17 June 2016

I want to look at a clock ...

I want to look at a clock, one with hands— on the wall or on a bookshelf — to tell the time.  I don’t want to look at a phone, unless it’s ringing.

I want to fish into my pocket to find a quarter and slot it into a candy machine, where I have to hand crank it to get some M&Ms or a gumball to tumble out.

I want to drive on a gravelly road, on whitewalls on an old truck with a real carburetor, with a rusty-hinged door that creaks open, with me and the wife and kids going to get a Coke.

I’d like to write a letter to the Editor of the Times and have it published and then receive thoughtful comments back from identified readers with an opposite opinion, instead of today’s trolls.

I’d like to go to a physical bookstore, smell the stacks, buy a book, read it and put it on my bookshelf. I’d like to think that there’s a world where that is still possible.

I’d like to know all in my neighborhood and their kids and barking dogs, even their family history. I’d like that rather than having no clue who my neighbors are two doors down.

Would that we could avoid the tyranny of the urgent, pulling us unproductively.

Would that we could avoid the trappings of “success,” tempting us to riches or fame.

Would that you and I could embrace the here and now, not yesterday’s failures or tomorrow's ersatz victories, framing for us a present life worthy of living.