor éirigh liom dul isteach sa cheolchoirm, ach bualadh go láidir mé le ciall agus soléireacht maidir leis an méid a bhí tárlaithe is mé ar an tsiúlóid sin amach ó na geataí. Bhí mé ann ag siúl, seachas a bheith ag smaoineamh ró-fhada romham nó i mo dhiaidh, agus cé go raibh brón orm ag cailliúnt amach ar an gceolchoirm, bhí mé lonnaithe sa nóiméad sin ag smaoineamh faoi, agus bheartaigh mé gan dul chomh fada sin ó m’inchinn fhéin leis an idéalachas riamh arís.

‘Cíbe áit ina bhfuil tú, is ann atá tú”.

“Self” (Or, “I need to stop thinking so deeply into everything I see on telly”).

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“I think human consciousness is a tragic misstep in evolution. We became too self-aware. Nature created an aspect of nature separate from itself—we are creatures that should not exist by natural law . . . We are things that labor under the illusion of having a self, a secretion of sensory, experience, and feeling—programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody is nobody.

These lines from the first episode of “True Detective” really got me thinking today. Their blunt truth confirms the humbling reality of how small we are – how minute a single human’s impact upon the world really is. A year ago, more than likely I would have thus embarked on an ultimately pessimistic and negative narrative delving into the lack of meaning there is to everything we do as humans, dissecting aspects of daily life that highlight our flaws and pointless issues. But there are two sides to every argument, and certainly more than one outlook to take upon something so deeply involved with the human condition.

The suggestion that our development of a conscience and as such, a sense of “self”, has been somewhat of a burden to our kind is of course perfectly understandable. If it weren’t for the constant reminders and recommendations in media and social circles to “just be yourself” and “know yourself”, we wouldn’t ever question it. Our physical differences and quirks are what outwardly distinguish us from one another, and yet they are also things that we have very little control over. It is because of this “éagsúlacht” (diversity) in our physical appearance that we often feel the need to conform and to be alike in other aspects of ourselves. The notion of identity is often overlooked in favour of the feeling of “fitting in”; doing what everybody else does because it seems to the narrow-minded the only way to achieve goals– goals that are often merely a pre-disposition to achieve further compliance with the “norm”. “Normal” ways of dressing have given rise to the fashion industry; “normal” ways of speaking have left us with dialects and languages that vary hugely even within their own countries; “normal” reactions and responses to everyday occurrences and interactions have led to the segregation of some as “weird”, “out of the ordinary” and sometimes even (extremely inappropriately) “mentally ill”. The combination of all of these social boundaries and outlines with the average human psyche has had such a strong effect upon our consciousness that we no longer understand what it means to be unique, if such a thing even exists. Everything we do or say, whether pre-meditated or impulsive, is the product of circumstance – something we have recycled from our own individual experiences, and chosen to put into context of a current situation.

On the one hand, while each persons’ combination of experience is a unique blend, it is the contextualization of these experiences and knowledge that is expressed in our actions, allowing us to appear “unique”, while essentially drawing on our knowledge of previous situations and actions to express “new” ones. It is this process of analysation and revitalisation of ideas that has allowed the human race to progress though history – learning from the mistakes and reinstating the victories of others throughout our existence – drawing new conclusions from old ideas. While not altogether original in their basic idea, the combination and situation in which they are reinforced allows new meaning and understanding to be derived from these conclusions, and thus influences those in contact with them.

The majority of humans thrive on contact with other humans; whilst not altogether necessary to ensure fundamental physical survival, contact and communication is what has allowed us to develop as we have, enhancing our mentality and intelligence, and establishing us as a dominant life form. We have wrestled our way to the forefront of our consciousness, pushed ourselves to our limits, all the while under this pretence of “self”; trying to establish ourselves as a different entity to the other billions of humans on the planet. The illusion that we are alone in our thoughts and problems is merely an unfortunate consequence of the boundaries placed upon society by older generations that certain things cannot or should not be discussed, or are thought of as irrelevant.

If we are to consider ourselves a by-product of previous generations, hybrids of millennia of human reproduction, I think it is safe to say that we have not done too badly for ourselves, given the circumstances. No, we did not ask to be brought into this world, or to be given our particular appearance, preferences or confused accents, but if we continue as we have done, learning from the past and using those experiences to move reluctantly forwards, then who cares if we’re a little bit similar to somebody else, or like to partake in some of the same pastimes as others? We still have our own individual experiences to draw from – the combination of which you are guaranteed to share with nobody else on this planet. Make of them what you can, because as confusing as it may be to meditate on the idea of the “self”, it is ultimately what each person gleans from their own experiences that make them who they are, and not the experiences themselves. A little diversity is what keeps people moving.