Hi, I’m Back……
Surging forward, mindlessly emerging, mute and will-less, propelled by a force supernatural, focused on an evil purpose, they emerge every few months, to haunt me. Everything grinds to a halt, without explanation, the apocalyptic zombie emails, once and forever deleted, rumble again into life, wrecking havoc on my computer system, upending any semblance of serenity I am tenuously clinging to in the world of technology.
Dead emails reemerge! Emails once banished, deleted, forever gone from life, march mindlessly back into my computer, demanding my attention, stopping everything. ERROR, they shriek, YOU HAVE REACHED YOUR LIMIT. I shriek in return; I pull at my hair. ERROR, they repeat, YOU HAVE REACHED YOUR LIMIT.
Why, I wonder. What have I done to bring this catastrophic event back into my life? I delete like a good citizen of the virtual world. I empty my cosmic trash. I do my best to minimally understand my virtual responsibilities.
Why? Why me?
Deleting the once-deleted is a walk through a haunted house; 2016 flashes before my eyes. DELETE. DELETE AGAIN. 2015. Names. Phrases. Once current and now long gone, they are emerging from the grave of memory, taunting me to engage. The dead/not dead emails spiral past my sight as I re-delete, seducing me into their memory. READ ME. READ ME. Do not stop, I think. Keep deleting. Just delete. My finger sore, my spirit spooked, I delete that which has been already deleted, wondering about the cosmic lesson here.
Names and events flash by the screen.
They are stilled.
They are gone.
Just for now.
The zombies are quieted.
I take a breath of temporary, calming relief. Yet, in the lull, my mind wanders to other arenas of unrest.
I will not speak aloud the names the other devices that, while sharing my life and supporting my functioning, have an existence separate from my own. I will not speak the names, for fear of further rebellion. Suffice to say, the nameless mobile devise that rings only when it chooses, that goes to voicemail on its own volition….. The nameless-land-line-devise, another hothead, making its own choice to drop calls………
Shhhhh, I think. Don’t upset them.
But I must speak the name, I must mention the realm of The Small Appliance, the rebellion of spirit that lives within. The newly purchased, the seemingly well-behaved and functional, the seemingly malleable rice cooker that chose to spew a five-foot fountain of water across the counter.
Are you a fountain living within the body of a rice cooker?
Why do you choose my home in which to spew?
I don’t know, you reader-guys. What is this about?
Perhaps this piece is about aging. Perhaps I am too old to contend, to manage, to navigate the world of the electronic, the virtual, the material.
My feet throb.
The bags under my eyes have wrinkles.
Putting my right foot into a shoe has become an act of willful determination.
Contending with these multiple arenas of life, the technological, the electrical, the material literally seems too hard for me.
Really? Did I just say that?
I am committed to the practice of being present in my life, of living with skillful mindfulness. Give me some grief, toss me a little trauma, I’m there. But a technological challenge? I cannot. I am not willing. A landline that drops calls randomly, on the winds of preference? I shut down.
Is my frightened ten-year old child, afraid of life itself? Is the child in me overwhelmed? She is a child, not of 2018—oh, if only she were, then she could organize and manage my technological and electronic world. No, she is a ten-year old from 1958.
She’s scared. She doesn’t know how.
She wants you to do it for her.
So, what might a skillful response be?
To love her, to befriend her and her fear, to care for her…
…..and to find a tech support person who can carry you through!
If you are a techy- type, (you know who you are), I ask that you do not send on suggestions, instructions, or directions. Trust me: I really don’t want to learn how to do this.
Can somebody please lend me a ten-year old?
What about you, dear readers? Where do you fall on the spectrum of manageability of all things virtual, all things electronic?
Dear readers, let me know if you relate to anything in this piece. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.