Still life with Spirit and Xitle by Jimmie Durham.
The older I get the more I think about behavior, routine, habit: why people (mostly myself) do the things they do. I think I’m more anti-routine than most people, but I still end up following certain routines out of necessity or unconsciously (some are actually suited to me - like a regular work day).
This article about Target that predicted a teenage girl’s pregnancy is a fascinating read, and the most interesting thing about it isn’t the fact that Target was able to successfully predict a girl’s pregnancy. What’s more interesting (to me anyway) is that we’re studying behavior and routine in-depth. We’re finding that you can break routines if you know how - and you can purposefully set up routines that might help you get healthier or stop eating cookies all the time or be a better person. We’re finding out about the interconnectedness of neurons and why one thought might lead to a specific repeated action. We are creatures of habit, but we can make a choice not to be and we can make a choice to embrace interruptions that are beyond our control.
I love being interrupted. I like it when my routine is broken by some force bigger than myself, it reminds me that I’m alive and the world is a big interconnected place.
Jimmie Durham in a recent interview in Bomb Magazine says it succinctly and somewhat beautifully:
I like interruptions, of any kind, especially from my own life, because we have such a tendency—something stronger than a tendency, actually–to do the same things all the time. (Pauses as chairs are moved noisily in the background.) Kierkegaard wrote about repetition as the greatest human good, because it was close to holiness. Yet to me it is so strange that I do the same thing over and over, that I take the same route to the grocery store or when I walk home—it’s intolerable. I want interruptions, I want things to be different all the time.