I recall working feverishly at home engrossed with a few urgent deadlines. Suddenly my internet hub connection stopped working. It simply conked out. There was no electrical power or juice, though the points were live and my computer was steaming ahead.
I panicked as I needed to be online. For quite some time I felt as if the whole world had crashed around me. I even panicked more when the support service of the provider informed me that a replacement will arrive only by the following Tuesday. My sons who were busy revising for their exams could not understand my panic. They even pointed out to me the inconsistency given my usual perception that they are the ones hooked on the wired world of the internet. They were right. I have become too dependent, through work and my own research pursuits on the internet.
Luckily, the world around me did not fold up, nor did the unfinished tasks around me mean the end of my life. In fact I spent the few days contemplating on a book I read two summers ago titled Going Slow as part of the “slow movement” and found myself moving around more leisurely and with an unhurried sense of being pressured – lazing around, reading, dozing off and thinking differently.
This episode got me going some serious introspection. Among other things, I reflected on what is means to work faithfully: not aimlessly nor where work becomes a burden; not as a rushed activity – but work as pleasure and full of satisfaction so that when my internet conks out or my computer decides on a sabbath I will not panic.
Perhaps, I need to wrestle hard to discern a connection between what I do and a wider sense of purpose. Or it may be that I need to give more attention to a spirituality or moral center to work. Am I valuing process well as the product? It is the product mentality that caused me into panic. This robs us of the pleasure of savouring our efforts, ourselves and others, flourishing into wholeness. Certainly, I need to rediscover the importance and the place of leisure and rest. Leisure, a condition of the soul is a form of silence that we all need. Yet, this has become an uphill struggle in our wired world where we are accessible every minute, hour and day of the year wherever we maybe.
Leisure does not exist for the sake of work. Like the Sabbath it is not a day off. The precedent to quit doing and simply be – is divine. When I fail to remember this, I hope the technological gadgets around me would fail in order to release and rescue me.
© copyright jagessar (September 18 2010)