I spend the majority of my working hours on the
the world wide web
and there are times when I feel so big. as if I am touching so much. have my fingers in so many things. so many lives to keep track of. clients to please. digital places to create. media to pump up and promote.
relationships, connections, networks, engagements, influencers, followers, readers, buyers.
I feel that from the black square keys of this laptop I can reach out and touch everyone, learn anything, like and heart and comment and tweet throughout the planet
my spiraling tendrils of interest and curiosity.
and a few seconds after these tendrils are unfurled, they just pass away into digital dust.
and while my day IS important
– I do help people make their lives better, express themselves, promote their livelihoods, create meaningful networks
(I AM thankful to have my work) –
there are times when I look up from the wide wide world of this screen and see the uneaten breakfast, the cast aside socks, the leftover birthday cake. And I can touch it. I can wash it, eat it, clean it, put it in is real place.
So as much as I sometimes feel that my world is so very big, it really isn’t. at all.
and I wonder if our worlds are actually becoming smaller, because of this largesse of feeling. This sense of tendrils flowing out to the digital everywhere, when really, our world is still small. and maybe getting smaller if we aren’t careful. if we don’t take care to live it.
So, part of this Lent for me is about letting myself feel small. Of being where I am, in my body, in this small house, this family, this street, these people that I see with my own eyes. To make a point to leave the phone in the purse. To keep the laptop in the bag. To read books with pages, play games with boards, eat food from my own pots, to talk with a friend over a steaming cup of coffee. Give the best of my time to these people that intersect my day with their presence.
There’s the gal who always stands on the corner at the elementary, tethered to her dog, waiting for her children – and she always smiles at me and says “Hey there, sweetie!” I don’t know her name.
Whether they are my husband, my children, my neighbor, an acquaintance – in my small world these are colossal planets, circling about each other – they are so much more than the dust of things. They do not fade away. They have no half-life. And maybe all this means more today than it would have 15 years ago. Where today we can virtually praise and like and comment and share with a bare movement of our index finger – a simple touch, a word, a note, a flower left on a doorstep is GOLD.
In all the work I’ve done over the years, I do know one thing. Media does not make memories. Media doesn’t listen. Media does not love. Nothing compares to sitting on a porch late into the night wrapped up in a blanket, sipping wine and eating chocolate with friends. Holding a sleeping child till the ache in your shoulder feels like fire – and even then you don’t let go. Holding the hand of the man you love so much that you really can’t image the world could exist without him. Swinging on a porch swing as a child, falling asleep and listening to beloved voices turn to murmurs.
Nothing can recreate the overwhelming desire that is so rare – when it comes you want to cling to its fringes and never let go – when you’ve come upon that cherished moment, and realize that nothing like this that will EVER happen again. Have you been there? It’s not just me, is it? When you can almost see that present moment in third person – as if you’re watching it on a movie screen, a silvered old recording. Something so precious that you know you will remember it forever. The precious, unrepeatable moment. Have you been there? I want to be there. More.
This is IT, my still small world. This is living.
“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered.
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh