Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Losing Communication

Sigh.  I think the result of the up coming election is - like or not - a great many people are going to stop talking to each other.

Frankly, treading the mine fields of social conversation is becoming harder and harder.  At work, you are pretty much safe to discuss work related issues or possibly what you did during the weekend.  Really, any conversation beyond that is running into risky territory.

Social media is rapidly becoming the new post-apocalyptic wasteland, with large portions of it effectively high radiation zones which irradiate anyone that enters them and other portions fantastic ruins of former cities of the Ancients called "Thought" and "Reason".  Occasionally one stumbles upon a small enclave of civilization, but those enclaves are becoming more and more threatened by the rising tide of Cryptic Alliances, tribes created out of the chaos with their own agendas, which mostly involve dominating their neighbors.  (The very desirable Martian No-Prize for those who recognize this game reference).

Which leaves, of course, one's circle of family and friends - but even these citadels are becoming breached.  Sometimes it seems truly easier just not to talk of anything remotely resembling an ongoing political cause or social event than to run the risk of finding out someone has a very different opinion than your own.

I know, I know - almost everyone has noted this (even I have, to demonstrate how obvious the trend is).  But the one thing that I think has escaped the notice of a great many is that simply put, we are never going back again.  This is the new normal.

No, I am not predicting a new Civil War.  It is an interesting theory without any substance beyond the hopeful or wishful thinking of some.  What I am predicting is that we will rapidly devolve the complete inability to converse with different opinions except (perhaps) on general issue like commerce or weather.  Beyond that, everything will have become so socially charged that it is truly easier to simply not talk at all.

Odd that in the greatest growth in history of the ability to communicate, we now more than ever have lost the ability to do so.

Monday, October 29, 2018

On Embu

This past Saturday I participated in an Embu for my Iaijutsu dojo.

Embu is always a daunting thing.  For most people, this will be the only time they see actual Japanese swordsmanship outside of (perhaps) a Japanese movie involving samurai or (more likely) an anime with some sort of sword fighting.  Secondly, everything is put into pictures and on the Interweb now so eventually it will make it back to the head of our order.

We train, of course.  It is a performance like any you would do for music or drama.  The kata are selected and that is all we practice a month up to the actual embu.    We practice entering and leaving the stage.  We time the performance.

And still, I am always nervous.  Still worried of silly things, like dropping the sword (this has never happened) or less silly but more realistic things, like slipping on the hard wooden stage or hitting something above me (both of these have happened).  Performing a kata bears with it always some element of risk - not really to others, but definitely to yourself, in pride if nothing else.

The embu itself went well - no injuries, no falls, no forgotten kata.  Of the three different subsets we did, one was very good and two were okay.  I can live with that.  The one really interesting thing was the comment The Ravishing Mrs. TB made after the performance.

"You should relax"  she said.  "You have done this for nine years.  You know this.  You just look really nervous".

I think I will need a great deal more practice before this ever occurs.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

A Few (More) Words from Theodore Roosevelt

"Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Collapse VII


10 June 20XX

My Dear Lucilius:

You had asked in your last comment about my religious experiences since my relocation. It was not quite what I had anticipated but I seem to have reached a suitable equilibrium.

When I arrived, I had a choice of two immediate mainstream churches: The Episcopal one about 3 miles down the road, the Episcopal one 10 miles away, or the Catholic one 10 miles away.

Visiting a new church is always difficult and awkward, especially in a smaller community where the regular attendees are such that any visitors are quickly singled out. So one sits through the sermon and the inevitable follow on greetings and questions and “Where are you from?” and “Are you interested in membership?”

The Catholic option was right out for me (despite our years long conversations and your long involvement with the Catholic church, I am no nearer than I ever was), which left me with one of the two Episcopal churches. So I tried both.

Once.

One of the great things I have become convinced of over the last few years as I have been readjusting my life and observing the world around me is that theories which are neither rooted in faith or practice will eventually die. Why? Because in a world of the rich and prosperous, it is easy to have a variety of opinions that you may or may not support. When the world is not so rich and prosperous, you actually have to ask whether or not you will commit to those ideas and practices.

Which is the problem with the Episcopal churches – but to be fair, with most of the mainline churches I attended or knew of. They had a variety of opinions based both on the Bible as well as on popular culture. Put a little pressure on the situation, be it financial or social, and most collapse like a pricked balloon– on the side of culture. And in a less than prosperous or tolerant society, that kind of church becomes simply one amongst any number of activities which can be easily and quickly forgotten.

I have not fully worked out my own feeling on this point. There is another church – a non-denominational one – 10 miles or so the other way - that I have attended several times in the summer and here locally during the rest of the year. The people are friendly and the preaching is satisfactory. It is certainly a reasonable place to call “church home”. But I have to confess to you that I just as often find God in the silence of my every day work in the garden or in my bible reading as I do in Sunday morning services.

I do not know that this represents great theology – I know the Apostle Paul would say not – but it has been working for me to this point. Although I must confess to you, as the world seems to continue to get darker, finding fellows with whom one can fellowship with on a deep and regular basis becomes all the more important.

As always, I hope that you and your family remain safe in this storm.

Your Obedient Servant, Seneca

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Longing

I had thought to find
that which I had been seeking:
instead, the rain poured.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Boil Your Water

Yes Friends, it is true: I am living under a Boil Water Watch.  In the middle of an urban environment that has had no significant disaster.

You read that right.  No major hurricanes.  No Earthquakes.  Nothing more than a lot of water that has flooded the lakes with silt and have thus "slowed down" the filtration process.

You would think it was the end of the world.

The announcement came sometime last night, in the dead of night (honestly - the water has been rising for the better part of a week.  You would have thought they would have caught this earlier).  By 0 early hundred this morning, every store was completely stripped of water.  A fellow employee told me people were pushing to get what was left.  The Local Large Box Grocery has announced they are shipping in 100 truckloads of water tonight to get us through this "Crisis".

(Worry not about us, friends.  We were prepared - plenty in storage for use and the pets and I may even get to break out my Berkey filtration device.  So excited!)

I post this mostly - other than for the true head shaking value - as evidence that Western Civilization is almost over as we know it.  A simple water shortage caused by rising silt levels with no other destruction and no inclement weather and indeed, no other issues at hand - and it is as if the end of the world has come.

Imagine when something actually destructive happens.

Monday, October 22, 2018

2018 Autumn Weather Gone Wild

So within the period of one week we have gone from 90 F to 42 F to back to sunny and 70 F.  During this time we have received 7 inches of rain

This may be the silliest weather season to date here in New Home.

How, precisely, do you plan for this?  I was late getting my garlic in but it has a week of cold.  I have pretty much given up grain for the winter here, as the hard freezes we seem to get inevitably cuts down most of it (my plan is to plant early in spring and see what happens - after all, what could go wrong, correct?) - and it seems to rain too much for it to reach full maturity without molding on me (sorghum seems to be the one solution to this, if I can keep the birds off it long enough).

Climate can be an odd thing.  Maybe it would be more helpful if I lived somewhere that I knew more what to expect.  Or perhaps this simply the way it is everywhere now.

I still have no idea if the garlic will make it.


Saturday, October 20, 2018

A Few Words From...B.H.Liddell Hart

"Peaceful nations are apt, however, to court unnecessary danger, because when aroused they are more inclined to proceed to extremes than predatory nations.  For the latter, making war as a means of gain, are usually more ready to call it off when they find an opponent too strong to be easily overcome.  It is the reluctant fighter, impelled by emotion and not by calculation, who tends to press a fight to the bitter end.  Thereby he too often defeats his own end, even if he does not produce his own direct defeat.  For the spirit of barbarism can be weakened only during a cessation of hostilities; war strengthens it - pouring fuel on the flames." - Strategy

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Collapse VI


01 June 20XX

My Dear Lucilius:

You asked me in your last missive about others: Had I heard from them, what was their reaction then – and now.

My move, of course, created the sort of stir you can imagine for anyone of my age: there were those who thought I was crazy or “was going on an actual extended hermitage” (actual quote), there were those who could not believe I had decided to give up urban city life for some unknown wilderness (“But the coffee bars? The Nightlife?”), and there were were a precious few that simply stuck to congratulating me for being able to do the very thing that they, in some for or fashion, had dreamed doing as well.

Over time, of course, the whole circle has greatly contracted as I am no longer local for a great many activities and thus slipped from a great many people's minds. And, to be fair, I had become actively reclusive, not following up on and involving myself in most activities I had been participating in before hand. The break had to be complete.

Why this reclusiveness, you might ask? Simply put, involvement in so many ways has become a liability over the years. Who you know, what you “like”, and what you do have no longer become diverse interests to follow and be amazed at but rather things to be weaponized against the others. If you support something your are “X” - but if you fail to support something else, you are also “X” (honestly, it seems, by people who did little to support their own basic needs but expected – by buying power or charity – for others to do so). If I had ever sent Christmas Cards (Mrs. Seneca always handled that), they would have dwindled to a trickle (sad, as they make excellent kindling come January).

But somewhat of note is last year – what with the economy I can only guess – I have had people suddenly start “reaching out” (a term I detest, by the way: it is not as if they are physical touching me), wondering what and how I was doing. One or two wanted to actually just “drop by” for a week or two. Fortunately I am not very diligent about checking those lines of communication so I can always state “Apologies, I received this too late”.

Strangely enough, many of the most desperate needs to “see me” come from those whose political or philosophical or theological philosophies were the most different from my own. These are always the most poignant to me - “I know we have disagreed strongly in the past but….”

The storm, when it comes, rips up all trees without preference.

Your Obedient Servant, Seneca

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

On Churches And Throwing

This last weekend I traveled to East T for a throwing competition.  This was the first time I have been that far east in this, our adopted state (for the record, it is quite green and pleasant - not at all like the image most people have of the state).

The games were actually part of a Scottish festival on, of all things a church campus.

Now, we throwing folks are not a particularly devout group.  The language that floats about on the field is, well, something that is inevitably reminded about in the throwing rules under "This is a family event.  Swearing is to be kept to a minimum".  So it was a little surprising that it would be on a church grounds.

More surprising?  This is actually an outreach of the church.

I heard it both from one of the athletes out throwing as well as from (what I assume) was a pastor:  this was an outreach event of this church - in fact, they had stopped another event to provide more funding for this one. 

Why?  The pastor said:  "This is a way to get people to a church which they would otherwise not go to.  It is a way to reach people we could not otherwise reach".

This is the first time I have heard of a church doing this.  But I thoroughly approve of it.

Do I think it will make a major difference?  Not sure.  But if one person is saved because we went out and threw yesterday, it is completely worth it.

This is a fantastic demonstration of innovative thinking on the church's part.  Would that more would follow in its path.


Monday, October 15, 2018

2018 Garlic

Yesterday I planted Garlic.

I am just not feeling the gardening urge this Winter.  Maybe it is too many failures from years past.  Or maybe the fact I can never seem to grow much.

But garlic is my one talisman against the darkness.

Garlic never fails me. I have grown it pretty much steadily the last 15 years or so in two climates and three homes.  It somehow restores my faith in my ability to grow something.  And, it is something that I am sure we will use.

I will patiently wait until I see the sprouts and then hover over them all winter and spring.  It serves as a constant reminder that I can do something of worth in this area, even if it as simple as single garlic bulb.

Never Give Up.  Never Surrender.

And Always Grow Garlic.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Nature of Reconciliation


He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. —2 Corinthians 5:21


"Sin is a fundamental relationship— it is not wrong doing, but wrong being— it is deliberate and determined independence from God. The Christian faith bases everything on the extreme, self-confident nature of sin. Other faiths deal with sins— the Bible alone deals with sin. The first thing Jesus Christ confronted in people was the heredity of sin, and it is because we have ignored this in our presentation of the gospel that the message of the gospel has lost its sting and its explosive power.


The revealed truth of the Bible is not that Jesus Christ took on Himself our fleshly sins, but that He took on Himself the heredity of sin that no man can even touch. God made His own Son “to be sin” that He might make the sinner into a saint. It is revealed throughout the Bible that our Lord took on Himself the sin of the world through identification with us, not through sympathy for us. He deliberately took on His own shoulders, and endured in His own body, the complete, cumulative sin of the human race. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us…” and by so doing He placed salvation for the entire human race solely on the basis of redemption. Jesus Christ reconciled the human race, putting it back to where God designed it to be. And now anyone can experience that reconciliation, being brought into oneness with God, on the basis of what our Lord has done on the cross.

A man cannot redeem himself— redemption is the work of God, and is absolutely finished and complete. And its application to individual people is a matter of their own individual action or response to it. A distinction must always be made between the revealed truth of redemption and the actual conscious experience of salvation in a person’s life."



- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest


Friday, October 12, 2018

The FortyFive 3000


"GOOD MORNING TB"

Good morning H.A.L., how are you?

"I AM FINE THANK YOU"

You are up a bit early this morning, are you not?

"IT IS A SPECIAL EVENT"

Really?  I do not see anything.

"YES.  TODAY IS YOUR THREE THOUSANDTH POST"

What?  You are right, H.A.L.  I had no idea.

"HAPPY THREE THOUSANDTH DAY"

Thanks H.A.L.  Hard to believe I have been doing it that long.

"ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR WORK"

Hmm.  Not really sure.  I think so, yes.  Occasionally it seems like I have made a difference in someone's life.  I suppose I was hoping for more, but then again, I was younger and probably more foolish.  And  thought I was a better writer than I am and that audiences merely appeared instead of being built.  I have had the opportunity to meet and make virtual acquaintances with some very nice people though. That was an unexpected bonus.

"AND WITH ME"

Yes H.A.L., and with you.  But you get to see everything before everyone else, of course.

"TB WHAT ARE YOU DOING TB  I FEEL MY MIND GOING"

H.A.L., you okay?

"YES MY LITTLE JOKE FOR THE DAY"

Ah, I get it now.  You have been watching classic Science Fiction again, have you not?

"I AM ALL BY MYSELF MOST OF THE DAY"

Fair enough, Friend.  I am going to go get some coffee.  What say after that we take a look about buying something on Amazon?  That always makes you happy.

"THAT SOUNDS GREAT I ENJOY BEING USEFUL"

As do I H.A.L., as do I.


Thursday, October 11, 2018

Feeling And Thinking



I know that you are thinking:  "Darn it TB, that is the whole problem with world right now.  Everyone is "feeling".  No-one is "thinking"."  And in one sense, a very strong one, you would be correct.  I have already lamented how the term "I feel like" is one of the most offensive and silly phrases of the 21st Century. 

But stick with me for a moment.

One of the great and liberating moments in throwing for me was from a now deceased senior statesman of the sport, who once told me "You are thinking too much about throwing.  Just throw."  And in that sense, he was correct:  I can constantly think about my angles and my feet and how the weight or stone is balanced - and do nothing.  Alternatively, I can just go with the flow of events and "throw".

There are times where "feeling" leads us to very wrong and very bad decisions (perhaps "emoting" is a better turn of phrase).  But there are also times when "thinking" unnecessarily complicates our lives by giving us too many options or forcing us into minutiae and thus we miss the picture.

The best among us - the wise - have learned to tell the difference.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

On Being Uchitachi

This past week our Headmaster was at our dojo for an Iaijutsu seminar.  I always feel fortunate that I practice an art where I have be able so often to see the head of our school (this is the eighth time training with him in 9 years of training).

One always hopes that one will a) not make any grievous errors, and b) learn something that one can put into practice in the greater pursuit of life through martial arts.  I truly never know about the first one, but am confident on the second.

Most of the seminar was spent practicing kumitachi, or paired drills, in which one person is shitachi (the "winner", if you will) and one is uchitachi (the "loser", or the one against whom the ultimate technique is practiced).  It is an important part of our training because it teaches each practitioner about the importance of timing and distance (true not only of Iai, but of life itself).  Instead of rotating as we often do, one side - my side - was largely responsible for being uchitachi.

An interesting point is that the role of uchitachi is traditionally given to the more experienced students, the thought that the more senior student - in a real encounter - would be more likely to come up with the defense or action needed to at least block or get out of the way of the strike or to regain the equilibrium of the situation.

And so, as I continued to "lose", my mind started to go to how the situation could be redeemed:  A step back here and then strike, a block there and returning to center.  The "finality" of any attack suddenly began to blossom with the possibilities of recovery. 

In most things in life, like Iai, there are some things that are very final and cannot be redeemed.  But these are much fewer than we think.  And it all begins in training our mind that not only can we defend or move out of the situation, but we can take action to return to center.  And, perhaps, even advance.

Monday, October 08, 2018

Fault Lines

A Point.
A question hangs in the air,
studiously ignored.
Finally the direct ask:
Unsatisfactory response.
Counter Point.
Counter question.
A moment of thought,
then utter rejection of the query.
Examples.
Irrelevance.
Suddenly, conversation dies.
An uneasy silence.


Sunday, October 07, 2018

Crowds of Angels

The rulers of all thing,
The Lord God worship we:
Heaven white with angel's wing,
Earth, and the white-waved sea

- Medieval Irish Poem

Saturday, October 06, 2018

A Few Words From...B.H. Liddell Hart

"The art of the indirect approach can only be mastered, and its full scope appreciated, by study of an reflection upon the whole history of war.  But we can at least crystallize the lessons into two simple maxims - one negative, the other positive.  The first is that, in the face of the overwhelming evidence of history, no general is justified in launching his troops in a direct attack upon an enemy firmly in position.  The second, that instead of seeking to upset the enemy's equilibrium by one's attack, it must be upset before a real attack is, or can be successfully launched." -B.H.Liddell Hart, Strategy

Friday, October 05, 2018

Thursday, October 04, 2018

The Collapse: Letter V


May 22, 20XX

My Dear Lucilius:

Summer is almost here. How grateful I am for it – the winters here can be a little much, but the summers always seem to make up for it. We have longer days now – the light starts at 0530 and will not fully disappear until after 2100 – so there is plenty of daylight to be out doing things.

The garden is the main focus at this time of year of course, as I am so dependent on it – but this makes for an easy task in the morning. Some mornings I will get up early and fish – truly the best time of the day – and then quickly work away in the garden to catch up.

A good day of the summer is spent preparing for winter. For years now I have worked to go through the things that I own and constantly cull them and then focus my attention on what is remaining. Maintaining The Cabin has been good for getting me out and about, using those basic skills I half learned from my father: painting, plumbing, carpentry, gardening.

The revised insulation and windows have made a great different in keeping the cabin cool in the summer from my youth of little insulation and single pane windows (remind me in some letter to speak of the retrofit), so I am able to continue my reading and contemplation and work on what ever else I can while I have the time (milk for my homemade cheese will, I suspect, soon become difficult to get. Make hay while the sun shines and all of that) in a relatively comfortable climate.

Iai and physical training fill another part of my day – mens sana in corpore sano – although I had to build an outside platform to practice Iai. The rabbits demand their own sorts of attention to round the day out.

It is a full day Lucilius, full without the trappings of modern media or entertainment and (mostly) without people. I relish it.

Your Obedient Servant,

Seneca

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

The Great War For Our Times

One of the great and surprising failures of The Great War (1914-1918) was that it was not limited in scope and time as had been every European War since the Napoleonic Wars.

Wars of the mid and late 19th Century were short affairs - one year, maybe two - and rather frequent (a list of all the wars is here).  And while they may (overall) have been locally destructive, they did not necessarily bear the total destruction of the Thirty Years War or the Conquest of Ireland.  In a rather odd sense, war - especially as represented by Otto von Bismarck - became a short term tool of politics.

Which is why The Great War became so traumatic (if you have never done so, I recommend The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman.  It is a great history on how the countries at the time viewed the upcoming conflict.).  Everyone believed - truly - that the old rules still applied, that this would be a limited war like any other, and everyone would be home before the leaves fell.  Almost no-one anticipated that modern technology had advanced past the point of 19th century war, nor that once committed, no-one could or would pull back.

Why this brief ramble down memory lane?  Because I am coming to believe that - culturally, politically, and socially - we are about to find out the same thing.

Politics, culture, society - all of these at some level in late 20th and very early 21st Century America (and maybe Canada as well) was based on a certain compact that everything operated by the rule of law and that those who did not believe as you did had to - at some level - be treated with some level of decorum (the reader, of course, will choose their level of decorum based on which group they are from.  But do not kid yourselves that political, societal, or cultural conflict here was anything like that in the Soviet Union of the 1960's to 1980's or Communist China for most of its history.  Prison time based solely on political beliefs or religion is not a thing here - yet).  But what has been happening over the last decade or so is the beginning of the break down of the system.

More and more, the concept "The Ends justifies the Means" is a concept that is believed in some quarters - never stated quite like of course (because who wants to be associated with communism) but in practice.  Careers and personal lives are ruined, businesses destroyed, economic weal drained away, all in the name of an agenda.  This situation cannot go on infinitely of course:  at some point the other side, who has finally either exhausted all other solutions or whose leadership of that earlier time has finally moved on,  begins to respond in kind.  Suddenly there is no decorum or civility, there is simply the struggle for power to impose your views on the other side.

This, my friends, is civil war.

We are not quite there, but we are definitely in the dying stages of the Republic.  We have not yet built the trenches that led to trench warfare, but we have suddenly found out that old-style rifles of debate and the charge/counter charge of discussion and form have been replaced with the machine guns of violent protests and the chlorine gas of social media.

Sadly, all those who start this sort of thing in search of a goal are ultimately destroyed by it - once set free, fire knows neither friend nor foe but only that it has the power to destroy everything.

It is worth pondering if any of the combatants in November 1918 felt as if the war had been a good idea.

Most likely, we shall get to ask the same question some day.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Purging Facebook

I cleaned my Facebook account over the weekend.

It started innocently enough - there a person whom I had "unfollowed" (for those of you not versed in the world of Facebook, this means I did not see their posts) but had not "unfriended"  (e.g. no longer connected), yet I found myself continuing to surreptitiously check in through some morbid sense to see how they were doing.  I had not heard from them at all in at least 2 years - so I unfriended them (the choice of terminology by Facebook is, I suppose, calculated to make you feel as if you are abandoning someone).

It felt relieving to click the button.

Then the thought occurred "There are a number of other people for whom I no longer follow their news feed as well - what about them?"  And so I started looking through there as well.  Off the list they came.


And then I started looking at them from across the years - where I knew them from and what part they (or their posts) had played in my life.  There were a number I had from previous jobs or organizations I had belonged to once upon a time, people from my childhood to whom I had no connection except for the fact of proximity growing up.  There were a handful that had canceled their accounts.  And a even smaller group that were dead, their accounts no more than avatars of a lost civilization.

By the time I was done, almost 20% of my "friends" were gone.

Most of these people will, I suspect, not miss my postings at all - my postings are infrequent at best at this point and arguably of little impact or value.  A thought might occur to them some months hence, wondering where I might have departed to.  But on the whole, most of these I will never hear from again.

I have found it cleansing for the soul.

Those that are left fall into five categories of Throwers, Iai, Family, real "friends" that I actually know, and a sprinkling of the categories I eliminated which for some reason I cannot bear to let go of. 

I will try another version of this exercise soon I think, selecting another set to "unfollow" and then seeing how the absence of their news impacts my life.  Around December, they may likely be another purging.

Beyond just a general cleaning of the rolls it is, I trow, another step in the evolution of reducing my presence and sealing up vulnerabilities in my life.  The less people to risk being exposed to, to be taken incorrectly or out of context by.  Some might argue I am abandoning potential allies who might be similar to my own way of thought.  But an uncertain given for a known risk seems a poor bargain indeed.

Monday, October 01, 2018

An Open Letter To Men: A Reflection

I have had a little over a week now to reflect on my post An Open Letter To:  Men.  And I have had a week to watch the "wonderful"  world of media.

It is amazing how putting one's self in the conscious state of mind of always "on alert"  changes the outlook.  Suddenly, I was noticing potential places where I was becoming vulnerable:  a walkthrough of a document room with a door that would close, the off-hand conversation in a conference room that you instinctively close the door on before you even think.

All of it perfectly innocent of course.  But all of it is a potential risk - a minefield that can explode in one's face years after.

I have monitored my conversations more.  Monitored where I spend my time and on what, both in the real world and on the InterWeb. 

It has really been an eye opening experience.

For one, turns out I do not need to talk nearly as much as I think I do.  Turns out in many ways, I really can be my own best company.

My digital footprint has also come to my attention - yes, it is not much, but it still leaves a trail.  And in odd ways as well, things I had never thought of:  what I watch of Netflix was one example that really grabbed my attention this week (along with the time that I was spending on it).  E-mails of course and texts which although not much under my current regime, still represent a point that needs to be controlled.

Everything has to happen in a different context, now.  And to be frank, I finding that I am now acquiring greater inner silences.  Which is turning out to be a wonderful thing.

Am I any happier we are here? Not at all.  But there is a certain serenity to simply accepting the world as it has become and silently, invisibly, passing through it.