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1000 Black Lines

:: digital coffee stains on the paper of the blogosphere ::

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The bus does not have wifi--or how to cut your gasoline consumption in half

I wrote a column for Write Stuff titled "Unplug" [read here »]. I summarized Mr. Stephen Elliott's article in Poets & Writers: “Surviving a Month Without Internet.” The article was read on the bus during my commute to work. I can usually read through an entire magazine, cover-to-cover, in one day of commuting on Asheville's transit system (roughly three to four hours a day) and a complete book (depending on the page count and complexity of language) in a week. A 1200-word article was written on the bus and as well as a several dozen poem sketches and a couple book reviews.

But then I get to the office or return home and try to engage the Internet and... well... I don't want to bother with typing what I wrote on the bus. Grudgingly, I plug in and correspond with a client 600 miles away and an author half the world away. It is not that I begrudge the client and author. Sometimes face-to-face communication is preferred; like meeting acquaintances at Bobo Gallery for Asheville Green Drinks.

Yesterday, I read this sad report about history going the way of the dinosaur:
After more than 50 years American Heritage, the magazine that furnished not just the minds but... the dens of generations of American history buffs, is suspending publication, its editor, Richard F. Snow, said last week.... Mr. Snow said, the publishers have decided to put the next issue, June-July, on indefinite hold. For at least the time being, however, American Heritage will continue to maintain a Web site.

That leaves Mr. Snow and his staff, which has dwindled to four from a dozen, in limbo, where they have been since just before Christmas, when they were informed that the magazine was going on the block. “It’s a little like sailing the Flying Dutchman through the fog,” Mr. Snow said. [continue reading here »]

And this A.M. I read that a new library opens today. [Gothamist Link.] And that seems to tell me that there are still places were people can enjoy an analog sanctuary (analog mostly--I assume there is a computer center and other reminders that we embrace a digital/info age tightly).

I love the word "sanctuary." With the deluge of info streaming through WiFi portals and email in-boxes, I long for sanctuary--a shelter, a place to rest. The word comes form two Latin words: holy and a suffix meaning place--i.e. a holy, sacred place. The mainstream media reports about America's gasoline consumption and its related high price, but what is the cost of info consumption through the Internet? Insomnia? Paranoia? Can it be measured in American dollars? Maybe we need a rest--but not escape. Maybe we need sacred places where we can be engaged but not overwhelmed. Alaina posted a great quote by Kahlil Gibran [Link.] that reminds us to remember and enjoy the wind in our hair and sand between our toes.

Where is your sanctuary?

  1. Anonymous alaina lynne | 12:26 AM, July 01, 2007 |  

    Awwww... Hey there, Matt! Just saw this post with your Linky Lurve. Thanks! Isn't Gibran the greatest :)

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