“Tell me what you feel in your room when the full moon is shining in upon you and your lamp is dying out, and I will tell you how old you are, and I shall know if you are happy”
~ Henri Frederic Amiel
There are moments, increasingly frequent moments, when I’m absolutely positive that the modern world has passed me by. Evidently, this is a common problem among “mature” folk, but I wasn’t quite prepared for it to happen to me this early. Yes, I made fun of my parents when they didn’t understand cordless telephones and insisted on standing next to the cradle while they were on the phone, not wanting to walk too far away from the phone’s ‘mother ship’. Now, I struggle to figure out all the features on my ‘smart phone’ and half the time I forget to turn the ringer on and I miss phone calls. Mostly from my kids – sorry kids, you know I love you, I’m just a complete dork. Also, I’m not quite sure what a widget thingy is or why there should be one on my blog. Most of my blog entries are still not categorized because I forget that part and only the other day did I figure out I was supposed to be tagging the posts so random people could find my silly thoughts on the inter-webs. Point me to the dirt and I know what I’m doing, plop an electronic gadget in front of me and my breathing becomes shallow and my heart rate goes up. Give me one more “username and password” to think up for a new website and I won’t need to do cardio anymore. (not that I’m all that fond of cardio in the first place)
It’s enough to make a girl from the country, who moved to the city, go crazy and want to move back to the country. Until, of course, I want to order a pizza or hop into “Happy Nails” for a manicure without an appointment or drive up to Los Angeles with Tom for a romantic weekend getaway. What about the late night chocolate craving that only gets satisfied if the liquor store down the street is open? When I lived in the country, there was a drive through liquor store down the highway, twenty minutes down the highway to be exact. Paying my bills online takes me two minutes and I don’t have to file anything. My algebra homework is all done online these days and I can watch a little video on the website if I need help: instant and free math tutor with a rewind and mute function – awesome!
Because of modern technology, I can take 161 photos of a flower in my garden every single day and by the evening they are on my PC ready for use, the camera is recharging its batteries for tomorrow, and it was all free of charge. Remember the days when you took your film down to some ‘one hour photo’ place and waited? It was expensive and you looked at half the photos when you got them home and went “eww” – now I can hit delete if I don’t like a pic and it’s over!
the center of a morning star
There is nothing like a modern nature documentary in HD or a cooking show to teach you how to do something our mothers had to figure out on their own or from a dusty old black and white cookbook or worse, index card recipes passed around at church picnics, scribbled with Gran’s terrible chicken-scratch handwriting and always calling for “oleo” – whatever the hell kind of concoction that was.
Passion Fruit flower with ant
Now we have stem cell miracles, almost a cure for cancer, people who are actually surviving HIV, and the successful creation of synthetic life. You can learn anything you want to from television or internet. ANYTHING! It’s amazing – especially if you can remember back to times when you had to plan ahead to go down to the grocery store to rent a VCR and some videos so you could watch a movie at home over the weekend. My first VCR/video rental was the movie “About Last Night”
with Demi Moore and Rob Lowe. My parents were out of town that weekend and I had to get everything turned back in before they discovered I had rented a “Rated R” movie and it took me forever to hook the thing up and I almost broke our TV in the process. Now, we have Netflix. Yay for Netflix!
Agapanthus by the garden gate
The downside of all this modern age business is that you are constantly bombarded with all of the troubles and silliness of the world – the ENTIRE WORLD!!! Yes, we all care about the news. But, if looking at images of the BP oil spill (don’t you love the diminutive language they’re using?) makes you cry or get angry, you should stop doing it all day every day. Every time a senator whips it out and gets caught at an unsavory moment, the world thinks I need to know about it. One of Kardishians or Hiltons or Lohans farts sideways in China and I need to get an email about it which ends up on my cell phone and therefore in my pocket while I’m trying to relax and enjoy a little peace and quiet in the garden. In bed with a good book and suddenly your cell phone vibrates to tell you about an email from Victoria’s Secret selling you a newfangled push-up bra when it’s the absolute LAST thing you need and before you know it you’ve lost your center. The flotsam and jetsam factory is out there trying to ravenously suck up your center and destroy it, throwing you off balance and out into the maelstrom. It wants YOU!
Ivy with blue blue sky
Do you remember your center? Have you been there lately? That place or feeling deep inside that is you and only you. Undisturbed, dark, quiet, steady and sure of itself. There in that quiet place lives the version of you that is hidden away when the world goes crazy and takes you with it. That’s where my favorite “me” lives and the “me” I don’t feel often enough. You know when you’re off center because you’re kinda grumpy, have a “tension headache” and your shoulders are up under your earlobes. Traffic pisses you off, noises are all too loud, you suspect yourself of being a misanthrope and the doorbell makes you cringe. If you’re an introvert like I am, all of above is amplified. So, what takes you back to center?
Nasturium with rain
For me; yoga and pajamas, potatoes and chocolate, red wine and fluffy pillows, dark curtains and blankets, lots of milk in my coffee and rubbing Peanut’s belly. Tom. The garden. Silence. Following the Moon across the sky every day. When the Moon is almost full, I start leaving my bedroom curtains open at night so the Moonlight floods my room. I lay in bed, maybe listen to my Ipod (another favorite gadget that at least I have figured out) and I clear my head, searching for center. There, in the “witching hour”, there are no voices but mine, nothing to be done because nothing can be done until tomorrow. Center rises and expands and inhales: she is free and wise, strong and beautiful. She is full of light, waxing and waning with the steady rhythm of nature, yet always the same and always there, even in darkness.
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