I took the time today to do a little housekeeping on this website and decided to give it a fresh look for 2014. This marks the sixteenth year of blogging since I started the Tour Doodles journal while I was on tour my first year with Poetry Alive! Looking back at the old style of framed web page that took forever to update and modify, I’m thankful the updates today were a breeze thanks to WordPress and all the widgets. Back in 1998 I was carrying around a Windows Thinkpad and plugging into a phone line at the hotel to dial up a local Earthlink phone number for service. Now it seems every hotel, even the really cheap ones, have WiFi access. Things have changed rapidly. Back then we carried a road atlas, called for directions and read the signs before the days of GPS. Sometimes though, I still like to read a map and am glad that is something I learned growing up.
As the technology continues to advance, I find myself growing ever fonder of the simple things in life that have nothing to do with a screen. I look at tables of people in restaurants with screens in every hand and wonder when we stopped making time to look at and communicate with the people right in front of us. I find myself journalling more with pen and paper again or banging out poems on the old Underwood typewriter just to get away from the ever present screens. The faster the communication happens, the more I crave a quiet walk with the dog undisturbed by phone calls. Just because we can call, text, or email anyone we know at anytime doesn’t mean that it is healthy for any of us. My goal for the new year is to be more present in the now of each moment rather than distracted by the twitter of the phone. I turned off a bunch of the notifications that were doing little but interrupting the present so that I can once again divide my time between the screen and the real world. I’ll still get all the messages faster than I would have back in 1998 on my analog tape answering machine, but I choose to be more human than cyborg in order to enjoy this life.
Wishing you, dear reader, a beautiful New Year experienced with all of your senses, not just two thumbs, eyes and ears attached to a screen.