Monday, 18 July 2016

OUR TIME-LAPSE LIVES



60 days. Facebook Page Reminder says that's how long since my last post. Within that time, Taylor Swift got heartbroken, suspiciously fell in love again within a fortnight and broke all our expectations of a hit song penned in tribute, er, mockery of her last fling, my hair got the chop and I went from bronde to more brunde, Britain decided to divorce the EU, and Theresa May clickety-clacked her kitten heels to No. 10. 


There was a time in my younger years when two months have passed when nothing significant has happened in my life. My time counter was measured on an annual basis. That's how slow the events were. I looked forward to filling up my diary. Nowadays I have to constantly remind myself of the reminders I've failed to tick. I then repeat the same old to-do list, cross out a couple out of at least five, then carry them over the following week's list on top of fresh ones.

It's never-ending.




Roses Point--where time is suspended--is one of my favourite spots in Co Sligo Ireland.


One would think that as fast-paced as our lives are now we'll get more things done. But as I audit my life (done while massively slowed down by an awful case of hayfever this year since the end of May, leaving me permanently almost inebriated from my antihistamine concoction), I recognise that I fill up my daily goings-on with desultory distractions that halt me from achieving either a major plan or something more spiritually rewarding.


There's an invisible yet audible yapping that has taken up residence in my head constantly fed by anything I can get my index finger to tap on and read. Everyone seems to have an opinion on everything. Each seems to be an expert on anything. Everyone seems to have the answers for every question and can unravel conspiracy theories. All of us have become politically erudite. We are sandal-wearing and tree-hugging, but only to those whose politics are the same. We claim kindness but spew hatred and contempt.



Benbulben in the background on the walk down to the beach


My social media bubble has popped itself a while back. Loudly. I've been slowly turning down the volume until perhaps it becomes white noise.


Last week I spent a relaxing time in Ireland. I went to see a holistic healer in Co Laois where I had treatment for tennis elbow, tight knee, nodules, and general tiredness. It helped that the treatment room looked out to this unfiltered view where next door was a farm with cows roaming freely and mooing in sync with each breath released as muscles were unknotted.  My friend's osteopath says the fluids in our body should have the rhythm of the ebb and flow of the ocean. Mine has been furiously resisting the plunger trying to suck the life out of me.



Not bad for a mobile phone shot

I saw a photo of this landscape blanketed in snow. Thought it was even more stunning.


I described the air as minty on my Instagram post. That fresh feeling just right after you've brushed your teeth. My mobile connection came in patches in the remotest areas it was liberating not to hear the latest news. Or gossip. My only worry was I might not be immediately reached by my family in case of emergency. I mock one of my friends who's always the last one to hear about important local and world news or seems annoyingly indifferent to what he comes across. But when events wear me down because I overload myself with too much information and choose to wade into the online raucousness, I wish to have a semblance of him: levitating across the war path with a mauve silk chiffon scarf trailing behind.



People close to me know that I'm happy to organise a party as long as it's not mine. When invited, I'm usually the first one to call it a night, or at least one of the first ones. Being dressed and made up belie the efforts made to drag myself to be present. I still care a bit about being branded as antisocial. Just a tad bit. I love the meals, the chatter, and the banter. But my threshold for entertainment involving so many people is low that at a certain point I daydream about switching off. In big events I slowly retreat to a corner where I can recoup the energy lost from socialising. I revert to my default mode: an enthusiastic observer. In both physical and online settings, I watch friends and strangers alike celebrate, speculate, (over)react, sensationalise, lecture, argue, criticise, display intellectual prowess and emotional intelligence or the lack of it, love, and hate. Ranging from overwhelming to tedious, there are parties where I inconspicuously turn on my heel for a French exit and an Irish goodbye.


Away from the commotion there are books waiting to be read, old films to see, hobbies to take up, pages to write, and private offline conversations to make. It's slow-moving but I'm weaning myself from constant status updates. 










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