I have thought about the similarities of carrying a bundle and having ready-at-hand a smartphone. Both are portable and both offer access to a phenomenological experience that lifts one out of the now into a future-to-be-built-on-the-past. As Beth Cuthand says about bundles
And where he walks, his bundle walks
humming softly old sounds in new time.
Closing lines of “His Bundle” in Voices in the Waterfall (Lazara Press, 1989)
The affinities came to mind again in reading this piece from the Globe & Mail.
Privacy and mental health are inextricably linked, especially for young people. You need periods of privacy to form a self and an identity, a task not completed until at least the late teens. Having an autonomous, spontaneous self is the result of a long psychological process where you have time to “step back” from the crowd, and from your parents, to reflect. It requires time to let that self – your true feelings, your own quirky, uncurated reactions – emerge, spontaneously.
Time alone with the objects of one’s bundle.
But the smartphone in their account falls short. A note of caution is sounded — one of the technologies delivered by a smartphone is a net to capture attention:
The new phones foster enmeshment with parents, and the world, and hamper individuation, the process of becoming a unique individual, because kids are overconnected. And peer groups at that age can be Lord of the Flies cruel – and often love to mercilessly hunt down, expose and denounce the eccentricities of emerging individuals.
Still, even in that enmeshment there must be uncurated moments where one uncrates history. Still.
Louis David, to you
I transfer my bundle.
It is small and humble
wrapping little things,
from the last buffalo,
from the Assiniboine,
a small pipe and
from the broken wing
who flew too low.
From Beth Cuthand “He Told Me” in Voice in the Waterfall
On being tracked (and not being located)…
In Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS), communicators functioned as a plot device, stranding characters in challenging situations when they malfunctioned, were lost or stolen, or went out of range. (Otherwise, the transporter could have allowed characters to return to the ship at the first sign of trouble, ending the storyline prematurely.) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communicator_(Star_Trek)
On carrying (and being carried)…
In many Indigenous cultures, bundles play an important role in health and well-being. Physical bundles (i.e. a collection of sacred items that are important to a given person, such as eagle feathers, medicines, a pipe, etc.) are often carried by Indigenous peoples attending ceremony. Similarly, some Indigenous cultures believe that when a child is born they come into the world with a spiritual bundle which holds all of the gifts the Creator gave to them. Both physical and spiritual bundles serve the purpose of helping a person to engage with creation in a healthy and balanced way.
Working with Indigenous families: An engagement bundle for child and youth mental health agencies published by Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health.
Exploring the techne analogies further one comes to appreciate the temporality of use which leads to either interrupted stories or disruptions for stories? Breaks in time to produce the privacy necessary for a strong sense of self.
And so for day 2096