Friday, October 1, 2010

getting connected

Perhaps it is just some sort of truism that the closer anyone might feel to the next, the more lonely they become.

I guess I was thinking of all the electronic gizmos and gadgets these days that allow people to communicate from anywhere with anyone. There is text messaging and cell-phone links and ways to access the internet and get on Facebook and other similar 'social' sites. It's all serious enough so that here in Massachusetts a law recently went into effect that bans text-messaging while driving. There's another law that bans hands-on cell phone calls while driving -- a common practice if I judge correctly from trips to the supermarket or the gas station.

There are a hundred ways to stay 'connected' and yet each connection seems to whisper and insist: You are not connected; you are alone... quick! -- make another connection before the whispers become too loud!

Not that it was ever different in the past. With or without the expensive, shiny gadgets that fit conveniently in pocket or purse, there is the conundrum: If I have so many connections, how come I can't seem to get connected, feel less alone?

I guess it's just a growing-up kind of thing: Young or old, behind the electronic times or on the cutting edge, there is a sense of connection that somehow does not connect with the day-to-day realities. Others may be smiling on TV ads or in the work place, but ... but there are whispers.

Experience cannot be shared. Beliefs cannot bridge the gap. Now what?

The only way I can figure, the only thing that makes any real sense in the world of disconnected connections, is to examine the one who feels separate. Who am I? It's not easy work, setting aside the much advertised smiles that promise connections -- the ads, the social clubs, the gizmos, the half-measures that incite whispers. But what other choice is there? Talking about connections -- the interconnectedness of all things -- is just more talk, just another text message until the question is addressed: What is this? Who am I?

It's just a growing-up thing, or anyway that's my guess. And since no one in their heart of hearts ever really wanted to grow up, it takes some effort and attention and responsibility. Experience cannot be shared and yet the longing to be connected insists.

Pay attention.

Live and learn.


  1. Admittedly I feel like a retard at times, when I find myself facebooking in the checkout line.

  2. Russell Chatham paints landscape, mostly of the area around livingston montana.

    There have been times, when the light is just right, moving through that area has felt like being inside one of his paintings.

    I don't feel at all alone or disconnected then.


  3. Each connection fills a void, until we are full and start to empty, more, and take less, and less, until no thoughts remain to give or take... cept that one back there. Don't look back.