Can I tell you how lovely this is…this moment? This feeling? Alone on this patio. Sorting out my heart’s questions…who does that anymore? Do people really feel anymore? I mean, I know I am not the only one. Still it seems we have reduced ourselves to emoticons and acronyms. I for one am more complex than that…or, in many ways more simple, more slow, more deliberate. I won’t pretend that I don’t enjoy the modern conveniences that technology affords us all. But no phone, no fan page, no screen – no blog – can replace real human contact. It takes far more courage to genuinely connect from the heart than it does from a touchscreen.
With so many means by which to “connect”, it seems we’ve isolated ourselves in our digital days. If our phones are not in our hands, they are sitting on the table inches away. Even now, I have three electronic devices on the table with me:
…my kindle so I can read.
…my laptop so I can write, listen to music, check emails — figure out blogging!
…and my phone so I don’t miss a text.
If I try really hard, I can still remember what life was like before I had a cell phone, a laptop, a kindle, FaceBook:
I didn’t browse someone’s FaceBook page to get to know them in 4 minutes or less.
I invested time talking to real-life people face-to-face, making real eye contact. And, it took months and years to develop meaningful relationships.
I didn’t type, text, chat, or private message.
I actually spoke words from my heart with my mouth and listened to a friend’s voice – tone, inflection, noticed facial expressions, touched their hand. I miss the lost art of engaging in conversation.
I didn’t 🙂 or LOL.
I actually parted my lips and showed teeth – I smiled and laughed from my belly.
I didn’t press a power button, need a charger, or free wi-fi.
I literally turned pages, had bookshelves, and owned pretty little bookmarks.
I didn’t have a profile pic, status updates, check-ins, or a friend count.
Only a few people knew where I was at any given moment,
and I had genuine friends I could count on one hand.
So, I find myself plugged in this evening on the patio of the local coffee/gelato/panini shop that is usually buzzing with people. But, Pinocchios is quiet tonight…which is perfect because I desperately need to unwind from my emotionally charged day. Bob makes me a breakfast sandwich and coffee. Yes, Bob. A real person. And, when I come through the door, Bob (or Jenny) greets me by name and knows what coffee I’d like to have – even though I change my mind frequently, as girls totally have the right to do. LOL! 🙂
I get settled in alone for hours with all my digital devices. And, Bob makes sure the wi-fi is working for me. I unapologetically enjoy Free Fallin’ (Acoustic) Radio on Pandora, my digital copy of The Great Gatsby on my kindle, checking emails and FaceBook updates on my laptop, and the occasional texts on my phone (inches away on the table of course).
But what I love the most about tonight, what challenges and fulfills my soul – what requires the most courage from me – are the moments I take my eyes and fingers off the screens and make time on purpose to sit here alone and let myself think and feel, to fearlessly sort out my heart’s questions…
What are your heart’s questions?