Perhaps you missed me, perhaps not. I turned off my firehose of communication last week. Regimented checking of FB, blog stats even email was reduced to less than once every 24 hours. Nothing on my screen beckoned me to stay seated at my desk. I found no joy in perusing for something to inspire, skipping past all the cuteness overload videos and photos, deleting political missives without reading, dumping my junk mail box without a glance.

I took time off to remove the temptation to lurk; I chose to sit and ponder, postponing the trip up the stairs to my loft in favor of reading a good book in bed. My mind was tired and uninspired. I wrote, but for me, not for publication as in the days of journaling and letter-writing before the Internet.

I’m devoid of words, a desert landscape, holding emotions in check and negativity at bay. So much easier to turn to other’s words. To read and dissolve into another’s life, escape all but the parts of my own that bring joy and wellbeing. A chance meeting with a friend brought me a copy of the Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova.

Worlds and lives and thoughts to slip  into when things seem a tad overwhelming. Or perhaps it is underwhelming-ness that is causing me pain. The house hasn’t been shown in weeks, didn’t I say I was in no hurry? I am casting my net wider for my next career move. Where I live next is tied to what I will do for employment. The currents of change are merely eddying in a backwater bog.  I need to feel control over some major part of my life, though I have only myself to blame for the current condition. It will bring growth, should my sanity survive.

John Irving brought me comfort in The Fourth Hand. I must confess, I lust after him both as an author and a male Adonis, Yet for some reason, I hadn’t taken the time to read anything beyond his early work. The World According To Garp, A Prayer For Owen Meany, Water Method Man, Hotel New Hampshire, Cider House Rules. He appeared in the store one busy Saturday during a cooking demonstration a couple of years ago. I was as dumbstruck as a girl in the 60’s seeing the Beatles. He dropped in briefly during the busiest point and I merely gazed across the room at him. I believe he was in town for a reading by his buddy and local celebrity PJ O’Rourke.

But I digress. The intensity of this particular phase demands I stop and give in to rest and reflection. Guilty, Irish Catholic that I am; this is not easily done. So last week I wrote just for me, just a journal, no stats to follow, no rules to break.

I’m strong but tiring. My goals and intentions are frayed. Have I been here before? Many times. I left a marriage and a life on the other side of the globe to come home and start over. Many years later I left a second marriage and family to strike out on my own. Now it is time to draw from those strengths and experiences to weather this turmoil.


25 thoughts on “incommunicado

  1. After 8 years, I deactivated Facebook April 1 and it’s one of the best things I done in ages. I have stopped blogging for years at a time, went without the internet at home for a year (this was pre-smartphone days), and have myself gone through technology fasts. I have always journaled, though….i have never stopped that for long. I hope you find the rest and recovery that you need, for whatever it is that is draining you. It sounds like you have made a good start to practicing some radical selfcare.

  2. “firehose of communication”, ” devoid of words, a desert landscape, holding emotions in check and negativity at bay”
    Your writing is so full of intense meaningful phrases. Artfully written. Heartfully said
    Selling houses – even if you say you aren’t in a hurry – are a terrible drain – always in the background nagging. the worst part of the process,
    Unplugging electronic and going back to actual life which includes book (they patiently and quietly sit there waiting for you – more willing servant than demanding bratty media)
    The most difficult lesson in life is learning to float: still and above…resting, alive but struggling not to thrash about.
    Something’s simmering. Words, opportunity – something. Annoyingly and totally disregarding your request for at least a clue.
    Stepping back into electronic quiet is a wise choice.
    Besides lots of small quiet things that have been languishing may now get noticed. Flowers and rocks. Dog smiles. Important stuff. Hang in there and float on

  3. You are not alone. I have several friends who are mid-career folk, searching for new jobs and homes after circumstances change. Hang on. You are doing all the right things. (I also stay away from facebook – have for years and can’t see its appeal at all!)

    • Though I have a fair amount of people who follow my blog via FB I am seriously considering shutting down my account. Too much useless information. Thank you Susan. It is heartening to know others are in this same leaky boat!

  4. Hi Martha,
    I’ve been having a similar doldrum, but haven’t stopped wasting time with all the distractions. Perhaps because the theme of the piece I’m working on is rather radical and I fear haven’t the skill to do it justice. It is 10:14 and I’m just about to start.

    Serenity, courage and wisdom, as the prayer goes are in short supply. I just saw “The Gathering Storm”, about Winston Churchill’s lonely quest to get the British government to respond to Hiltler’s buildup and aggression. His wife happened to be away so he was lonely on two fronts and had a life long depression he called his black dog. His motto at this time became :Bugger on”. Americans would generally put it another way. “Keep on keepin; on. So there is inspiration.


    • Hi Mel! I missed the Winston Churchill series. Hopefully I can catch it on the reruns. It looked so good! As to fearing the radical? You write from your heart. It is for you, not the maddening crowd.

      • It was one production. “The gathering storm” . You can Probably find it on demand. I finished something last night. It is called “Who’s afraid of the big bad Trump?” I’ll be editing today and hopefully publishing tonight. It is not the radical piece. That is continuing. It is probably going to take a couple of weeks. It is my fundamental take on civilization and I need to work on it slowly
        It was getting in my way because I was no getting anything else done. I believe it ill be more fruitful to take my time and do other things as I work on it. Though I was afraid for a while, It will be gratifying to get those long held ideas out there.


  5. Hope the bees are okay though and your neighbours after the fire – terrible business and enough to make anyone think about priorities. Take care and keep journalling. Do you scrap any after a while? No you don’t I remember you saying. Sometimes I clean slate and shred paper, noting the circles and cutting through the fence to get out, I only made them myself so it’s not vandalism!!! (So no guilt trips there !!)

  6. Martha…I hear you. Sometimes you just gotta do what you just gotta do. Sometimes, it’s do nothing. Or do something else. Or eat Haagen Dazs.

  7. Unplugging from the social media world for a while is definitely a good thing. When my FB page gets overrun with things I don’t give a crap about, I go in and mute all of the posters who annoy me. I still want to hear from my children and close friends, but the rest of it is just noise. I hope your quiet time helped. Don’t forget, some of the cards ARE face-up, but they might be under the face-down cards still.

  8. Feeling overwhelmed on this side of the pond too. I have so much going on and so little time to fit it in to its tempting just to pull the covers over my head and ignore it all.

Love to know what you are thinking! And thank you for commenting.

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