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To the FedEx Kinko’s lady,

Thank you for the walk down memory lane. Those days of IBM Selectric typewriters are so distant now (that backspace correcting key – a Godsend!) and yet, my memory of typing dozens of papers in front of the Duraflame logs on the floor of that apartment on Beacon Street are as vivid as if it were yesterday. Armed with White-Out and the weird eraser brush thingy (pictured below, but whose name we couldn’t recall). Retyping entire pages if I missed a line. Technology is not like that today, and I think I’m grateful. And thanks for sharing your memories about Seattle. You made my day brighter.

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Seattle, Washington.

And in honor of one of my favorite poets, who passed away today, I’d like to share the following poem. Reminiscent of my Weekly Wednesday Poems on this blog — I know some of those were Mary Oliver’s. Rest well, Mary, and swirl in the beauty of words and other worlds.

White Night by Mary Oliver
All night
I float
in the shallow ponds
while the moon wanders
burning,
bone white,
among the milky stems.
Once
I saw her hand reach
to touch the muskrat’s
small sleek head
and it was lovely, oh,
I don’t want to argue anymore
about all the things
I thought I could not
live without! Soon
the muskrat
will glide with another
into their castle
of weeds, morning
will rise from the east
tangled and brazen,
and before that
difficult
and beautiful
hurricane of light
I want to flow out
across the mother
of all waters,
I want to lose myself
on the black
and silky currents,
yawning,
gathering
the tall lilies
of sleep.
#yearoflove

I have actually envisioned taking a pistol to my computer from time to time, but so far, I haven’t gone through with it. So far.

It’s been a week of technical frustration here at El Bungalow de Sweetie. Even though a lawnmower is not technically technology, after yesterday’s fiasco, I’m including it under the leaky umbrella of awfulness.  As I mentioned in last night’s rant, my phone is a pisser these days as well.

I am a late adopter, marrying an early adopter, and so MKL thought it would be great for me to get a SmartPhone about a year ago. Which I did. And I have regrets. I am now one of those people who no longer look out the window of the bus. I’m one of those people who can’t leave home without my phone. I’ve become one of those people I always snarked about.

When you upgrade to more sophisticated technology, you quickly integrate it into your daily life so that you feel dependent on it. And when it fails you – like my phone SO does often – you feel frustrated and betrayed. My phone deleted every picture I had taken since June. All by itself.  Just for some bitchy spiteful reason that it doesn’t want to talk about. That includes pictures from trips to Monument Valley and to Topsail. I hadn’t backed the pictures up on my computer because those two systems refused to speak to each other over the USB cable. (I think my phone has some personal problems.) While I mediated THAT communication breakdown last night, after downloading two separate programs that claimed they would recover the missing images, I am still bereft of said images. (Those programs lied. They were no help at all.)

When we were at Topsail, I got to talking with a lady slightly older than I. We were commiserating about the intrusion of technology in a place that feels like a throwback to an earlier era, as Topsail does. I remember when I was a kid at Topsail, my Dad would walk to the newspaper boxes in front of Mr. Godwin’s Market every morning to pick up copies of the Pender Chronicle, the Wilmington Star, and the Raleigh News & Observer (my Dad loved newspapers). That’s how we got our news. There was no TV. He had a radio that he brought with him that he set on the big table. That’s how we got our weather. Everyone at his work knew that he was out of town and unreachable. He had capable staff covering for him, and besides, nothing is as urgent as we think it is. We had no phone. He would walk down to the old glass pay-phone booth on Saturday nights to make his weekly calls to my grandmother. If my friends wanted to be in touch with me while we were gone, they would write me letters addressed to c/o General Delivery. Which they did.

We were not out of touch. We were in touch with each other, with the rhythm of the sea, with cooking and cleaning up after ourselves, with board games and books. We were simply at our ease.

I miss that. I can sometimes find that feeling on Anegada, when my internet doesn’t work. I could find it more often if I were disciplined enough just to disconnect. But there’s something different about disconnecting, as opposed to not having the connection in the first place. I can’t quite put my finger on it – it’s subtle and it’s infiltrating our concept of what we think we need (as opposed to what we actually need.)

All the noise of technology is drowning out the silence, the stillness, the mindfulness, and the care we took with things and with each other. Of course, I say this as I’m typing on a computer (as opposed to a typewriter) to an audience of hundreds who I would never have reached were it not for technology.

Ah, the irony of it.

And as for my phone, it was self-centered enough to save its own selfies, even though it wouldn’t save my pictures. I was going to post one of those pictures to accompany this blog entry, but guess what? I can’t find any of the pictures I did download from my phone last night anywhere on my computer.

And so, I bid you a disgusted good night.  May your dreams be techno-free.

 

 

 

I have my usual workhorse home computer. It isn’t working. It is, apparently, a dead horse. It must now go to the doctor. And I hope it isn’t terminal.

And I have my baby computer, that I take on trips, and that can’t do much, because it’s a baby.  And it, too, is being as uncooperative as a sick, stubborn two-year old. So no photos, until it resolves it’s tantrum.

One crazy-making box at a time though.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to get back into the flow soon.

Holiday hugs to all.

When my sweet mother was hanging around during her last days, she said something along the lines of “It’s a good thing I’m dying.  That way I don’t have to learn all this new stuff like how to use a computer.”  (I remember how proud she was when she ordered me a pair of genuine Wellingtons from an online shop in the UK.)

I have to admit that I get that sentiment.  I’m smart.  OK, not exactly hip and trendy, but I’m not a total ancient doofus.  But still, these days I feel like technology is just moving so fast that I can’t quite keep up.  Every other day it seems like there’s some new term, generally technology related, about which I am clueless.

Like today.  Today’s mystery term is “meme”.  To me, that sounds like something you might call your grandmother.  But nope, it’s not.  It’s (I think) an idea or theme that rapidly and suddenly infiltrates a culture – more often than not, virally – which, by the way, makes me think of the flu, not the internet.

I’m starting to feel like I just can’t keep up.  Thank heavens for Kelsea (for so many reasons).  She educates me about new terms, new trends, new slang, new dances, new everything.  Otherwise, I get the sense that I’d be standing in the middle of the interstate trying to figure out the safest way to cross to the other side.  Maybe I’d just set up camp in the median.

The year before my dad died, he asked me what a blog was.  I guessed, and I was right.  But look at where that single question has taken me now.  This blog, this creative outlet, that almost 200,000 people worldwide have taken a peek at.  That’s exciting and somehow reassuring at the same time.  I adopted that trend, figured it out (sort of) and embraced it. 

Maybe with a little help, I can figure out the rest of the techno terms and trends, catch up a little bit, and get more “with it”…”hip”…. okay, whatever they say these days.

August 2019
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