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

The Key and the String
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...
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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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The Magical Times of Day
The Magical Times of Day
I'm just going to go ahead and assume that everybody has a "magical" time of day: a moment on the clock face you enjoy, and...
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The Knowledge it Takes
The Knowledge it Takes
Was just walking around Luling, Louisiana, thinking about how much you have to know to really understand a place, when I found the perfect example...
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Interesting Links

Evidence
Evidence
Can the cryptic, strange, and disparate contents of government agency photography archives be art? Of course they can! At least when assembled by artists with the...
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The Writer Can Xue
The Writer Can Xue
I just finished Frontier after reading about it and Can Xue in this article, which I can say is very accurate when it comes to the...
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George Saunders Explains What Writers Do
Leave it to a guy like George Saunders to explain what writers do when they write in a completely new and pretty unique and totally fascinating and...
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A Jordanian “Emergency Room for the Mind”
A Jordanian “Emergency Room for the Mind”
Allow me to introduce Hamzeh Al Maaytah, one of my newest personal heroes, who maintains a 24 hour, pay what you can, exchange what you've got...
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The Night Sky Over the Next 5 Million Years
Thanks to the work done by the ESA's Gaia mission, we have a map of two million stars and enough history data that we can...
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Check Out These Succulent Cakes
Check Out These Succulent Cakes
I'm blown away by these cakes by Iven Kawi, which apparently really are edible food and not merely gorgeous arrangements of various succulent plants. -...
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On the Polar Architectural Vernacular
On the Polar Architectural Vernacular
Though it falls well outside my usual reading habits (and why should that matter, you ask, quite correctly), this book, "Many Norths" looks pretty intriguing. From...
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The New Clouds Are Here!
The New Clouds Are Here!
For the first time in 30 years, the World Meteorological Organization in adding new cloud types to its atlas! So, this begs the question: are...
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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 Default Setting

The world will not discourage you from operating on your default-settings, because the world of men and money and power hums along quite nicely on the fuel of fear and contempt and frustration and craving and the worship of self. Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom all to be lords of our tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the center of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to recommend it. But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talked about in the great outside world of winning and achieving and displaying. The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able to truly care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the “rat race” — the constant gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing. I know that this stuff probably doesn’t sound fun and breezy or grandly inspirational. What it is, so far as I can see, is the capital-T Truth, with a whole lot of rhetorical niceties stripped away. You are, of course, free to think of it whatever you wish.

– David Foster Wallace, This is Water (pdf)

Just reading that you can imagine a little bit of how hard it must have been for Wallace to operate day in and day out with an awareness of the world this raw and difficult and intimate. I never met him, but miss this man sooooooo much.

The American Fate

yet there is no avoiding time, the sea of time, the sea of memory and forgetfulness, the years of promise, gone and unrecoverable, of the land almost allowed to claim its better destiny, only to have the claim jumped by evildoers known all too well, and taken instead and held hostage to the future we must live in now forever. May we trust that this blessed ship is bound for some better shore…where the American fate, mercifully, failed to transpire…

– Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice

Long Day

Long day today. Did that on purpose: woke up with a tired brain and my body was jealous I guess so I probably ended up walking for over three hours, roaming Alkmaar and taking pictures, enjoying the bracing, cool weather and the way the streets and buildings here are becoming familiar.