Notes from the Dark

Black suede Cary Grant

When a theatre doesn’t have a performance or rehearsal, etc. it is said that the theatre is “dark.

I’m writing this out longhand, with a favourite thick-barrelled ballpoint that is soon to break and be replaced with a Parker Jotter. The notes are on a yellow legal pad. This is the way that I used to write reports at school before committing to the labourious process of typing them out.

My computer is in the shop. Which means that I must first apologize to the Genius Bar guys. They were right and I was wrong. Part of my optical drive burnt out, so my machine could read CDs, just not DVDs. It was a far more expensive issue than replacing a disk. I still maintain that service is dead. But for every rule there is an exception. Brandon, who helped me at the Short Pump Apple Store, remained very cheerful throughout the ordeal, mine and others’. His was customer service of the first order. He even found me a FedEx Kinko’s Office when I had to scan and email some photos immediately. He should be rewarded early and often.

Both of the above anecdotes bring to mind something else that has just happened: The Model T Ocean to Ocean trip. I am aware of the trip because a friend of Mrs. E.’s is participating.

“It’s a great way to see the country,” said Billy McGuire. “No radio, no heat or air conditioning, and all at 35 mph.”

I’ve written before about the need to slow down a smell the roses. My Bluetooth Jawbone headset broke a while back and I haven’t replaced it. Or missed it. A drive is more fun now, instead of being a time when I could return some phone call. The weather (until today, 17 July) has been temperate enough to drive with the windows down and the sunroof open, “Vince and Bola” playing on the stereo. It was this morning that the truth sunk in.

To truly slow down, you’ve got to unplug.

I wandered by my desk, looking at the empty cooling platform, the jumble of wires and general disorder and missed my blogging, my tweeting, goggling, commenting, in short, my internet. Missed it far too much.

I cleaned up the desk, turned on the radio and sat down to set pen to paper.

A few thoughts:

You must be more focused when writing with pen and ink.

Writing uses different muscles. Mine are long out of shape.

All writing is re-writing. Small faults and crossings-out will be corrected when this is keyed in.

Writing and reading inspire reflection and contemplation. Much like taking a long, slow, open-topped drive across the country or a stroll around the block.

I wonder if all this connectivity is disconnecting us? If focus on the small screen leaves us unable to admire the big picture?

So, here’s your homework for the weekend (yup, that’s the kind of school I attended… .) Go somewhere today or tonight or tomorrow and just be quiet. Unplug, leave the cell, the Blackberry, heaven forbid the iPhone, behind and just be quiet. Or take a long slow drive in the country. Leave the tweets and chirps to the birds and crickets. But don’t get online.

It’s starting to storm here. I’m turning off the computer and turning to a few articles that AGD sent me. Mr. Merkin is very diverting. And then I have a dinner party for which to prepare.

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