On being here now

church

This
{leafy cathedral}
is ten minutes from our apartment
in Japan,
just five minutes
from school.

I’ve been thinking about
this
more often
lately.

I’ve been craving more of
this.

Do you remember
The Little Prince
who set off
to visit
new planets
after his rose
disappointed him.
{As if he never told a lie!}

As a child I imagined
the Little Prince
in red Chuck Taylors
and a cape.
Speeding by planets
as if on a treadmill,
his cape in the air.

I’m pretty sure
that’s not
the image
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
had in mind
but
when you’re a kid,
you think what you think.

In grad school,
when I first learned
to traverse
the internet like space
I became the Little Prince.

{We were not all born
in net-time.}

I regarded with awe
the social media constellations:
facebook,
flickr,
twitter.
I had the power to visit,
to stay a while,
then leave.

And I saw that
the galaxy was amazing.
Vast and infinite.
I explored,
collected data.

Years passed.
The universe expanded,
demanded
to be read, learned, mastered
at warp speed.

An article of interest
led to another
and another
as I jumped.

An afternoon was gone.
Then a day.

Just
a hole
demanding
to be filled
and a worry.
What if I miss something
important
happening over there
while I am over here?

A strange race with my own heart

During my planet-jumping journey,
the bliss
of being witness
to everything
became a burden.

Sweeter things fell away.

That’s no way
for a Little Prince
to live.

I’ve had to
re-think my mission.
I need not be acquainted
with every electronic
star.

I need to be here now.

Here.
On this path
with my gentle man
and his orange knapsack.
I need to be in conversations
about fewer things
at greater depth.

When I was a little girl
my mother
{who also loves to read}
would encourage me
to put down my book.
“Go outside
and play.”

It’s taken
half a lifetime
to understand
what she meant.

10 comments

    1. Hi Debbie!

      It’s not about guilt for me… I’m just noticing that my technology habits are not making me feel free!

      I LOVE everything we can do + everything to which we now have access (Hello, Amazon!) because of the internet.

      The bit I need to remember is that like other good things (say, chocolate), I need less than I want. 🙂

      I hope you are having a lovely summer.

      Cheers,
      Monna

    1. Thanks! Here’s to more meaningful content online!

      A couple of things I am trying:
      1. If I follow a link to read an article, I stop there… which is to say I don’t follow any of the tasty trails of crumbs in the side menu.
      2. I have absolutely stopped reading comments to news articles. Too much hatred. It’s not good for me.

      What’s worked for you?

      Cheers,
      Monna

      1. Well I would say I stopped reading comments too, but last night I got caught up in a stream, until I found myself getting irritated and then just left the site. We are in between moves and just have a hotspot, so we pay for overtime computer use… That helps! But, I can’t wait to get the real hookup…

    1. Carrie,

      Thanks for your comment!

      The electronic connections are really important to me… the ability to connect with others through my website and to be inspired by other writers, thinkers and photographers via the postings and conversations on their online spaces.

      It’s just about developing a habit of remembering to close the lid. 🙂

      Cheers,
      Monna

  1. Monna,
    I adore your writing. This is beautiful in every way. Wish I could engage in some of your conversations about fewer things at greater depths with you and that gentle guy in the knapsack… Hope your year is off to a great start:)

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