Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Coming up for air

So I go back and look over my various blogs, writing commitments, etc. and realize it has been months since I wrote much of anything publicly.  A lot of that that time was spent on Facebook, and some of you may have noticed that I recently deleted my account.  The reasons why are perhaps hard to explain clearly, but I'll do my best.

Over the past decade I had allowed my community to become mostly virtual.  This was the result of a lot of things, both circumstantial and through my own actions.  The shape of my social life had become very narrow and isolated.  Then when "real life" impinged upon my routine I realized that I needed some real life connection, and that my digital family was dangerously ephemeral.  Nothing personal against you, if this includes you - just that I needed to reach out to people I could actually feel, see, and hear.  I had been a political/social/pop culture blog junkie through the oughties, and gone more or less cold turkey to save my sanity; I realized I was repeating the same problem with Facebook, and had to cut myself off.

I currently live in a rural area where my main social interaction is limited to immediate family and longtime family friends.  I still write but am in something of a state of hibernation -- I think that the habit of putting everything out there straight from the skull without any editing is not always productive.  Sometimes you have to refine your thinking in solitude, so that when you are finally ready to say something you are delivering the best you have to offer, and aren't burdening your readers with filtering your output.  If you make a habit of delivering quantity over quality, your readers are liable to ta ke you for granted.  That is assuming you have any.

About once a week I head back into the city to hang out with my daughter.  That part is great, but I am constantly reinforced in my dislike of city life.  Maybe I'll go back to that kind of living  eventually, but at the moment it doesn't seem appealing -- the high stress, high stakes, dehumanizing, brutal crush and thrust of it all.  Out here, even the most important tasks get done when they get done; the main urgency is to live and be a human being.  What other value is there?  We walk slower here, talk slower here, think slower, make eye contact, eat together, laugh together...ironically with so much solitude available we are seldom alone.  People are not as numb to one another out here.  Sometimes they even talk to strangers.

1 comment:

Katherine Jenkins said...

Love this Erik...and so nice of you to stop by and visit your "virtual" family ^_^! Actually, I wondered what happened to you and I'm so happy to receive an update. I've been there. I've wanted to pull the plug on everything. Problem is, I've met too many wonderful people in this "tiny box" called a computer. I think a balance is good. I love meeting people in 3D and I love my friends here too. Going off and living on the "farm" with friends sounds really appealing at times. I'm so glad you've had time to connect with family and friends. Hey, and I'm in Seattle too if you ever want to meet in 3D! All the BEST to you and keep writing and sharing! Looking forward to more posts from you!