Short musings on taking an extended break from the computer

Recently I took an extended break from all things computers (w/limited smart phone usage) and I was surprised at noticible changes within and “outin.”

Here’s my musings:

  • I feel physically better and not drained as I tend to feel from being on the computer.

  • Less tension. My breathing pattern has changed to a more relaxing pace. I didn’t realize being on the computer tenses me up.

  • My focus isn’t as burned out and I have less headaches and remarkably sharper vision.

  • My thoughts are calmer and I feel more grounded.

  • I have more energy.

  • Dreams are more vivid and memorable.

  • I feel more connected to earth, nature, and spirit.

  • As a result I feel more alive and aware.

  • It’s easier to meditate and go deeper.

  • When writing on pen and paper, my thoughts slow down and crystalize.

  • More ideas flow forth and I’m motivated to write.

  • When on the computer, an intense focus mechanism triggers whereas writing on paper is different in the focus is there but it is less intense and of wider spectrum.

  • The more I write by hand, the clearer my handwriting becomes as old muscle memory is resurrected.

  • I now carry a small pocket note book w/pen around for dumping of thoughts, ideas, to-dos, etc. on demand instead of using the phone.

  • A larger notepad serves well for longhand writing pieces. More space = less cramped for free flowing writing and by sticking to a larger notepad for longer pieces I’m programming my mind to see it that way while the pocketbook is for quick dumping.

  • Choose the right kind of paper and pen that makes it a joy to write.

  • My RSS feeds and newsletters piled up but browsing through them I realize I’m not really missing out on anything. Due to the cyclical nature of things, the interesting stuff will show up again anyway. I ended up clearing them all out and I’m still alive. ; )

  • It’s also an opportunity to cull feeds and newsletters I find myself skipping (Note to self: Set a quarterly “culling” reminder.)

  • It’s hard to explain but going analog via fountain pen & paper seems to connect me more to humanity and our ancestors, as if ancient neurons are brought back to life.

  • There is a subtle shift in interacting with fellow humans. They come across not as faded — more real. Their colors, flavors, and nuances are more vivid. I’ve been waiting for someone to ask me, “Where have you been all along?” (This metaverse thing might not be such a great idea given how it seems to more physically disconnect us…)


  • When I got back on the computer I felt this sense of dread in my body, as if “here we go again.”

  • I’m going to honor that and permanently reduce my computer/phone usage by going as analog as possible.

  • After all, our ancestors managed without somehow all this time, yea?

  • I hired someone to transcribe my notes into computer text. I ended up nixing the experiment because it was like sending my words off to the laundry and they get whitewashed of their personality. I’d rather continue to roll in the dirt and tangle in the smells of my words as I transcribe ’em myself.

  • Now I’m starting to write everything (long and short hand) down on paper first to stay connected this way.

  • I’ve fallen in love with writing again — it’s a wondrous thing to feel ink flowing out of my hands in a poetic dance with mind and paper.

  • This blog post was written on pen and paper.


The last embrace of my grandparents

I saw them in the hospital.

There they were in a dark ICU room lit by the glow of electronics, beds rammed together by nurses.

Their arms crossed the void. Grandma’s hands wrapped tightly around grandpa’s arm and he clenching hers in a forever embrace.

It was a simultaneous act of love and desperation.

Image seared into memory, it was the last time I saw them together.

So strange their health would fail at the same time for different reasons… Or maybe they just couldn’t bear to be without their dearly beloved so one followed the other not just in health but also in sickness.

More than a half century of a marriage of true love will do that.

They plunged into deep comas, the prognosis grim.

Grandpa somehow came back for a brief shining moment and asked about her. He succumbed a few days later.

Grandma emerged a week after only to find her forever love gone, passed on. Devastation ensued.

Somehow she healed enough to make it back home. But she was never the same and said so:

“I have this big hole in my heart.”

She died less than a year later, heart and lungs black with cancer.


That feeling

That feeling of a cool breeze on a warm night… Timeless.


What fears may come

After a too-long-for-me hiatus, I’m slowly and finally getting ready to get back on the road.

Most of my hiatus was focusing on recovering from chronic lyme disease which wrecked my body and sapped it of strength.

Once again I find myself facing an old familiar – fear.

Can still I do the things I so loved? These long, rambling hikes in the woods where I’d lose my soul in ‘em? Would I still have the strength to kayak down swirling rivers?

I’m not the sort to sit around camp most of the time. I’m a natural born explorer — a life unexplored is life wasted. Would I be too tired and exhausted to enjoy those wanderings?

Would the heat of long summer days wilt me? Can I handle the rigors of day to day camping life?

Out there, there is no retreat from escape. No air conditioned home to bolt back to, no safety valve for when things go awry. 

I’m not all there yet physically and yet I’ve come as far as I can in exile from the woods.

I feel the call of the road and I need to answer it. I must. My soul misses it deeply and my heart is empty.

It is time to fill those valises with the nectar of nature’s love and joy.

Once again I face my fears and see where they will take me.


Whispers from the trees

Do you know if you still your thoughts and open your heart in the forest, you’ll hear the trees sing inside you?

I hear their whispers in response —

Me: It feels so good and overwhelming like I’ll lose myself.

Trees: That’s the point. To lose yourself in us


Bookwyrm — a Goodreads alternative?

BookWyrm (

Social Reading and Reviewing

Has anyone checked out It’s a really intriguing alternative to Goodreads that’s also open source and federated. Worth looking into what with Goodreads essentially being depreciated by Amazon.