Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘quiet living’

The weather has turned cold here in Seattle. Nothing like what most of the nation is experiencing, to be sure, but cold nonetheless. The leaves that haven’t fallen are withered and frostbitten on their stems, and the remnants of Autumn’s glory now lie in patches of brown detritus scattered across the gardens.

Bloedel Reserve, Bainbridge Island, WAOn clear, cold afternoons, when the sky is a robin’s egg blue and the sun has just melted the frost off the shaggy lawns, I hear the machinery of modern yard maintenance fire up. Mowers, blowers, strimmers, and edgers set up a whirring, sputtering rumble that blankets the neighborhood as homeowners take advantage of a rainless November day.

For myself, I prefer to use manual tools when possible. The lawnmower, the strimmer, these I keep and use, but on bright autumn days I reach instead for the rake, the broom, and the shovel to tend my garden. I spend so much of my day working nothing but my mind–analyzing systems, cross-checking code, diagramming solutions, navigating interoffice politics–that the thought of surrounding myself with machinery and noise is abhorrent.

Before I step outside, I bundle up with scarf and gloves and quilted overshirt, but soon, as I warm to my task, these layers drop away. It takes me longer to tidy my garden than it does my more mechanized neighbors–yesterday, after a couple hours’ work, I only cleared out the patio and lower section of the back garden–but it’s a quieter time, and that’s what I want.

Peace. Serenity. Take in a clean, cold lungful of air and let it out in a frosty breath.

Repeat.

k

Typewriter

Read Full Post »

Gossamer WheelThe Monkey-Boy Day Job has been a tooth-grinder this week, and it’s made me think of the Jewish ritual of havdalah. (more…)

Read Full Post »

 

Simple Living

One evening, when I was courting my wife-to-be, we were at my place when the phone rang. Since we were talking, I ignored the phone. “Aren’t you going to answer that?” Nope. If it was important, they’d call back (I didn’t have an answering machine). This was my relationship with technology in those days. Technology was my servant, not the reverse.

Well, sometime during the last three decades, that has changed, so I’m just now coming off a full week of an “internet fast.”

Overall, I am surprised at how easy it was. I stuck to my “going dark” guidelines so successfully that when I tried to go back online, I found that all my little electronic connectimoids needed to be charged up. The computer, the tablet, even the smartphone had gone almost entirely unused for a whole week.

What did I miss? What didn’t I miss?

(more…)

Read Full Post »

TFL Problem

I will not be employing a shabbos goy this week.

When I lived in Jerusalem, I learned about the shabbos goy. The shabbos goy is a non-Jew who will do tasks of work which are forbidden to Jews on the Sabbath. To keep everything on the up-and-up, the shabbos goy should be someone who would be on the premises anyway, such as a maintenance worker or babysitter. Thus, on the Sabbath, a shabbos goy can turn on the house’s lights or rekindle the fire (both of which are forbidden to Jews), and everyone benefits from the work that the shabbos goy did. No commandments were broken. Nothing to see here. Move along.

So, as I said, I will not be using a shabbos goy this week.

In a prevoius post, I mentioned that I was considering an “internet diet.”

Well, today it begins. Today I’ll be going dark.

I’ll be taking it One Day at a Time, but my goal is to go a full week without major technological contact.

What does that mean, specifically? Good idea. Let’s define terms…

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Scarlet CrocosmiaMy eyes brightened when I saw the forecast: showers beginning Friday, continuing through Saturday and Sunday, with sunshine returning Monday morning.

I love drippy weekends. Even though they cut into my convertible drive-time, even though they make my rosebuds ball up and rot, even though they make my friends unhappy because their plans for beach-days or BBQs or mountain drives or afternoon walks get washed out, despite this I still love drippy, rainy, dreary weekends.

Rainy weekends mean I don’t have to mow the lawn.

Rainy weekends mean I don’t feel guilty about not washing the car.

Rainy weekends mean I can let my glass of red wine breathe for a bit while I sit on the deck overlooking the greenery, smelling the fresh, moist air, listening to the birds at the feeder and the drip, drip, drip of the water falling from the trees.

Rainy weekends mean bundled up mornings with warm coffee and a perhaps shot of brandy.

Rainy weekends mean spending time with those closest to me.

Rainy weekends mean quiet.

And I like that all to pieces.

k

Cypress Rain

Read Full Post »

The 53 StepsChange is not “good.” We just say that to put on a brave face. The fact is that change is neither inherently good or bad. Change, like the universe, is neutral.

Change just is.

There have been a lot of changes around my house in the last 24 months. In that time, my wife and I have lost three of our four parents. Big change. Also during this period my wife discovered Facebook and, as a result, our social circles have widened and multiplied. Change, also pretty big from my POV. And, for the past several months we’ve had a houseguest, a young person whose life blew up while visiting us, and whom we’re helping get reestablished. Epic change.

In other words, my home life, my level of social interaction, and my private world have all undergone dramatic and fundamental transformations. And it’s made me a bit stroppy.

Yes. Stroppy. Look it up. (more…)

Read Full Post »

RAWWWR by NickiStock on deviantART

My brother is an old-school kinda guy.

  • He licks bones for a living. (Well, okay, he licks rocks to see if they’re bones; he’s an archaeologist.)
  • His living room is shelved floor-to-ceiling with vinyl LPs.
  • He hates Facebook and eschews all social media.
  • He has a clam-shell flip phone that he’s used for a decade or more.
  • He’d rather walk, head up, looking where he’s going than plod along, head down, letting his smartphone’s GPS tell him where he is.

My brother has a lot going for him.

And I think he’s on to something. (more…)

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: