I know how a turtle feels. A shell-less turtle, I mean. For the past few days I have been without internet and the world has seemed a very different place. No connection except telephone and mail and personal contact. In other words, I only communicated with the people I know well. What a concept that is.
I missed you guys: you facebookers, you blog-reading cyber-friends, you students and colleagues and casual email acquaintances. Every time I talked to someone THERE THEY WERE in my ear, in my space. What happened to distance and privacy and the time necessary for a measured response? The internet offers the luxury of distance. It's not pretend, but it's not immediate. You can care, but you don't have to come up with a feeling RIGHT NOW. I treasure that. I'm no good under pressure. If I need a tear or a firm manly hug (see picture) RIGHT NOW, I'll crack. My mouth will drop open, and an indistinct whuffing sound will emerge. Then I'll have turn away before I start to giggle. But my internet self has no seams or cracks. In the calm privacy of my own keyboard I am caring and sympathetic and earnest -- and I can be drinking coffee and playing solitaire at the same time. Emotional multi-tasking. I missed that, and am real glad it's back now. Christmas is upon us after all. And Solstice. And Chanukah and Kwanzaa and ... Karthigai (had to look that one up -- I am so ignorant). Anyway, a season of distanced goodwill, of fake-real grins and pretend-firm handclasps.
I am disorganized this year, as usual. I have bought no presents and put up no decorations and baked no cookies. But I figure there's still time. Why spend a month panicking about Christmas when you can spend a week panicking about Christmas? Way more efficient that way. Yup, I think I'm about ready to start. Now that I have my internet back, I can begin by wishing you all the very best for the festive season. A big smile to all. And a firm hug or polite air kiss where appropriate (red seven on black eight).