Another night of nothing accomplished. It will be past one when I finish this post, and I’ve barely touched my readings in two days. Instead I’ve traded my focus for 24, baking, talking to friends online, coffee with a boy, and reading Galatea on the bus.
Today in lecture we talked about the ways wireless technology – specifically mobile phones – has become integrated into our day-to-day life – and the challenges and excitements inherent therein. We talked about the blurring boundaries of personal and public spaces. I stood on the corner waiting for my bus and a girl passed me by, messenger bag thumping on her hip, phone clutched to one ear while she brushed tears out of her eyes with the cuff of her denim jacket. On the other side of the street, students walked with phone in one ear and iPod in the other, animated anonymous convos in the midst of a crowd. While we sat at the coffeeshop, his phone rang and mine vibrated. How is it that this technology with the potential to be so unifying instead makes us marginalized?
He said when he first moved to Urbana it was like moving to New York City – so many new people, so many cool new places, the anonymity of not knowing. Now it has all grown familiar. For me this landscape is still being written, but it does seem a place out of time, or at least out of place – this hotbed of technology and thought in the middle of the fields. Every day a reminder that we’re not the norm, and that’s strange to me after years in a city that embodied the status quo.
I’m rereading Galatea and listening to Iron & Wine’s “Each Coming Night” on repeat – both about memory, being remembered, what we keep and what we lose. I’m imbued with this quiet thoughtfulness, with this apartness. I am – still.
Today is the birthday of one that I love, and my own has just passed. So often I feel as if I am living both the past and the present at the same time. My beloved friend, true brother of my friend and love of my sister, has married without telling us, those for whom he is as close as blood. My heart is full, full to overflowing, and I am quiet.