Back when I was in graduate school for writing (poetry), I couldn’t express enough, or in greater detail, or in more eloquent noticing, the beauty and the agony of the world.
Everywhere I went, everyone I interacted with, became fodder for my writing. One long-ago boyfriend, incensed at appearing as a character in my musings, insisted that I not write about him. “Involved with me and you’re fair game,” I said, which probably facilitated the end of our ill-fated relationship.
In the current gigantic issue of Vogue magazine (my very favorite!), there is a quick page on renowned poet Sharon Olds, who at age 70 and ten years after her husband left her, has published a new book of poems, about leaving and being left.
That she has a new book of poetry in an age when hardly anyone reads it is, indeed, remarkable. Moreso, though, I find this worth focus in my blog because one of the pre-eminent publications in the world has devoted attention to poetry.
I love this. This very fact – that there are poets noticing the details of our lives and our landscapes and that there are people deeming such poetry worthy enough of attention in a major magazine – this tells me that our hearts have not been hardened by technology.
Yes, I recognize that I am writing this in a blog – a technological, online journal for all the world to see and read (I wish!).
Technology does loom large in our lives, demanding our attention, forcing relationships to exist on several planes at once. But technology does not comprise our entire lives and it does not deserve to reign supreme.
Technology is a tool – nothing more, nothing less. It cannot – it must not – replace true interaction. Eye contact. Handshakes and hugs.
We are still a world of humans. What makes our planet different than all the rest (or so we think) is that we have human life teeming over the surface of the globe. We have thinking, feeling beings (not just human at that) making this landscape as complicated as it is.
We make great strides, we are our own obstacles, we discover and embrace new frontiers.
Think of what might happen if we were to surrender to the tools, let them lead the way.
A blog, a social media platform, a quick text on a handheld phone – those cannot take the place of person-to-person connection. They must exist in concert, so that we achieve the fullest amount of connection and success available to us in this life.
A hundred years ago, my ancestors weren’t numbed by TV, and community had a very real and close-to-home definition. A hundred years from now, what will they say about us?