Islands

Here we know that Christmas will be green and bright / The sun to shine by day and all the stars at night

We went to Hawaii for a month and I thought a lot about the Internet. I’m enlightened now, and by that I mean I have an app on my phone called Moment. Moment tracks how much time I funnel into platforms created by dudes who don’t have anyone’s best interests at heart, who don’t seem to care about much beyond a sense of digital manifest destiny. It wasn’t just Hawaii that inspired this paddle into the shallows of mindfulness: while we lived with Sean’s lovely parents between December and January, I read Trick Mirror and Uncanny Valley, both excellent books that said loud and eloquent some of the things that have rattled around in my head for a long time. Then I had a couple of bad interactions online, observed many, many, many more, and yeah. It drove the point home: social media feels increasingly ugly and rarely the place for nuance. What I get out of it (and I get a lot out of it) can be found without willingly wading into a shitstorm of opinion and misinformation.

And it wasn’t just Hawaii but it also was Hawaii: there’s something about being an ocean away from the familiar (routine, friends, reliable public transportation) and living somewhere wild and lush that makes you think about systems and time and how you spend your days. I say spend, not fill, because time is a gift — ultimately, one of the few gifts we are sometimes able to give ourselves. I promise I’m not wearing white robes, watching night descend on a desert compound. I’m in my compact house in my grid city, which hums not with wind or rain but trains and industry. There are no teal oceans or verdant valleys, just many people and places I love and an energy that for better and worse gets things done. I’m back home and I’m working on changing who and what who gets my minutes, my hours, my days and years. I swear I am not in a cult, only overwhelmed in a way that seems unnecessary and more disturbingly, by design. It’s exhausting. It’s making me think. And get back to real live hangouts, group texts, and Slacks.

WHERE I’M READING SOON

WHAT I’M READING

WHAT ELSE

Good-bye for now you beautiful, thought-provoking place in the middle of the Pacific

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