It seems odd to plant myself so far from the reach of continuous internet in order to limit my interaction with it. An extreme remedy. Couldn’t I have just stayed in NYC and been more disciplined? No. The web bored its way into my core and I needed this draconian measure. The web is a tangled web, an entangling web, very sticky, and we are food for the spider. I sit in the mesa cabin and feel how much time I have. What did I do before my hours online? My daily task is to find my way back to being alive rather than electrified.
Electrified…The sunlight (by way of solar panels) that fills my computer and my Makita cordless drill feels gentler and warmer than the grid. It feels wider. It comes from sky, rather than that pumping, oil-sucking grid. Or the nuclear powered grid. Or the grim coal-powered grid. Power slamming it through the grrrrrrrrrrrrrrid! Does the sun transform my instruments, making them more benevolent? I feel more congenial toward them and, of course, they are not connected to the internet. My web connection is a slower-than-dial-up stream crammed into the tiny iPhone, a situation which quickly starves the great maw that has eaten so much of my life force.
I wander aimlessly, accustoming myself to the drive-less-ness of this place. The daily chores are few and take time—washing dishes, washing my skin. I devise little projects that will endlessly unfold, but it doesn’t matter if they get done. I discover my emptiness. Like a dirty hump of winter ice that persists through the final dregs of spring, my meaning melts ever-so-slowly. Ambitions and identity seem faintly obscene, an insult to this land which is very grand, and plans appear to be nervousness—fear of having no plan, fear of being here, of being. This is not an altogether happy experience. One moment I feel liberated and the next, lost.
One story: I am Out West, being Georgia O’Keefe or Thoreau, relating my tale to an audience captivated by apartments and cars. Because this was my predicament, and I am not the only one, I fancy that my story is a ray of hope, or at least a fun romp. On a bad day, I feel weary of the child in my heart performing for an ‘A’, but cannot stop the small self from playing out her story lines. Just to survive I have to grip onto small self, chanting “this is who I am.” Meanwhile, the mesa crashes its wind into me, storms my ears with its opera, drowning out my inner cacophony. My story doesn’t have to be small self. Here is what is solid: the day, the night, the wind, the task, actions, sitting, observing all as it is, not as imagination, not as illusion, not someone else’s story, not even my story, though my breathing is always emerging, mixing with the wind opera, so that bit of me at least is real. We imagine we are so much but we are so little. But it is enough.