When the Dish Breaks: An Internet Time Out

Within a week of our internet blackout, the sense of disorientation gave way to a sense of profound relief. I was free. No longer preoccupied with the latest thread and flame, I was more mine than before, more connected in a robust sensory way. I was moving inside myself in a sensory space that seemed bigger, spacious, as if cleared of an unwelcome horde. I was more willing to receive and follow my own impulses to move, because I couldn’t not.

I began to wonder: does the internet give me what I so often want from it?

Most of the time, what I most want is presence—I want more energy, more vitality, more fun. I want to feel connected with myself, my work, and with those I love. I want to feel that rush of being in the flow of creating something that has value in a larger world. Wanting so to move and feel myself moving, I move my eyes across a dazzling array of sights (and sounds), looking for something that will move me.

More often than not, what I find exhausts me further. For what I need is not more sitting and staring. I need to bring my senses to life and stir my own physio-spiritual energies, so that I can feel feelings, think thoughts, and be a place where life is at work, creating. I would be better served by dropping to the floor for pushups or a downward dog, rather than trailing another political intrigue.
*
We humans crave movement. We crave sensations of life moving through us, moving as us, creating because of us. It is why we climb mountains and run marathons, plan projects and set goals, dream dreams and make love, have kids and travel the world. We want to live.

Yet we are also cautious and risk-averse. We don’t want to lose the sources of comfort we have in accomplishments past, friends counted, or games won. So we prefer to be moved, pursuing life as a spectator sport. We move virtually, vicariously, forgetting what it feels like to move ourselves. The more we forget, the harder it gets to do otherwise. Until the dish breaks.
*
The technician returned. The dish is fixed. I am connected, but differently. For now I know, once again, that what I most want is to move.

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