Breathing Space

15 Nov

I actually read the New York Times today. There was a time in my life when I read the NY Times daily. In fact, I subscribed to it. In the days when I didn’t own a computer with internet capacity and when I didn’t check email, FB and blogs first thing in the morning, I would lie in bed with my coffee and the paper. I miss those days.

I also used to read the Oprah magazine when it first came out. Each month she had a column called “Breathing Space.” It wasn’t a column really. It was a featured photograph of somewhere breathtakingly beautiful strategically placed to make one pause and temporarily go there in one’s mind. It worked. All I had to do was look at the majestic mountain or river or field of flowers and suddenly I would feel calm.

We live in a world that is increasingly chaotic and where serenity seems threatened all the time. My latest beef is with the immediacy with which people expect others to answer a text or email or phone call (although the latter is becoming obsolete). People simply don’t phone each other any more. In fact the other day someone emailed me asking, “Would you like to do the old fashioned thing and talk on the phone?” How refreshing. I don’t mind texting for a quick basic exchange of information or sweet, “I’m thinking of you” but when did texting become the method of choice for long drawn out conversations and/or courtship with someone one doesn’t even know? Uggh. The other day I actually had to tell someone to please refrain from texting me. He seemed insulted. I kind of lied and said I had a limited texting plan (I don’t) but geez. I don’t want someone I barely know texting me at 6:30 in the morning. Likewise, when working at the hospital, I am away from both my phone and computer for hours at a time. Get a clue people. Not all of us have our smart phones wired to us as an appendage.

Yes. Today’s world makes many of us primed for a need for breathing space. Many of us long for a place where it’s quiet and still and there is room not only to think but to simply be.

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