Disengagement

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I’m afraid I’m going to have to walk away from the electronics for a while…

I came to this conclusion last night after watching the Presidential debate.

At the end of this vitriolic passion play, I felt sick to my stomach. Dirty, like I needed to take a hot shower. I felt like grabbing some water wings and swimming over to Canada. I’m not a strong swimmer, but I think I could make it.

Before you think, “well, she hates this candidate or that candidate” – NO. First of all, I’m an independent. Secondly, I think both choices are sadly lacking. This is the best we could do? Neither one is a true statesman, someone who could keep their head above the fray. What really galled me was that they were talking about things that don’t matter, or that certainly don’t matter to me.

I’m a problem solver; I need a detailed step-by-step solution to our problems, real problems. I want justice for all. I don’t need pie in the sky dreams or handfuls of money thrown around. I need someone to think ahead – way ahead. Like beyond the grandkids ahead.

It’s not just the election. At the risk of sounding like an old lady (I am), the whole world is whack. We’re in a new century with all the modern conveniences, and yet so many people are dissatisfied or disenfranchised. So many people feel hated or unloved. We have this big, tremendously useful thing called the Internet, too. We should feel closer to each other, not farther away.

Last night as I was lying in bed wondering why I couldn’t fall asleep, I realized what the problem is. We live our lives by the flicker of the screen, TV, computer, cell phone. The very anonymity of the online world is what drives us apart. Media riles us up by telling one sliver of a story and not the entire big picture. It amplifies our fears and raises anxiety. The world is now crass and without dignity. The more outrageous, the better. We want what we want when we want it NOW. Everything is an event to be witnessed from afar, in front of others, selfied and video taped for maximum YouTube views instead of submersing yourself in the act. The “reality” of media gives me a panic attack, not unlike the one I felt in the weeks after 9-11.

So I am going to disengage from the pretend world for a while. I’ll draw, create art, finish writing my book. I’ll read more, including the classics. I’ll walk outside in the wind and rain and feel the sun on my face. I’ll visit a few museums. Cranbrook, maybe? I haven’t been there in a decade or so. I’ll talk to people and look them in the eye when I do, and when I shake their hand or hug them, I’ll do it like I mean it. I’ll write longhand in my notebook, and write letters in pen and ink and send them the antiquated way – via mail.

Oh, I’ll still have to use the Internet for my job, but I’ll make a conscious effort to shut it and my cell phone off.

The only way to engage in life is to disengage from the crap.

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