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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Digital Detox (04/24/14)

TITLE: Unplugged – Oh For Simpler Less Complex Daze . . .
By Judith Gayle Smith
04/30/14


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Tomorrow is May Day. Fitting. I went through the entire month of April believing it was March. My eyes were wide open, but my brain operated in semi-disconnect. My schedule shouts April, the calendar likewise, not to mention the date glaring at me from my computer.

I cannot un-digitize. Closing my eyes and cutting the needful insidious umbilical cord to the tether that feeds me what my brain no longer knows or cares to remember? Never.

I cannot succumb to simplicity. I once had exquisite penmanship. The art of lovely handwriting has been far too long replaced with fingertips pounding the keyboard. Keeping track of friends, bills, dates is impossible, as I struggle greatly with organization.

I have been hitting a computer keyboard since 1962, and now that I’m approaching age seventy-one, I seem totally unwilling to long for the simpler days, before so much digitalized automation.

My hands shake, My thoughts meander like a lazy stream trickling through lily pads layered with grinning frogs devouring hapless mosquitoes. Just ask my fan club, consisting of those still running hither and tither to make sense of my random blatherings.

No Faithwriters, Facebook Yahoo or Google?

Boredom looms over my senses like smothering smog disfigures the beauty that was once called Hollywood, California. Smoke and fog – the sorry answer to man’s burning question “is life worth the effort of keeping oxygen tanks in my home?" Hey, why not? We now are literally forced to buy our water . . .

“Go play outside” has become an emotional and mental challenge to parents raised to fear “the Boogey Man”, who, not surprisingly, actually lurks at their doors.

No churning washing machine nor thunking dryer. Back to pounding clothes on rocks? Or mangling our arms through the old fashioned wringer washers?

Our only dishwasher was the unwilling kid who succeeded in wasting water, breaking dishes and misplacing silverware?

I call a transport service to take us from home to the grocery store. We must take another bus to head to the pharmacy in the opposite direction. A lift bus is a blessing, but highly dependent on computers to function properly. Did I mention checking the bank-on- line to verify there is enough money to spend?

I would like to be independent from this frighteningly confusing technical age. I have a cell phone and a landline, a tube television with an old VCR machine. I do not “text”, and Twitter leaves me bitter.

When I long for the lovely flickering lamplight I recall my smoke burned eyes and the dream dies slowly.

Reading Scripture by lantern light. Lovely thought to picture President Abraham Lincoln stretched out on the hard floor of his cabin floor with his Bible, absentmindedly tossing back in the occasional smoldering ember popping loose from the smoky wood fireplace.

Who willingly goes to bed at sundown? You won’t find this old gal starting the day before the rooster crows at his cackling hens.

Although I so loved it when we poured ourselves out beneath a cloud-smitten sky. Shapes forming? Purity, innocence – no movies to shudder us into nightscares.

I do have my electronic Bible with stereo head-phones, pushing God’s holy Writ into my whirligig thoughts as I settle into an uneasy night’s rest. I do not think I could sleep without it – the entire New Testament in just two nights. Incredible dream invaders.

I also depend on my Cpap machine which inspires my tired old airways to function without frequent awakenings and, grievous to my beleaguered husband – dream shattering snoring.

There are many savvy souls out there, clucking their tongues at my semi-old fashioned grumbles, shaking their heads at my incredible eccentricities.

My older laptop refuses to go online, necessitating my scurrying wonderments to totally clog my husband’s furred and crumbed keyboard. Stores sell cans of air to blow crumbs and cat hairs from beneath the sticking obstinate keys.

I tried to keep things unplugged, off-line, undemanding. I quietly sat with glue and findings to create the perfectly gorgeous ring I been reworking. This ring is becoming a life-altering plan for my life. But sanity won out, and here I sit thrusting my thoughts to complete a brief synopsis of why my life is not peace and quietude, and should therefore be . . .

Excuse me – Jeopardy is starting . . .

Abstractedly, sanity declaims that digitally detoxifying applies primarily to communication devices. But I just had to throw in a hoorah for dishwashers, washers and dryers.

Catching my ambivalence?


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This article has been read 152 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joe Moreland05/02/14
Lol...I couldn't figure it out...are you longing for the good ole' days or not? :)

Just kidding. But I did find this to be a sort of modern day Dr. Seuss type of logic stream. I thoroughly enjoyed it and each of your points. The image of getting a can of air to blow away crumbs and cat hair is so fun and real life - it just made me smile. Great job and so on topic.
CD (Camille) Swanson 05/03/14
Hahahaha! Masterfully done! I loved this entire piece and was sad when it was over! What a gem you put together my friend.

I could read more and more...come on write a book!

God bless~
Gregory Kane05/04/14
I liked the sudden flashback/contrast to Lincoln
Joanne Sher 05/05/14
So VERY good, Judi! You did a superb job with the poetic devices you wove in (alliteration, rhyme, meter especially). This piece was a DELIGHT - fun, convicting, and a treasure.
Maura J. Merrigan05/07/14
Very clever and entertaining! I enjoyed this very much!