When I lost my iPhone at the Malasimbo Festival a couple months ago, I told people smugly how refreshing it was to be liberated from the connected now. They mostly smiled politely and went back to their screen sliding and glass-tapping ways. At the time, there was a bit of 'sour grapes' to my declaration, I'll admit. If everything has a reason, losing a smartphone must also have one.
Two months on I am truly one of the converted to this idea of mobile device-free living.* It is insidious the way that app communication sneaks into our lives, making all other forms seem tiresome, imperfect. We can control the selves we portray and receive, given a proper framing device. Much harder in person.
This adherence to an older code, a primitive calling, is in some ways paradoxical. I readily admit I am an online worker who produces reams of contracted written content each day, for dissemination throughout the search engine kingdom. The saving grace is that I do not need more than the slightest pulse of an Internet signal to receive and transmit my intellectual wares.
The next barrier I am setting in my sights is life without Youtube. That is, to live in a place where streaming-level bits per second is not available. Harder and harder to find, even in the developing lands beyond Westeros.
Call me Serpico, eternally stuck in the early 1970s, stubbornly playing the tribal flute with those who will join or listen. Those whom I come across by accident rather than through algorithmic providence. Through association with those open to a good conversation or a fight, I maintain a sense of balance and belonging on this here earth, not head-tethered in a fractious void.
This is all a major teaser for my next Chasing the Sun flute recording, which I am currently piecing together from jams and nature's noise.