Jeremy Martin

Jeremy Martin

About Jeremy
Hello, my name is Jeremy Martin, and I'm a writer fascinated by place. Place is much more than a result of geography, it's a product of history and culture too. It is a complex concept;...
Projects
I always have a few irons in the fire, something I'm trying out for the first time or for the thousandth time. Pursuing a project is a way of exploring, and the best part of...

About The Restless Lens

Hi, welcome to The Restless Lens, my website. I’m Jeremy Martin. This site is an outpost for my personal interests, inspirations, ideas and work on the internet, hosted outside the walled gardens of social media sites.  I also run the websites Culture Curious and Culicurious with my wife, Addie.

My Writing

A Brief Guide to My Emoji Usage
A Brief Guide to My Emoji Usage
I was sending someone a text message the other day and needed just the right emoji. The conversation was completely over by the time I...
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Thinkpiece
Thinkpiece
I read a ton of essays and posts after the election - do we still call them thinkpeices - "to get some perspective" "to get...
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Festie
Festie
I'd begin to climb the stairs and I'd hear him whimpering. A few more steps, a scratch at the door. By the time I'd open...
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Idle Talk
Idle Talk
Realization: I'm tired of being confined to the incredibly limited dialogue around me. All anyone talks about are events, people, politics, opinions-made-facts-made-battle-cries, and yes I...
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Interesting Links

Illustrations of South Korean Corner Stores
Illustrations of South Korean Corner Stores
Wow. I love these illustrations of South Korean corner stores by Me Kyeoung Lee: simple, bold, yet dreamy, as if just glimpses caught too late as...
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On Cognitive Bias
Fun fact: because we rarely have a complete set of information about anything around us, but our brains still try to form conclusions on what's...
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The Work of Art
The Work of Art
Check out this review of an exhibition centered around the enigmatic (and beautiful) work of secretive artist Waclaw Szpakowski, who produced these drawings in isolation...
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The Origin of Human Stories
The Origin of Human Stories
There's little in life more encouraging than seeing one of your favorite blogs (Kottke.org) link to (and riff on) a post on another one of...
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Landscape and Structure: A Village of Backyards
Landscape and Structure: A Village of Backyards
The Thousand Yards Pavilion to be constructed in Beijing for a horticultural expo makes me think of a village made of backyards: little empires with...
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Protoje – Blood Money
Protoje – Blood Money
Protoje is one of my favorite working artists these days: he gets everything right about reggae in such a spectacular modern sound, with an incredible...
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The Emergent Patterns of Video Feedback
The Emergent Patterns of Video Feedback
If you point a camera at a screen showing the camera's feed in just the right way, you get some pretty stunning feedback: emergent patterns,...
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Even Physicists Find the Multiverse Disturbing
This article on Nautilus is an amazing discussion of how theory and emotion mix, creating mathematics with troubling implications for how we see ourselves; raising...
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Read On

This site is a place for expression, curation, and exploration. You can select specific types of content through the menus up top, or just dive in the whole stream below!

The Key and the String

Addie and I are staying the month in a small and very lovely war-era Dutch row house, which our host generously gives us freedom to roam. There are are so many interesting features in a house like this: for one, its narrow, so the rooms are arranged vertically. The front door is on the floor with the kitchen and the toilet, the living room is a flight up from that (with access to the patio), another room and the shower are a flight up from that, and the two bedrooms are at the top of the last flight of stairs. Of course, we keep our windows open up there during the warmth of the day, so the air is always alive with birdsong and the sound of children playing in the street and in the gardens. But modest size, functional design, and pastoral setting aside, I found my favorite part of this house today: the string that holds the key to open the door to the back patio. Today the loop of string gave out, and I was considering repair and replacement options when I looked and saw it was ringed with little knots. This was not the first time this had happened. So what did I do? I tied the loop back together, making my own, new knot in the loop, returning both the key and the string to service with minimal impact. Now both the string and the key are a little more important to me because I discovered, then added to, their quiet little history. This is literally all it takes to make my day these days. How great is that?

The Geese

Pictured: the second snowfall in three days, the rural Missouri skyline, and a pair of Canada geese, in the company of whom I’ve been content to spend the last five weeks. Gonna miss y’all, neighbors. 

Return

We landed and it was passports and paperwork and slow moving lines, the ineffectual efficiency of government agencies observing some economics too far removed from the realities of my life for me to comprehend. We were readmitted to the country without incident. It was exactly the same as I’d left …

Thanks, Internet

On a whim, I opened Twitter for the first time in months and the first thing I saw was a link to an interview with Kate Zambreno with the excerpt “I can’t speak for other writers, but you can’t let not knowing what you are doing stop you” which is exactly what I needed to be reminded of at that moment. The interview was great, and I got back to work feeling refreshed. Thanks, internet: that’s a rare win.