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In Part One I explained how I use the Internet. Now it’s about how you can use it–not just to cruise aimlessly, but to find the person deep inside that you’ve been ignoring most of your life. Before you answer any of the following questions, accept the fact that there are no limitations to your answers. You’re not applying for a job or setting up an impossible schedule for self-improvement. Your age, education, physical ability and bank account are of no concern. Consider this an experiment or, better yet, a journey of discovery. Remember:the three “W’s” stand for World Wide Web–and it’s all available to you just by typing a few key strokes. Keep a pencil handy and add to the questions that grab you. Later if some of mine were of no interest you can toss them, but for now–let’s go!

What’s your idea of a dream job? We’re not talking money here–remember–you have all the money, brains, strength and youth you need. So, what did you want to be when you were a kid? What did you dream about? Does it still appeal to you or have you outgrown the dream? What area of the world would you love to visit or move to? What conjures up your imagination, cruising down the Seine or following Marco Polo’s Silk Road? Where did your parents or grandparents come from? What group or collection of people would you love to hang out with, be a part of: athletes, artists, professors, movie stars, astronomers, chefs, poets, saints, architects, photographers, journalists, . . . . . .? Would you search for adventure or peace and quiet, big cities and fast cars or country villages and dusty libraries? What books lifted your spirit when you were a child and, now, as an adult? Why have you never forgotten them? What lit a fire in your mind, what’s the thing you longed for and never got to do? If you could choose a mentor, an expert (alive or dead, real or fictional) who could pass on his/her skill, knowledge, or wisdom to you who (what) would it be?

This is the richness and the miracle of the Internet. Neither it nor I can transform you into a different person, but the ability to access what calls to your intellect and heart is available and I hope, at this point, you’re wondering why you’ve been spending so much time on forums with people you wouldn’t invite into your home, or why you’re always convinced the world is going to pot when you log off, or why you believe the only thing you’re smart enough for, or good enough to spend your time doing is playing the same game over and over. You deserve better than that! Stay tuned for Part Three.

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Here’s a question I’d like to ask of both young and old. Have you considered that you might be wasting a miracle? Do you realize the true value of those few hundred dollars you’ve spent on your computer, laptop or other device? Here’s a machine that you can program to fit the person you long to become. So how are you using it?

I’ll soon be celebrating a birthday and beginning another decade, a milestone that warrants a reassessment of where I’ve been and where I’m going in this life with its beginning, middle and, much as we avoid discussing it, end.

Last night I realized how grateful I was to be alive during this particular time period. Even 20 years older, I might have missed the opportunity to avail myself of a great mind expanding experience. If I confess to you my belief that the Internet is one of the greatest tools for self-knowledge, it might seem a tad over the top, so let me try to explain.

Relatives and friends have sometimes commented that they wished they could be “creative” like me. Because I write and draw, they assume that somehow I’m smarter than they are. It’s not true, of course, I’ve simply spent my time finding out what I love and what I have a knack for doing. Right now there’s no better place to do that than the Internet. Unfortunately, both young and old have become addicted to playing games, setting up virtual gardens, and commenting on issues they don’t even care about. In the meantime their life clock keeps ticking. Months turn into years, years into decades, and they’ve missed learning who they are and what they are passionate about.

Consider, for a moment, your friends and family. You love and cherish them, but are any of them dramatically smarter than you? When was the last time you came away from a conversation feeling you’d really learned something, maybe even grown as a human being. Do you know any saints? Any inventors, geniuses, leaders, world changers? Probably not. We choose our friends, and they choose us, not to learn from, but for their comfort level, in other words, we choose people just like us. Even if we were invited to a gathering of people who were miles ahead mentally or spiritually, we might be too timid or frightened to accept, thinking we’d be out of our depth or possibly embarrassed. Not so with the Internet, where we can mingle unseen.

I’m not talking here about improving your education or taking courses by computer, although opportunities for those abound. I’m talking about “meeting” entertaining, wise, likeable people you would give your eye tooth to have mentor you, but would never have the courage or means to approach.

Last week I meditated with Sylvia Boorstein who shared the Buddhist practice of Metta. Her soft-spoken, sweet demeanor immediately drew me to her. On TED, Sir Kevin Robinson and the author of Eat, Pray, Love, gave entertaining talks with much food for thought. I’d never seen either of them before and I enjoyed their company for their allotted 18 minutes. Two online friends and I met daily in a private Facebook group to encourage one another with prayer as we each go through difficult times. They expand my soul.

I frequently visit or take courses on Spirituality and Practice for their take on world news, entertainment and the wisdom of all religions. The French site, L’Evangile Au Quotidien, contains daily Bible reading in many languages. I read the English and attempt the French, or Spanish. For the fun of it I watch creativity videos, or listen to music from the past with Youtube. There are rarely annoying commercials, no one lying to win money, screeching car chases, or shows with grisly murders and mounting body counts. I’m never bored. Unlike TV, my viewing is tailor-made to nurture and grow my mind and soul in any way I choose.

This is the world according to “porchsitter”. It isn’t the world according to you, but the point is, it could be. Why not experiment and learn who you are? Start by accessing the things you love and then ramp it up a notch. How? That’s what this little series of posts will address.

The TV image was clearly delineated but puzzling until my brain concluded it was a close up of the soles of a man’s shoes. Curious as to where the scene would go next, I was totally unprepared for what followed. No longer two-dimensional but three, a pair of highly polished black shoes slid gracefully from the screen, hit the floor and all six-foot two of “the man in the suit” stood before me. I stared at the cup of tea I’d just sipped and wondered what or who had tainted it. “I must be dreaming,” I whispered, more to myself than to him and caught the glimmer of a smile.

“Be that as it may,” he murmured in a voice that left me longing for more. He took in my wheel chair and me in it, then scanned the untidy bedroom with a glance, making me wish I’d tidied up, been dressed in something seductive, been thirty years younger. He slipped out of the room and I wheeled after him. Reality, dream, or hallucination, I had no intention of letting him out of my sight.

In the kitchen, slowly and very quietly he opened and closed cabinets and drawers, his eyes lingered on the photos taped to my refrigerator door. Skirting around me, he strode into the living room and continued his search. “You know a lot of languages, he said, rifling through my books.

“Not really, they’re language texts,” I answered. “It was a hobby, when I was younger. I never got past basic phrases–you know: Sprechen sie deutch? Allons-y! Besame?” I added hopefully.

“Hmmm.” He seemed to consider it. “And what about the woman in the head scarf?” he nodded toward the kitchen as he tucked a memory stick into my computer.

“She’s a good friend! Hey, what’s with you? Leave my computer alone, that’s a total invasion of privacy! I’ll answer your questions, but you better start telling me what’s going on here first!”

“We have information that you had ties to Central America during a previous administration. And you may be working with foreign agents now.”

“That’s ridiculous! You’ve got me confused with someone else.” The sound on the TV grew louder and I heard a familiar voice uttering familiar words “. . . .whether you’re victim or perpetrator, if your number comes up we’ll find you.”

“I want to talk to Mr. Finch.”

His eyes grew cold and wary. “And how do you know about Mr. Finch?”

I’m up, but not quite with it, so I’ll try easing into the morning by way of some slow spiritual journaling as I encourage mind and body to tune into this Lord’s day.

It is late August and, as always, Charlotte has returned. I swept away her web twice yesterday. I regret this, but I didn’t want my friend, Milly, to panic if she saw a plump, juicy body dangling from the roof of the balcony.

After my first attempt at home wrecking Charlotte scuttled up and away as soon as I came outside. She did it again today. Does she equate the sound of the door or my physical presence with danger? Is it cleverness or simply survival instinct?

What an incredible skill the Creator has given these creatures. I wonder how it feels to spin yards of thread from one’s abdomen. Does it tickle? How much can she spin before the bobbins run out? Does she get frustrated and tired (Out of sticky thread again?)and have to rest and resupply herself? How in the world does she do that? Does she cry when wind and rain batter her neatly woven strands and guide lines into a tangled mess or when an annoyed human plows into her completed web by accident or whisks it away on purpose?

I marvel at the mystery and economy of her life. Her home satisfies her every need. It is her work and her God-given talent, her larder and resting place. It is her artistic endeavor.

I hope and pray it is her absolute delight, but if she decides to winter in here, I will be moving in with Ed.