Does it matter if I did not finish writing a blog post on the 13th? How many blogs posts have I written and intended to publish. But left the blog post in draft mode for weeks. . . months. . . years. How many times I have I typed a reply to someone’s tweet or text, and then deleted it?
People tell me they are busy. They hardly have time for themselves. When was the last time you were invited to someone’s home for a meal in the last five years? There is so much noise. So much tweeting at each other. So much posing, pandering, and posturing for attention. So much energy spent on self-promotion. I do not want to impose.
I typed out a comment to a Youtube chat. And then deleted it. I do not want to interact through a third-party communication interface. Join me for supper. We will enjoy a meal together. No screens between us. We will tell stories. We will learn of likes and dislikes and overcome all with levity and grace.
But now it seems like an entire nation is at home exercising self-quarantine and safe-at-home orders by local and state governments. I now interact with people through video conferencing and other screens of interaction. It is not the same as in person. Almost everyone one I engage with using Google Hangouts, Zoom, or Teams says the same thing. They miss seeing each other in person.
I walked with my kidlinger on a foggy afternoon — one of the last days of March. We walked along a gravel road. Kidlinger chatted with a friend on a mobile phone. We walked more than a mile. Then kidlinger looked at me and held the mobile down.
“He keeps talking, and sometimes forgets what he’s just said.”
“That’s okay,” I said. “Keep listening. Be polite. And you might learn something more about what he likes and doesn’t.”
Kidlinger smiled and held the mobile to ear level.
Somewhere near the creek I thought I heard the trill of a red-winged blackbird. We crossed one road and continued on another gravel path. The sound of footsteps on crushed rock and an occasional robin were all I heard.
We walked another mile. In spite of the fog, there was a cold wind. It made my eyes water. From time to time, kidlinger would chuckle and comment to the friend speaking through a mobile phone.