For an entire month I had next to no internet access, by both choice and geography. Now I am back home, and the siren song of the computer has me doing some serious contemplation. After an initial rush back into its cyber-arms for a few hedonistic days, I sit here now, feeling a bit tawdry. It is the chief enabler to my scattered focus.
While my email auto-response setting for July was “vacation reply,” it was not R & R all the time at Neil’s barn. In fact, I worked almost every day. It just didn’t feel like work. I like to putter, and so I did…to a fare-thee-well, literally. I helped decide what the overstuffed kitchen cabinets needed (or rather, didn’t need) and loaded the truck for the drive to Good Will. Ditto for linens and clothing. I organized and arranged the kitchen, the guest rooms, and most fun of all, tackled the bookshelves Neil had made from barn timber, now stuffed with every book he had acquired since his English Lit major days at ASU in the mid-1970s. I categorized them to suit my OCD and discovered gems that are now on my reading list, next time I visit.
I also wrote, a lot, on legal pads with pens. This is standard operating procedure with me anyway, but the editing, the ren ma, took on a different, slower pace.
A more literal kind of polishing became a zen experience as well. With a squirt bottle of diluted Murphy’s Oil, I wiped down all the exposed wood: beams and rafters, stairs and window sills, so that everything gleamed and glowed with content. Myself, included.
And then, a glass of wine and a book in the swing, a jump in the secret swimming hole, or a walk down the road to pick wild flowers for the old bottles Neil had unearthed.
Yes, it is going to be a challenge, but I want to use my computer as a tool, and not a playground filled with quicksand. I hope I don’t have to resort to a timer set for an hour with a buzzer going off. Not after the only buzz for a month being the wings of hummingbirds and bees.