“The milk truck pulls the sun up. Paper hits the door,” wrote the Beatles. Imagery capturing a moment. What would they write today? “Twitter announces sunrise as I scroll down Huff Post on my i-pad?” Technology, though convenient and even amazing is devoid of nuance. It’s why digital recordings, though perfect, lack the intimacy of heart and soul. Do young lovers eyes meet across a crowded room, anymore? Or is everyone too busy looking at their phone, texting themselves somewhere else, other than the moment?
I tried to engage with someone in my office the other day as they were leaving, but they were already checking messages on their phone, frantically moving into the next episode of their day. I had only wanted to say goodbye, to connect for just a moment, but the moment was gone, lost to a gadget that overpowered the human psyche.
Sometimes in the morning when I walk the trail at Dry Creek, I see and hear people on their phones. I wonder if they see the gaze of the heron that stands on the frozen water or tilt back their head to watch the geese flying in a perfect V. Does all this technology make us a little less human? I cannot say that I don’t appreciate it. My laptop is a tool that allows me to sit in bed in the mornings, quietly checking emails and writing down my thoughts. When I think back to what my mornings were before email, I recall walking out to the driveway in slippers and robe to pick up the paper. I would come inside and sit with my tea, scanning the headlines and stories that interested me. I did not begin my day with communications from friends and business associates that in those times could all wait until 9:00. I used to say “there is nothing so important that it can’t wait until 9:00 tomorrow morning.” That is no longer true for me or anyone else that I know. We all converse in some way or another late into day’s end and early into the next. The underbelly of constant immediacy confuses our sense of what is truly important in life.
A room in my house is filled with early morning light that filters through lace curtains. A geranium on the window seat blooms a brilliant red. It is a small room, with a small bed covered in a quilt and accented by two hurricane style lamps on bedside tables. There is no television. No phone. Before my cat Mittens died she used to sleep on the bed and I would often stop in the hallway and look through the door at the simple beauty of a cat sunning herself among the accessories of a time when the milk truck pulled the sun up.