Friends long touted the cure, the detox, the purification from all things technological, cellular, internet. I nodded and said, "Of course. sounds good. Take that week away. You deserve it. You need it. Go."
So said friend went into the dark and natural world of nothing, and I waved with one hand, clutching my Blackberry to my chest with the other. As my friend drove off, I looked at my phone with its little green and/or red heart beating out a consant, safe, sure reminder that I was in the world. I exist! I am alive!
This weekend headed away on a journey, somewhere after Bodega Bay, my phone stopped, its heart beating nothing but "No Service." Up at Sea Ranch, not only was the light off on my phone but there was no internet service at the house we rented. There really wasn't even phone service, as we had to use a credit card to call out.
We were trapped with each other. I couldn't do my work. My students couldn't find me. My son and mother and any assorted relatives and friends couldn't find me. I hadn't told anyone I was totally and completely GONE! I started hyperventilating, knowing that there would be 40 messages when I got back, all wanting something. But for now, I was unable to work or fix or solve anything.
You'd think this could make me happy, but I was slightly possessed for the first few hours of Friday afternoon's enforced nothing. I read a book. I made dinner. We played Scrabble. We played another game of Scrabble, and I won, a thing I never do. Saturday morning, I ran outside with Michael's oldest daughter, through fog, the ocean at our right and the left. Birds flew overhead, common goldfinches and flickers and sparrows. Vultures hung like kites in the sky. Deer dropped Lyme disease carrying ticks, but we avoided the tall grass.
We ate. We took naps. We hiked. We drove into town to buy really horrible magazines and delicious cheese. We ate some more. We played three games of Scrabble, and the most contested words were jus, feng (as in shui), ew (recently accepted into the OED), and testee (who knew it had two e's at the end).
We watched part of a very bad movie and then all slept some more.
By Sunday and after a walk and coffee, we were ready to leave. Just after Wright's Beach, I turned on my phone. 54 messages, all requiring a response. At home, papers lined up in their internet rows. Stories came through the wire. The contractor called, twice. My son was safely on the road and then home, nothing amiss.
Yes, I'm a trifle behind and I don't know if I can relax at a time of high stress--the stress of relaxing is too high. But it was fun. And no, feng does not count as a word in Scrabble.
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org