Monday, July 14, 2008

An unexpected shock

My tiny hut squats on the side of an ancient volcano above the sea, breezes flowing though screened windows, a riot of tropical vegetation in every direction. A light rain just ceased, and the frogs and insects have raised their evening chorus.

But...this place has no digital inputs. I have no Internet access and my cell phone has no service.

For me, this is a viscerally shocking experience, not unlike being forced to hold one's breath. Your first thought is, Ok, surely this can't go on much longer. And your next is, If this goes on another minute, I will die.

But then the oddest thing: I kept holding, and nothing happened. I didn't need to breathe! How freeing.

I found myself thinking, This is really nice. The metaphor inverted: It was as if I was finally able to exhale after months (years?) of clenching.

I began to imagine six weeks without any Internet and little phone, and to my surprise the idea seemed appealing. Of course, that would mean no blog. Although it might disappoint my dad and my cousin (a second reader!), it's something I'll consider.

Tonight, before I began to write, my eyes were burning. They used to feel that way after a day of staring at a computer. Is it possible that now they're doing so after a day without digital exposure, the withdrawal symptoms of a screen junkie?

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