Phoned

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Yesterday I forgot my phone and hopped on a bus to New York City. Somewhere right before exit 17 for the Lincoln Tunnel, I realized it. It took three passengers to restrain me from jumping out of the moving bus’s window.

Okay, no, I didn’t try to jump. But I definitely developed an odd tick of patting my back pocket where my glittery, bejeweled iPhone of Wisdom should have been. I blame it on the sexy little cargo pants I was wearing – back pocket sewed shut. It was awful.

I twitched and writhed in misery the whole day. I missed my beloved in exquisite ways I couldn’t have foreseen. It really is true that you don’t know how much you love something until it’s gone. Funny characters on top of cars in midtown Manhattan. Reach for my phone to take a picture… heartbreak. Wonder how my kids are doing. Maybe I’ll just text them… despair. Am I supposed to be in a meeting or can I stay at this lunch with my old, dear friend a little longer? Emptiness. I never got used to it. It was like I was missing a physical part of myself.

Later in the day, someone mentioned that the meaning of this Christmas season is really about compassion. Is that true, I wondered? If I had to pick what this season is about for me, what would I say? For me, I think it’s more about mindfulness, being exactly in this moment, not off on some other thing, worries about what may be, remembering what was. Holidays mark the passing of time, and the best way to deal with that is by slowing it down and engaging more fully in this present moment. I read The Power of Now about a decade ago and I haven’t quite mastered the art of being in the present moment, the closest thing we can get to bliss and immortality. I grasp it fleetingly during meditation maybe once a month. And then I think about how I should remember how to do it for next time and… poof! Out of the present moment and projecting on to the future.

And then I thought about how many times a day my beloved little co-conspirator, my iPhone, helps me get out of being fully present in the moment. Reference I’ve never heard of before? Google it. There are endless blogs to distract me, words to look up in the distionary even though I already know them, picayune and unnecessary information to gather at every moment. It has made me free in so many ways, but maybe a fast from it every once in a while isn’t such a bad idea.

I thought these things until I found my darling glittering prettily in my car where I’d accidentally left it. I hugged it tight and held it all the way home. And made a mental note to not wear these pants again.

So. Not. Cured.

Praise for THE SECRET SIDE OF EMPTY

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