Internet Fast

Wednesday 9 July 2008

I have finally chosen a new internet package. Something called naked DSL, which basically means I don't need to pay rental on a phone line (but I can take my current phone number with me). So for 50 bucks a month, I get 3 gig of downloads (in peak, and even more if I'm online after 1am), and local calls costing 9 cents. Bargain. It will cost me 100 bucks to connect the sucker, and then that's that. So I'm pretty pleased about that. For what I'm paying now for my phone line and sharing internet access with Nigel, now I'll getting the same amount but with a cable connection to my computer so it'll be faster than what I'm doing now.

The only downside is the 24 month agreement terms. Which kinda made me balk, you know? I felt like I was being asked to get married to a telecommunications company. How do any of us know what we'll be doing in 24 months? And if you cancel out early you get slugged 200 bucks, which really is truly disgusting. I mean, I could come at 50 bucks, but 200? That's just criminal.

The other downside is that I shall be maybe offline from this Saturday for a week. I'm not sure when I will get connected. But it was interesting to observe my reactions within myself when I was first informed of how long it could take to connect. My first thought was a mild flutter of panic. A week? Offline for maybe a week? Oooh. But then following closely on that was a feeling of acceptance and almost ... gratitude. Which sounds naff, but there you go. I was glad that I was going to be forced to be offline for a week, because being separated from something reinforces how I do not need it to be happy, that I do not need anything material to be happy, even though I enjoy it. (And of course, I will be able to get online at work, so it's not like I'll be totally cold turkey without the needle sliding in).

It's the same reason why I looked forward to going away last year, when I went to that country house that had no access. I got these mild pangs while I was there, but most of the time it was fine. In some ways a welcome relief. Still - when I got home, I threw my bags down right where they were in the doorway and wouldn't even put the kettle on until I'd got online :) Actually, I'm planning on going back there again, if I get some money back on my tax return. I wanna go hang there for a whole week and see what writerly convolutions can strike forth from my pen.

We get taught in so many ways to hang onto what we've got. And it's not like we need to get taught as such - we learn it ourselves without any lessons. Advertising reinforces it though, those snide little tendrils inserting themselves in your brain and twirling themselves in, whispering that you need XYZ. We don't need anything except a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs and I remember some dude somewhere talking about the simplicity of such things. (But our wounds, our wounds, they muddy up the waters, and our grasping, our grasping, muddies them even more. Oh for clear waters for all of us).

I have been enjoying my meditation classes (not least of which on Monday night was the THREE HOURS my dear cousin and I spent sitting in her car afterwards talking about Buddhism, Christianity, reality, Jesus, life, love, pain and suffering ... and eating McDonald's. It was edifying as it so often is with her. We talked so long though with the car heater on (it was c-o-l-d) that Andi's car battery went flat. I learnt that the red plugs are for positive charge, black for negative. I've never put jumper leads on a car before. I get great gratifying gulps of accomplishment when I do something manually basic like that, like using a screwdriver for something. Such small enjoyments at small accomplishments :) I find that the more I simplify my life and try to hang on loosely to everything, the more I enjoy what I've got without feeling beholdened to it. It's a cool thang.

The meditation classes are edifying too in themselves. So much about hanging on lightly to things, about our own ability to still our minds, about the way to peace involving loving others. I love sitting and stilling my mind each morning, the sense of mastery it gives me, the reminder that here in the moment is where it's going on. The book I am reading at the moment talks about a type of meditation where you examine your own mind, observe how it is working, to enable you to search down for the roots of certain problems instead of dealing with just the outflow. I don't know how this is done. I don't know how it squares in with my ideas of only God being able to heal things, but somehow I think the distinctions are quite fine blurred, thanks very much. God doesn't seem to be having to gather all the kudos to himself, despite being the originator of all the fine things. He seems to be quite happy to allow us to enter into our own healing as co-creators, seems indeed to have granted us so much self-determination that it extends upwards and outwards and goodwards just as much as it extends in the downwards ways that some legalistically minded Christian sermons are so intent on dwelling on.

It is an edifying thing, to find the roots of certain behaviours. Sometimes I feel like I am hitting upon the roots for the behaviours that have damaged me the most, roots which have been pulled out in some measure but which I won't be happy until they are fully gone. This tree is rotten to its core. I always knew about its rottenness, but I guess I never quite saw as openly as I'm seeing lately how ugly the fruit is. This is a painful thing, to sit and watch your own ugliness. It is so painful that sometimes we spend forever running away from it. When we need to stop, turn and face, to integrate the ugliness within our selves, name it, until we can begin to dispel it.

These roots are not really something I can name or talk about because there are no real words for it at this stage. But it is dispelling certain angers, and it is giving me some hope that maybe, maybe, there is healing for me. A thought almost too lofty to contemplate, but therefore which must be embraced. Embracing unembraceable things is not only accomplishable, but it just changes the whole complexion of the moment. Sometimes it causes chinks of light ahead; sometiimes it's like I am in a room made up of large stones, and one of them shifts slightly, filling up the room with an earthy smell, making me see that an opening is coming where none has been before, even though I can't see the light chink just yet.

Embracing the unembraceable is the ultimate in adventure and freedom. All without white water rafting or leaving your house. Stilling my mind shows me the possibilities, quietens me down so that I can hear Love whisper. I take a deep breath and remind myself, Love is in love with me. That changes everything. Fans the flame in my heart, the one that extends inwards to myself and outwards to other people. Maybe I can do the things that make me want to wet my pants. Maybe not today, maybe tomorrow. Love never fails. Love heals your heart.


  1. well, that is certainly a full post. i think i'll stick to the topic of internet fasting and simply say "enjoy!" whenever i am away from the computer it reminds me of how much time i really waste on it AND i am always delighted to come back home and find my bloggy friends awaiting me.

    i will keep my fingers crossed for the cabin to come back into focus for you. as i recall, it was a lovely time last year :-)


    (oh and if you can arrange to be offline while i am out of town that would be most beneficial for moi :-) i really hate the whole catching up bit when i return to the computer.)

  2. Hey Lucy. Well, if you're going away next week then we're in business :)

    I hate the whole catching up thing too, but then again I am always catching up on my blogroll. I have far too many but I don't want to cull any of them.

  3. Hm maybe this internet fast is going along with the whole meditation thing...seems to be in sync.

  4. I hadn't thought of that, Erin. You know what I do first thing in the morning? I get up, do stilness meditation for 15 minutes. Then I write 3 pages of freewriting longhand. By then I'm hanging to get online :)

    And then sometimes I skip the first two and just do the third :) It will be interesting to see how different my mornings are without any net access hehe.


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