It intimidates me. Sitting there, at eye level. Pointing is omniscient eye right through me. It resembles that of a vulture — a pale blue eye with a film over it. Whenever it falls upon me my blood runs cold, and so by degrees—wait, rewind. Wrong story. There is an interesting tale regarding Edgar Allen Poe and me, but that I will save for another day.
Our new computer came equipped with a camera. Yes, I know that’s not exactly new technology, but it was to me. Now, I have the technology, as they say, to give in to my friends’ pleas to spend my time on Skype, if I so choose. Or any other number of uses for that creature perched up there above my screen.
The thing is, I’m 97% sure I don’t choose. Think about this. With three teens and a spouse, my time at the computer is limited anyway. I get the hours between when my high school daughter gets dropped off and my college daughters get up. Granted, sometimes that’s a wide window. Still, it’s my time. It doesn’t belong to anyone else. And besides spending the required half-hour with online jigsaw puzzles and Facebook, I really should spend that time in gainful employment.
Besides there is a bigger problem. If you put the camera on me right now, here’s what you might see: My pajamas, which could be the new pretty purple ones or possibly the orange Godspell T-shirt and mismatched pants. Glasses, out of current fashion (possibly out of any fashion) because my eyeballs can’t handle the thought of sticking foreign objects (contacts) into them so early. Hair that looks like it went through a salad shooter. And yes, I did drive my kid school this way. Now you know the real reason I do not speed on the way to school. This is not a pretty sight. This is why I have professional photos done. It’s not a daily occurrence, mind you, but like I said, I’ve got to grab my time when I can get it.
Sometime last year, I saw a video presentation on Nehemiah. No not the easiest book in the Bible to find nor the most often quoted. So if you can’t find it, don’t feel bad. But the point that stood out was his reply to messengers who came wanting him to stop working on rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem to attend to their business. Not his business–theirs. Perhaps it was important business, or good business (in this case, it wasn’t), but it wasn’t his. And so his reply–
“I cannot come down; I’m doing a great work here.” I guess that’s how I really feel about the idea of letting one more technological media ogre in my life. I love connecting with those I care about on Facebook. I love getting back in touch with my long-lost friends. But sometimes, I have a great work to do, and if I dare come down, I can easily get lost in other things. The same thing happens with the jigsaw site, or that drawer that needs reorganizing. Or a good book, or even a bad book if I really want to procrastinate. It’s so easy to avoid putting another brick in that wall (no not a reference to Pink Floyd). Especially when it seems like that’s all I ever do, and the wall seems just as infinite as ever. Just this morning, I spent a couple hours putting together an intelligent query to a new magazine about an article I wanted to write. Less than an hour later, they sent a reply proving they had spent far less time reading my letter than I had reading their magazine. That brick seems like such a total waste of time.
But, I know I’m doing the work I am meant to do. So, I’ll keep on stacking bricks. Please understand. When stacking bricks, you have to make choices about what you won’t try to do at the same time. If you don’t, you may start to drop them. And only bad things can happen when one starts to drop bricks off a ladder.
What choices do you make to let go from your life to stack your own bricks? You’ll probably never see me online on chat. And I may never turn that camera on live. At least, if I do, I’ll make sure I’m dressed first.