A wonderful article that nudges me further down a path I was already exploring.
In barely one generation we’ve moved from exulting in the time-saving devices that have so expanded our lives to trying to get away from them — often in order to make more time. The more ways we have to connect, the more many of us seem desperate to unplug. Like teenagers, we appear to have gone from knowing nothing about the world to knowing too much all but overnight.
Instead of being more in control, we are less in control – especially of our time.
In my own case, I turn to eccentric and often extreme measures to try to keep my sanity and ensure that I have time to do nothing at all (which is the only time when I can see what I should be doing the rest of the time). I’ve yet to use a cellphone and I’ve never Tweeted or entered Facebook. I try not to go online till my day’s writing is finished, and I moved from Manhattan to rural Japan in part so I could more easily survive for long stretches entirely on foot, and every trip to the movies would be an event. None of this is a matter of principle or asceticism; it’s just pure selfishness. Nothing makes me feel better — calmer, clearer and happier — than being in one place, absorbed in a book, a conversation, a piece of music. It’s actually something deeper than mere happiness: it’s joy, which the monk David Steindl-Rast describes as “that kind of happiness that doesn’t depend on what happens.”
Disconnecting is self-preservation, it’s joy creation and as he mentions earlier in the article, it puts you back in touch with your creativity.
This picture was included with Pico’s article1. It’s particularly suitable because in the past week, I spent time searching for, and finding, seashells on a beach with my boys. It was, without a doubt, the best part of the past year.
- Photo credit: Vivienne Flesher