Unlike my Mother whose backbone was made of Bethlehem steel, my backbone is pliable and easily bent. In the past I have always fell short of my intentions.
Those who read my last blog, know that Mark and I are trying to “tune out” and step away from the TV, computer, radio and phone one day a week. To that end, inspired by Oliver Sacks’ essay, “Sabbath,” we decided that Saturdays would be a Tech-Free Day. Wanting to recalibrate our lifestyle, we also pledged to give up driving and cooking. (You can read “Sabbath” at www.nytimes.com/…/opinion/Sunday/Oliver-Sacks-Sabbath.html.
We began our quest Friday evening January 1st. As Friday night approached, my husband and I had our first disagreement. We knew that Sabbath began at sundown, but we disagreed on just when sundown occurred. Mark believed that sundown occurred when the sun disappeared over the mountains; I felt that sundown happened sometime past dusk.
And right away we saw the larger problem. Typically, we would have gone to the computer/smart phone and settled the argument with cold hard facts. But using the computer was not an option. The repercussions of our attempting to live a Tech-Free Sabbath were coming home.
January second was our first Tech Free Day, and it started out badly. Scott Simon was hosting NPR’s “Weekend Edition,” and we had chosen to give up listening to the radio. For me, not listening to Scott Simon on Saturdays was like slamming the door in the face of a trusted friend. I was beginning to waffle. Maybe if I just listened to Weekend Edition for one hour… for just one pot of coffee.
As I got all loosey goosey on the issue of the radio, as I started sliding down the slippery slope of equivocation, Mark brought me to heel with the accusation that I was “whining and sniveling.” According to my husband, I had no backbone; I was dwelling on what I was missing instead of anticipating new opportunities. OK. I got it. I signed heavily, but I took his point.
Our first Sabbath was difficult. I missed using the computer, not so much for writing or checking my email, but for answering questions. I never realized that my portable encyclopedia was so handy or that I used it so frequently. On the plus side, We walked park-to-park; I had more time for reading; and I practiced the piano for the first time in years. All in all, our change of pace was quite enjoyable.
Our second TFD was easier. We read more, walked more, wrote in longhand, and visited friends and neighbors on foot. A tech-free-day takes some getting used to, but this second Sabbath I was better about letting go of what I was missing.
Not that I can be considered “Polly Pure.” Saturday did not work for us this week, so we began our “Sabbath” Thursday evening and concluded on Friday. We have fallen too far from Shabbat to use the word “Sabbath.” As I struggle to wiggle-room the rules, I guess I’ll just refer to our experiment with observing a Tech-Free Day.
If you haven’t discovered The Metropolitan Opera Live in HD at your local theatre, I highly recommend your checking it out. next Saturday, January 16th won’t work for us either. So once again, we will begin our TFD on Thursday at sundown and conclude on Friday. Think about meeting us at Tinseltown in Pueblo at 12:55. This coming we’ll see “The Pearl Fishers” by Gorges Bizet. I don’t know the opera, but I know Bizet and I know the acting, costumes, staging, and music from the Met.
Dozens of cameras play across the stage and orchestra pit – here the entire ensemble… there a heaving bosom. Aside from the production itself, the cameras take you back stage to meet the performers – sometimes in costume – other times filmed earlier at home in their sweat clothes. You have the best seats in the house, and you don’t have to pay $130. to sit in the orchestra. To catch a preview go to http://www.metopera.org/Season/In-Cinemas.
With every passing day, the light lingers longer. Oh Happy Day!
If anyone is also observing a Sabbath or Tech-free Day, I would love to hear from you.