Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Maine Woods and Simplicity

I'm in Maine for the rest of the week, and though the wonders of technology have made it as far as the beautiful lake where I'm visiting my folks, the only Internet access is dialup. Dialup which is so slow that I literally cannot use my web-based email--with patience, I can open an email and read it, but I believe I could paddle the length of the lake and back before I'd be able to get the "reply to" feature to open and load.

So here I am, having to face how used to feeling busy and important I am, and how little able to slow down and just be I've become. No high-speed Internet! No email! What a scandal! Oh dear oh dear, however shall I live?

More slowly, and that's clearly the trouble. Having been here for less than 48 hours, I'm already itching to gear up--surf my favorite blogs, leave "insightful" comments everywhere, keep up a lively stream of email correspondence (again, so, so insightful!)and top it off with a trip downtown to cruise used bookstores, a couple of long phone conversations with friends, and an hour or two at the local roller skating rink, skating to pop music with a spinning disco ball overhead.

Instead, I'm stuck here in paradise, with Dickens' Bleak House, Barclay's Apology, my drop spindles, a generous hammock, a shining lake, and the call of loons. All winter long I whined about needing time to just sit. Time to sit, to read, to think, to be...

Now I've got it, and where am I? Here in the cabin, trying to force my way back into the virtual world of non-stop instant access through a rusty old dial-up modem and a creaking antique computer. What does that say about who I've let myself become?

So--I'm gonna go outside and play, now. With real dirt and real rocks and real water. I'm gonna take a paddle, take a walk, take a swim, or just plain take a nap. I know in my head that people move too fast, and have forgotten to leave spaces in our lives for things like lapping waves and the sounds of hummingbird wings. Perhaps I can take advantage of the frustration of being bereft of my DSL, and know someplace stronger and deeper than my head how to be Simple again--at least for a couple of days.

Right. The lake awaits. See you this weekend, all.


Kay said...

Make mudpies for me will ya? I'm spending way to much time on my blog. Between it and work and the heat, I have barely spent any time outside at all this year. I really must take a drive up the mountains and hug a tree.

Cat Chapin-Bishop said...

*grinning* Well, I'm back from the wilds, and I have to say, it's a relief to be online again, no matter what that says about me!

Songs of Unforgetting looks great, btw. Not saying you shouldn't get up into the mountains... but the blog looks good.

Honey said...

I came here to thank you.
You were an incredible source of support over my week of panic and heartache. It's certainly not over, but things have calmed down and I'm now on healing mode.
Your words were so insightful and caring. You gave such enormous strength. You have a gift for this I am sure and I am so grateful you came my way when I needed it. What you said helped me from cracking up that week and meant I was able to be there for my daughter. Basically I wanted to say a big Thank You. You have a friend here in Brussels now, and if ever you or family or friends ever want to visit this area know there is a spare room at your disposal.
Thank you so much.
Best wishes,

Cat Chapin-Bishop said...

Honey, _thank you_. I continue to hold you and your young family in the Light.


Walhydra said...



The week before your Maine woods week, Hubby Jim and I were sitting by the lake at Mohonk Mountain House, a Quaker-founded and -owned family resort on the Shawangunk Ridge in the Hudson Valley.

[BTW, this is an example of the old joke: "Quakers went to the New World to do good...and did VERY well."]

This week was Jim's "use some of my inheritance and splurge" vacation, the first real vacation we've had in about 2-3 years.

He warned me that he had deliberately chosen a place which does NOT have TVs and Internet.

(Well, actually they had a few of each hidden in out-of-the-way quiet rooms.)

I'd been stressd enough for months that I was glad to prepare for that down-time in advance.


Walhydra will be writing a piece on this trip soon.

Bless you,
Michael BrightCrow

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