An Introduction to FFFY

Issue #15 - 2m32s

Hey,

Welcome to M ND THE GAP, a lifestyle newsletter for those that are young, weird, and curious. Scattered thoughts, but often around technology, culture, and adolescent romances. If you’re with it, you can sign up here.

I've been thinking about the idea of awe recently. How awesome.

4 years back, one of my first mentors shared an article with me offhand — The Death of Awe in the Age of Awesome. Not the more tactical piece of advice he's shared, but the one that stuck with me the hardest.

Life was a bit lackluster for me then. I was at a high — thinking I knew everything. Everything seemed to operate under the same principles. All things seemed too abstract to the same theorems. Fuck the nuances.

That article didn't immediately provide any answers. But it planted the seed. It was a seed that was subconsciously nurtured and surfaced only when a new piece of information could latch onto it. So it grew! It grew and grew until it found a form — a conscious thought.

When we were children, ignorant little beasts, we knew nothing. Our frameworks and mental models were weak, liable to be broken by any new bit of information. Any surprise and every surprise was disruptive. But as we grew, we eventually discovered this information collective codenamed the Internet. We found that we were granted access to almost every bit of information ever recorded in world history.

And for us curious kids, in it we found a heaven. We become able to learn about anything we imagined — anything, everything. It was bliss. But human cognition is finite and our curiosity withers. We pattern-match stimuli out of their conscious existence until life becomes a cycle of mindless repeats and regurgitations.

And then what? What do we do when our curiosities are satisfied and the natural world becomes mundane? There's always more to explore, of course, more to learn. But our immediate environment eventually loses its luster. The things we find interesting become highly selective, they were given the luxury to be interesting. We gave them the leeway, the ability, through cognition. Everything else wasn't even allowed the conscious eye.

Actually, I don’t want to speak for you. That’s just me.

It was horrible. I wanted life to be as exciting as the movies I've watched and the books I've read. I wanted to see life as Murakami saw the forests and Martin saw the highlands. I wanted to romanticize all of life.

So 65 days ago, I took a small step and started For the Fair-Folk and the Yokai (FFFY), a personal project where I attempt to find a bit of magic, the precursor to art, in my day-to-day life. FFFY is a battle hymn against the forces of the mundane, a reminder that the world around me can still be as magical as it was in those years of my foolish youth. I just need to remember how to look.

Hold your innocence close,

Albert

Thank you Dom for introducing me to this article all those summers ago.

Ctrl+F → 51, 24, 10 for some especially fun ones 🤪