I am sitting here listening to the rain on my roof (the most beautiful sound there is in the high desert), and trying to recall how I spent the quiet moments, the in between moments, before I had my devices.
When I was in college I never had internet in my home let alone a personal television. How did I spend the ample time alone that I had? I wrote a lot, I thought a lot, and I read. I exercised almost daily in the morning and I cooked meals for myself. I listened to music. Not playlists or radio but almost exclusively whole albums. That is it. That is how I spent time alone.
Later during graduate school I gained a small television with a DVD player. I still didn’t pay for tv but used it to watch videos at night. Still no internet. I spent alone time reading, writing less, but I painted and drew more.
Finally when J, just my boyfriend then, and I moved to the city to go to school we got internet. By then streaming video had become available. At that point I was studying for the LSAT and from then on I began to use my downtime for the internet rather than my previous activities. When I started law school I put down all books besides law books and we got cable tv for the first time. I did not want to think about anything when I didn’t have to think about the law, which wasn’t often. At that point I had less time alone anyway because I had been living with J for years. The quiet moments died away altogether.
Now we don’t have tv but we do have tablets and high speed internet and a computer. And a toddler. My rare quiet moments of solitude are often spent with an iphone. Thanks to this blog I am increasingly spending these moments to write, and I do spend a great deal of time gardening, but there is still too much clutter in my mind. I am trying to plot a break from the addiction and some return to quiet. Our wifi is eradicate so perhaps if I reduced my monthly data I would use the phone or tablet less. The only real way I can see doing it is to get rid of the wifi access in our home. This is rather drastic maybe, but my dad lives very close by so we could go there to pay bills etcetera. I will have a talk with J and see if we can brave this move. In the meantime the rain has stopped and my child is stirring. This quiet moment has passed.