Today I am taking a technological time-out. I need a break from the Net. Instead of powering up, I am powering down. No email, no twitter, no browsing the blogosphere.
Instead, I sit with a cup of tea and watch the morning open. A narrow streak of light lines the horizon like a pewter band and the night sky recedes. Silence fills me. All is well.
Times of stillness: meditation
This feeling of ease, reminds me that once upon a time, I practiced Transcendental Meditation. If you wonder why I stopped, the simple answer is lack of discipline or will power – laziness is the most accurate word.
I look closely at myself these days and see as many weaknesses as wrinkles. There is still time to choose the right path but the hourglass is less than half-full.
I remember my mantra – my personal sound vibration. Today I use it.
It takes no more than a few minutes for the familiar prickling sensation – as if a sleeping part of me is awakening. Energy flows outward and I relax. Thoughts crowd in like kids wanting attention. I ignore them and drift. I am rudderless, a boat carried on ocean currents. I want nothing – desire nothing except this lightness of being.
Now I am a child on my father’s gillnetter, the Heidi. The surface of the sea, a smooth gunmetal blue, undulates as if alive. The anchored vessel sits low in the water heavy with the day’s catch. The boat rocks, ropes creak, and the sea slaps out a gentle rhythm. As the sun dips, the sky turns crimson and the ocean catches fire. The light infuses me. The boat, the ocean, the sky and I dissolve. We are the light.
Times of stillness:
the spiritual self remembers
The experience is brief but momentous. This is a reliving of a childhood event. My mother, brother and sister are somewhere at the edge of the light. My father is nearby, gutting dogfish, retrieving the liver and tossing waste overboard. There is blood everywhere – on his hands, the boat and in the sea. Overhead gulls shriek and clamor then dive fighting for their share of the meal.
My ego with a strong attachment to the rational wants me to deny the experience and the memory. My spiritual self knows the child does not lie. I am with her when she slips through an earthly crack and escapes a moment of ugliness.
The Plugged in world is bigger than I can imagine. The Net is a gift that helps me to learn and grow intellectually and as a writer. Unplugged, I am able (if I choose) to learn and grow spiritually. I need both ego and spirit to find my voice. Help me Lord to balance my energies by embracing the gifts of these two worlds.
— Carol Johnson
This vignette was written by Carol Johnson, a grandmother, community and church volunteer, student and writer. At the golden age of 66, she is discovering internet and blogging – ‘a digital immigrant in the slow lane of information highway’, as she herself says.