Project

Thinking of Jay Gatzby

It has only been a week since…

I made a story that made any sense

And still this pulse of creation flickers inside me

And I stand on the beach the Gatzby stood and wondered
If I could be reborn, recreated, recycled

Again and again.

Money still doesn’t interest me

Yet it feeds on all those around me
And going against the current for so many years
Has left me as winded as a sockeye salmon.

That is what I am programmed to do,
Endlessly against the grain,

Growing infantile with age
Shrinking, yet serving.

Encompassing a magnificent village in a pat phrase or a short sentence.

My heart heaving in the middle of the night next to my love, wondering if greatness has eluded me, skirted around the sessions of endless creativity, poking, prodding, occasionally protruding.

Universal themes might remove the rut, lift me from the largesse, stop me from trying to be so enamored of the effortless of language,

These themes might help me transcend the pitiful and comfortable squalor of myself, of personal absorption.

War, degradation, injustice, humility, there are a million to choose from, yet filtered through the prism of my personal self, they take on more relevance, seem more immediate, more urgent, closer to the truth.

The water washing on that beach is universal, perhaps I should mimic its fluidity?
Perhaps I should view questions as natural extensions of myself, myself making amends with environs, of inadequacies in my construct. Perhaps I should lap on the shore of strife, of conflict, of the restless struggle of the world to break further than before, to expand, to feed off understanding.

Perhaps I should get dressed and make a start of the day, accomplish something, do something, interact with someone.

Yet the coffee tastes good and the music soothes me and these keys feel especially inviting today, the perfect tool for the melding of my mind, my body, my technology.

I will wake my love and see what she is thinking, I will explore this world with her, I will make a day of understanding with her.

Perhaps I run from the world, perhaps this understanding is elusive.

Perhaps people will die as they have been, but this very day my lady will be happy, she will smile.
She will smile on all the world.

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About Author

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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