“This is mine”
I find myself with the habit of writing…but a strong disinclination to write. Lately it has come down to this…sharing with someone who is right in front of me makes sense and broadcasting to numerous people who I shall never meet, break bread with or look in the eye feels completely dissatisfying. It is counter culture, even when I don’t mean to be. It is anti-Facebook, retro Twitter, and not being LinkedIn.
I won’t pretend I don’t love to be heard. I am a writer, a poet and speaker and a healer…of course I love to be heard. I can’t do what I do without being heard. What I don’t love, any longer, is indiscriminately passing along what is to be shared. Could just be a phase. But everytime I have sat down to write lately, which has been often, I delete the whole thing and feel relief. I feel I have ceased the feeding of something I am only just coming to gain perspective on.
This blogging, the Facebooking, the texting and tweeting…being on our cell phones…it all feels wrong to me. Not “wrong” in the literal sense of the word. But “wrong” for me and not what I am here to do. I refer to it all as “peripheral relating”. All of these communication modalities give one a sense of being connected to people…to hundreds or thousands of people. Energetically this is true. There is a literal connection. But to me it feels completely disembodied. It is a way to connect that has no actual grounding underneath it.
I deleted my Facebook a while back. I have a LinkedIn account I don’t even know how to log in to. I don’t tweet. What I discovered though is that without Facebook I have uncovered even more loneliness than I knew was there. Without posting to this blog, I uncovered even more than I knew was there. Without people writing to me to tell me about how much they enjoyed my postings…what I saw, very quickly was that posting and being on FB gave me an unconscious way to avoid the loneliness that was there in my everyday life. And that is at the heart of what I am getting at…that being active in those different ways, kept me from tending to the loneliness…it kept me from healing what was presently there.
I have travelled a LOT lately. I have spent a lot of time in airports and on buses across the nation. Now that I am not checking my FB, nor tweeting, nor even posting here I am hands free and eyes free to just be. So, while en route to different locales it gave me a chance to look up. I loved not having my phone or laptop active in my hands. I saw an incredible volume of peripheral communication going on all around me. No one was speaking to one another. No one was even looking at one another. Hell, some people were even bumping into one another as they walked about aimlessly while staring at their iPhone screens. People would stand in the middle of walkways typing furiously as others streamed around them…they were like an island of disconnection in a river of people who were actually there in the same space. I am not going to find fault with it. I don’t know what the big picture is. I don’t know how this madness fits into our evolution towards love. But I do know that people are lonely. And I know that their loneliness has found succor through peripheral communication. I don’t find fault with it. But I do see that it points to just how incredibly inept we are at asking for direct care and attention from the people right in front of us. I do see that we have created a “safe” way to be intimate with people. Sure…it is easy to be intimately connected with someone we will likely never meet…there is no risk. I see peripheral communication and relating bringing humanity closer in terms of volume, but in ways that leaves us less functional, content or harmonized to our real and actual present lives. If you want to test it, pull the plug and see what happens. I found a lot of loneliness under mine. What is under yours? Leave home without it…see what happens. Cancel your FB. Delete your blog. The truth will surface very quickly.
I am not really saying that I feel we would be better of it is all stopped now. I am saying that we must consider the long term impact of seeking from others what we will not offer ourselves. For now we all have something that has never been available in the history of humanity on Earth…a potential audience of hundreds or thousands…for EACH of us. It is a rapturous time for the attention starved parts of us. And the habit of speaking intimately and closely with those we do not have an embodied connection with (i.e. in the same room or same space)….all I can say is that I feel the value in it…AND I see it as something we will eventually have to heal from. Because when you acclimate your soul to sharing with so many that you cannot touch, feel or hear, there is an impact. There is a way that we forget what real connection felt like. We get numb. The genuine embodied attention and/or care of others becomes disposable.
After these last months of being unplugged, all I can say is that I value even more the direct connection with people. The friends that I have spent time with face to face. My family. My clients. The retreatants whom I was privileged to spend time with in CO and MA…my time in nature. So valuable to me. And ironically that is why I have not written. Writing to a blank audience here pales in comparison.
“peripheral relationships”—It is like watching a sunrise on the Nature Channel on a big screen television…and having the “feeling” like you just saw the real thing. When you can watch a “friendship” on a screen, you may forget the importance of the warmth of the real thing and not even know it.
I have just wrapped up months of travel plans that began in the Summer. I am very glad to be done and home, regardless of how much I enjoyed the travel and seeing everyone I was able to see. Upon my arrival home, literally, I received an email from a client who is interested in having me come to MA soon. I am feign to travel again so soon. But on the other hand…the opportunity to meet with someone who is willing to put their financial resources and energy into a direct meeting…that is what I support. I feel that is what we need more of, especially now, maybe more than ever. Authentic communication with people who are standing right in front of us, sharing honestly.