LIFE WITHOUT INTERNET

Arghhhh!!! Two days and no connection to Internet. I send my Muse (el Muso, an old friend from highschool days recently refound and whom I call ‘my muse’ because it was to share with him that I originally began to write about Salies) an ES-EM-ES saying I am disconnected. I get an answer, well no, I get obsessively the same message over 12 times: WRITE ABOUT LIFE WITHOUT WWW. Twelve times is definitely an order, so… Muso, here goes.

Life without Internet… sucks! I have written a piece yesterday. I want to post it: impossible, no internet. I want to send it to el Muso, impossible, no internet. I want to talk to my children, impossible: no internet. I want to play a game on the web… same. Suddenly I realize how dependent my life has become on the WWW. I even thought I could live in Salies because Internet would have me connected. I go over to the Park Hotel (Casino) and get permission to hook up to their WiFi. I get hooked up and… no internet: I cannot connect. My computer says it is connected but e-mail, explorer and other utilities are not working; Skype refuses to connect. Frustration. My I-phone keeps repeating the same message: WRITE ABOUT LIFE WITHOUT WWW. Muso.

What in the world is going on with connections in Salies? The phone has become a parrot with one discourse, and my computer refuses to connect to Internet. I walk over to the Cyber Service (now that I have discovered where it is). A sign on the door announces the person in charge has gone on a vacation and won’t be back until a week from today, August 30th. Frustration. WRITE ABOUT LIFE WITHOUT WWW. My phone has OCD, obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Ok, so I realize how my life is affected by Internet. Even in Madrid I am hooked up a good amount of time and my being able to be in contact with my kids at practically any waking hour we share is part of feeling free to live wherever I want. I don’t have to live next door (the phone repeats, every 15 minutes, WRITE ABOUT LIFE WITHOUT WWW… ok, I’m doing it, I’m doing it.) So even living in Madrid without internet would be problematic. I would have to revamp my life. What else am I dependent on. Good God, everything!

Think of life without computers (I used to write on an electric typewriter and before that on a manual one, and before that by hand…), without electricity, without supermarkets, without running water, without phones… Think of life without modernity, period! No trains, no planes, no cars… Back to the basics. Many people still live that way. (WRITE ABOUT LIFE WITHOUT WWW…I wonder what is wrong with my I-phone. This is the 14th time the message has entered and I AM DOING IT!!!!). Life without internet… well, most of my life I have lived without internet. Without television at least until I was 11, without cellular phones, wow!, until just … what has it been, already 15-20 years. It is hard to remember when we weren’t connected all the time by some mechanical device. (WRITE ABOUT LIFE WITHOUT WWW… I turn the damn thing off, crazy phone).

I used to go to the supermarket with my Mother, it was much smaller then, practically no choice: cereal (Kellog’s Corn Flakes; later, Kellog’s Rice Krispies), one kind of milk, a reduced selection of veggies, meat, nothing fancy, local produce. When we got home we had no idea if anyone had called while we were out. It didn’t occur to us that this might be a problem. There was no way anyone could leave a message; they just called back when they thought we might have had time to get home. If somebody died you might find out two days, a week or even a month later; if that someone wasn’t close, you might not find out for a year or two, or maybe never. You didn’t need to know.

Without Internet… I would go to lunch, no hurry to get back, sit on a shaded bench in the park, read while Salomé sits next to me. Two French children, boy and girl, come over to play with Salomé. My French is terrible but I invite them to throw something for her. They find a blue top to a plastic bottle and begin to throw. As usual, Salomé won’t give it back: she prefers to be chased. They find a red plastic top to a bottle and she gives up the blue one. The game goes like that. Then I take my leave; Deborah and Davey (the two children) watch me walk off. I would have stayed longer but my French is so lame, I tire very rapidly of trying to say things understandably. When I say them in my head, when I am alone, I speak very good French. It is when talking to others that I mess up. C’est la vie!

WRITE ABOUT LIFE WITHOUT WWW… I have turned the phone on again. Its insistence begins to bore me. I do not understand why one means of communication is nonexistent and the other insists on repeating itself endless and uselessly. This is the modern world. Without Internet, one might just decide to take a nap.

WRITE ABOUT LIFE WITHOUT WWW.  Ok, already. Life without WWW would be quiet. Yes, very quiet. Life without WWW would give me time to watch “Living Luminaries” and see Eckhart Tolle remind me of the power of Now. I could be in the Now. Life without WWW, would be silent and present. I would put on my boots and tie them carefully, breathing all the time, listening to my breath. Then I would begin, one foot in front of the other, walking, purposely, attentively, breathing, feeling my breath as my eyes settled on the present, the green, the trees, all different shades of green, the grass, the call of the birds in the trees, movement, fantastic shapes of white clouds against a sky so blue, so blue, so blue… Now, life, happening, step by step, along the path, picking black berries and sharing them with my little dog, that dog, the one the follows me and then runs ahead, without Internet, eating blackberries, diving into the underbrush with me, through the thicket of trees, the path we know because we followed it the other day, to the field where the good corn is, and back with corn in my pocket, breathing, watching the clouds leave the evening sky while the setting sun tries to catch them before they go, without Internet, the breeze beginning to cool the setting day, breathing, now, watching life unfold, flow, slip by like the breath.

Thank goodness, I have left my neurotic phone home. When I return there are six more messages: WRITE ABOUT LIFE WITHOUT WWW. WRITE ABOUT LIFE WITHOUT WWW. WRITE ABOUT LIFE WITHOUT WWW.   WRITE… WRITE… or not.

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