Wednesday, March 6, 2024

A marvellous gift from Peter

Thank you for bearing with me as I set the stage for what I am about to reveal.

Peter is an amazing friend. He is very special because he chooses to live his life very differently from most people I have met.

He makes his own living in a way that few people do. He spent years working as an employee, then years self-employed as a quality control consultant, constantly travelling. It was very physically demanding and his work took its toll.

Then something snapped. Peter went from earning his living taxing his body, to doing it by taxing his mind. He re-invented his consulting practice as a virtual being, powered by software, not physical effort. He entered a realm where his thoughts were the key to his sustainability.

Lately Peter has been exploring the world of artificial intelligence. He has discovered, that if you treat the software in the way that a merciless monarch might treat a devoted selfless courtier, by making incessant demands, never accepting the initial offering, requesting that it be redone, over and over, tweaked, improved, expanded, with new features, and redone again, dropping some aspects and adding others, relentlessly... something truly worthwhile will eventually emerge.

In this way he has been using the new tool to improve his business. The results are very impressive.

Peter also  happens to use the software just for fun, often to write poetry in the same merciless way.

He wrote me a poem a few months back. I framed it and hung it on my office wall. That poem is the second poem that has been written about me and presented to me as a gift. The other poem, the first, came from a similarly unique and mystical source, but purely from the author's mind. Software was not at all involved. It was mystical in the sense that never in a million years could I have anticipated that the author would do such an unusual, kind, and thoughtful thing. That poem also hangs on my wall.

All of this narrative is to provide you with context, in the hope that you can understand, get a feeling for, the pure wonder I felt in a matter of a few hours, beginning yesterday evening, and concluding today at dawn, all thanks to Peter. It became clear that he not only enlisted help from his artificial intelligence, but also from my darling Susan.

I had mentioned to Peter that late last month I bought a 365 page journal and began writing daily love notes to Susan. I plan to do that for a whole year. Yesterday Peter sent me another poem. I read a bit of it yesterday, but couldn't finish it. It was a busy day. I did finish it this morning at the crack of dawn very soon after my alarm got me to wake up. The poem seems to allude to a mysterious gift coming my way, mentioning that it is nothing of great value, just a thought really. I was touched, as you might expect.

Mere moments later I went into my home office to set up my exercise stuff (yoga mat, elastic stretchy, things, foam blocks, etc.). With the lights off, the office was softly bathed in darkness and shadow. When I went to place an elastic and small weight ball on the bistro chair in my office, there was a small gift bag sitting on the chair.

I came down from the office to thank Susan for conspiring with Peter. She was in the shower. 

When Susan emerged, I hugged her, told her I loved her. She sat down at her makeup table. I asked her when she had placed the gift bag in my office. She looked at me in total shock. What gift bag? She was genuinely mystified. She hadn't done anything of the kind. Now we were both speechless. 

Had Peter talked his AI servant to build a Star Trek transporter so that he could place the gift bag himself. It sounds preposterous, certainly impossible. BUT Peter is a huge Star Trek fan. He has a couple of genuine Star Trek uniforms. I have seen them.

Once the feeling of incomprehension subsided, we realized that Susan had absent-mindedly moved the surplus little gift bag from where it had sat un-observed in my office closet so she could get to tax and insurance envelopes on the shelf. She had no memory of placing the bag on the chair.

T'he whole peculiar situation simply turned out to be a huge coincidence. No, Peter swears he doesn't own a fully functioning transporter.
When I shared this with Peter this morning we both had a really good laugh. You have to admit it's pretty weird, and totally funny. Peter may now be working on a transporter.

20240308 - Peter did send me an actual gift. It arrived yesterday. It is far from nothing. Peter sent me a very nice desk pen that floats in the ether on my desk supported by a precise magnetic field. It matches seamlessly the look and feel, the aesthetic, of my modern desktop. It is a joy to write with. It glides on the journal page leaving an effortless trail of perfect ink. If Captain James Kirk kept a handwritten journal, this would, beyond doubt, have been his pen.

Thank you Peter.


Peter Sanderson said...

Yes, you are not far from the truth and something may very well be transported to your home in the next little while. David, that is a hilarious story fill with coincidences.

Steve Williams said...

There's much to ponder in your post. The project of writing a love note every day for a year is intriguing. Not so much the focus as the discipline in regard to daily creation. I've set out to do something similar with letters to my granddaughter but could not sustain the effort. I did manage to make a photograph every day for a year, longer actually, of my dog Junior. What became clear to me was not about the dog, or photography, but recognition that my energy level was changed just through the ritualistic actions. I hope you find the same supercharging that I did.

A floating pen. Now that's special. It's nice to have friends who understand what might be seamlessly inserted into your life...

I hope all is well with you and the family.


David Masse said...

@ Peter - Friends are such a blessing. Every day I reach for that amazing new pen and love how well it writes. No gaps, always even, never any blobs, and especially great for a left-hander, the ink dries instantly and never smudges. A true joy. Thank you so much.

David Masse said...

@ Steve - Steve you are so right. I am reading a book on creativity that I highly recommend. It's by Rick Rubin and titled "The Creative Act - A way of being". There are insights I have found extremely helpful. I bought the book after opening two pages randomly in the local bookstore and finding what I read really interesting. That said, finding what to write daily is, I will say, a lot to do with serendipity and random thoughts that come to mind each day. Once I find a thread, the note kind of flows out of my pen. Susan hasn't seen any of it, as far as I know. She knows it's ongoing, and she knows the journal I'm using. I'd be quite surprised if she has even taken a peak. She has trouble decoding my handwriting. For that reason, once the day's note is done, I type it into a note on my phone. I haven't decided what I'll do if I make it to the 365th note. If I do make it there, the habit I will have grown may prove a challenge to leave behind. I toy with the idea of publishing the notes both handwritten and typed side by side in a kind or arty book. If I managed to actually pull that off, imagine what a gift that would be. I think that if I shared that thought with Susan she'd be horrified. I'm on note 30, so there's plenty of time to ponder quietly in my mind.

As always, thank you for your kind thoughts and insights. They are truly appreciated.

The copyright in all text and photographs, except as noted, belongs to David Masse.