Do you know how much time you scroll on your phone? I don’t know for sure but it’s probably alot. The thing is knowing and trying to cut down makes it worse. It’s an addiction, like:
- Sucking your thumb for comfort.
- Kids wanting to press any button they see.
- Lighting another cigarette before you do anything.
- Having another cup of tea when you don’t know what else to do.
What I know is that I am uncomfortable in the moment and scrolling is an escape. I’ve outgrown sucking my thumb. I still press some buttons. I was able to give up cigarettes because of health reasons. I’ve cut down my tea consumption because of too many trips to the bathroom. The scrolling thing seems harmless enough and resulted in much sought information. But then I realize my attention span has dwindled to that of a gnat’s. Then there’s the memory. You say who needs it when there’s Google. True but I’m starting to feel somewhat robotic like. My emotions and thinking becoming muted. I’m like a deer in headlight, blinking, unthinking, not knowing what to do next.
Do you know how much of yourself you can lose to others whether it’s family, spouse, lover, friend or foe? You compromise, you turn a blind eye, you stay silent – giving up pieces of yourself to get along, to be nice, to be kind, to be…..I didn’t know until periods of depression, downtime, aloneness, stillness. In those moments of being the deer in headlight, I am faced with ‘I don’t know who I am‘. I am the stranger at the door in Derek Walcott’s Poem, Love After Love.
The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
How am I to recover myself? What they tell me to do is to replace an unhealthy habit with a healthier one. So here I am, showing up more in this space, digging deep, trying to coax out the words I once love so much. It is hard work, being here. Being somewhere else is preferable. I made an escape to the garden and greenhouse. Then I had a snack. Now I am back with a cup of bitter melon tea to do the work.