Late afternoon and I have a tooth-ache on top of too little sleep. I lay down for a nap, wake up to distant rolling thunder. I have a clear view of the storm from where I lay, and my senses take it in. Gray-black clouds, cool guffs of winds shaking the thick, dull smell of the hot day off the trees, mingling the sweeter smells underneath and delivering them with great bursts against the side of the house. The house - we always say how solid it feels - groans quietly at its shoulders.
I'm still paralyzed a little by the recent sleep, glued to the couch with only my senses. A quality of experience that has been missing. Clear and present observation without the buzz of internal dialogue, and more importantly without the buzz of what others are experiencing.
I'm not reaching for my laptop to see what weather.com is saying. I'm not streaming a twitter hashtag to see what's happening two towns over. I'm not thinking about how to Instagram or Facebook the moment. For a few minutes I'm free of the buzz and it feels out-of-time, or maybe reminiscent of a different time. Of summers before streaming radio and movies and digital interconnectedness. Summers of smells and sounds and subtle variations in the quality of air that were captured only by fully experiencing them in the moment. The experience itself rather than the construction or consumption of the content about the experience.
And then it's gone. The rest of the house has come downstairs to gawk at the storm, now in full heat, slinging blueberry sized hail at the windows, flooding our front porch. The paralysis lifts and I'm off the couch, phone in hand to capture a photo of the hail before it melts in my hand. The earlier moment carries its resonance in my belly and I know now I must find more time to disconnect. To close the portals to the digital world with some frequency.
Serendipitously, and ironically, Jonathan Fields writes about The Tyranny of Connectivity that same day.
Perhaps, dear word-nerds, you might experiment with this a little yourselves before you write this week. Or perhaps you already do purposefully disconnect. If so, I'd love to hear about it.
Your word this week:
Which of course you can use to tell a 100 word story about your own experience of disconnecting from the digital world, and the changes in the quality of experience, or as you wish.