"We're all just walking each other home." - - Ram Dass

Thursday, July 3, 2014

140 Characters

I just finished reading ‘The Circle’ a book that hearkens ‘A Brave New World’ meets ‘The Social Network’ – a cautionary tale about where social media and society could be headed.  It has got me thinking because I have this love/hate relationship with the internet, as most of us do.  My use of these tools are spotty at best – never have I been one to consistently maximize content, SEO, or try to hit target demographics in a way that makes me a Google Plus guru.

As I tuck myself into the side of the mountains in Tennessee for our annual summer vacation, I feel all of my cells relax, and I’m able to say – maybe that’s ok.

I want to live my life in more than 140 characters.

Turn down a road that Siri can’t find.

‘Recalculate’ not to a tiny pin dropped on a map, but to this big beautiful world that is teaching me by standing still inside it.

I want to ‘Check-in’ with my children over flashlights, our backs pressed against the solid earth. Our limbs clammy in our sleeping bags while their dreams and plans for the future spread out above us among the stars.

I look to capture their childhood and our life outside a 640px by 640px square frame.
To let this life wash over us in panoramic, its only ‘filter’ the sun and the shade.

Looking nothing like my profile picture as we explore the belly of this ol’ world, 350 feet down.
Feeling at once how small we are in stature to the cave that surrounds us, and how tied we all are to those who have come before.

I will eat a dinner straight out of tin-foil.
The smoke from the open fire where it was cooked still rising.
There will be no ‘Yelp’ review,
and certainly no food porn hashtag.

I will have no need to check a tiny status bar to find out ‘What’s on your mind?’
I will look over at my husband and see the slow smile creeping over the man I love’s face
as I watch him watch our children splash and dive.
Their voices carrying over the water top to where we sit, peacefully quiet
over the life we've hard fought to make over these past ten years.

To pay attention only to the ‘Tweets’ that come from the trees high above us, my son straining to identify each one.
He who will be turning eight this month, with a bird field guide stared at the top of his birthday wish list.

The only ‘impact’ worth achieving is the astonished delight across their messy faces as I say ‘yes’ to that S’more even after ice cream.

My ‘Klout’ measured only by the weight of their sleeping limbs that we carry to their beds, dirty feet flung over the side of our beds, to weary and full from the day to care.

Accumulating moments to hold like soft stones, weighing my life down with meaning,
worn smooth by being turned over so often in our minds and in family lore.

Not stats.

Not likes.

Not shares or follows.

Just life – fleeting, rare.

For my face to be remembered lit up by the fireflies we chased across the yard,
not by a tiny screen, scrolling through 400 feeds while diminishing my own.

I will leave my ‘Fitbit’ on the counter.  Tracking only the delicious stops along the way.
Just for this week no steps, no schemes to squeeze in a thousand more.

I will look for ways instead to shut-down.

My presence absent from the screen, and full again – in life.