Wednesday, July 18, 2007

off the grid

If Gov. Jon Corzine can say, 'No,' to e-mail, can the rest of us? I was just listening to David Shipley discuss his thoughts about it on NPR's All Things Considered (listen). Gov. Corzine isn't stepping away from e-mail, Blackberrys, and the like for any spiritual reasons. He's doing so, siting concerns for his privacy. Oh, you politicians. A little renunciation would probably do you good.

This is my fantasy. I dream about being off the 'grid'. There are so many days when I long for the time when I was less reachable, when communication and gratification were less immediate. I'm convinced we would rediscover patience. Of course, I'm a self-described quasi-reclusive homebody (who sometimes writes a blog... hmm), and I know I'm in the minority on this one. I've accepted the reality that once you're on, you're on. As long as you have a credit card, you're going to get junk mail. As long as you have an e-mail account, you're going to get spam. As long as you have a phone, it's going vibrate. It's hard (though not impossible) to suddenly turn it all off and step away from the way that most of the 1st and 2nd world communicates with each other. I have a couple ideas, thanks to my friend Patty, that I might put into play very soon.

Amma told a story the other night about a man who meets a great master. The man is surprised to find that the master has no possessions. It made me think of a Rumi poem. We're all just guests and renters in this world. It goes right along with my fantasy and the feelings I'm having while packing up my... possessions (almost wrote 'life'). I've acquired a lot of stuff, and as I'm packing I find myself wanting to toss most of it. Isn't less, more? Every time I'm in Costa Rica in my little one-room hermitage (no cell, no computer, no cable) where everything I own can fit under the bed, it just feels so right. What if New York City (or Oakland) could feel that way?

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