From this moment, 8:58 p.m. on Friday, I won’t be looking at a newspaper, any of the dozen or so magazines I get, any digital news feeds, or any social media, like Instagram, Facebook, twitter, or LinkedIn, until the morning of January 2nd, when I return to work. I don’t watch TV news so I’ve got nothing to give up there. It’ll be just novels, poems, scriptures, and maybe some non-fiction for a while. Perhaps I’ll just spend the time looking at pictures or staring out the window. And I’ll be taking a break from my daily posts here.
Because this week, a no man’s land between years, is the perfect time to recover some temporal bandwidth, the kind that fills childhood afternoons or, for those of us who can remember, was common in the time before the Internet.
Hours and days spent without the instantaneous continuous stimulus of news is time to remember who I am, what I think of the world, and what’s worth loving about it.
I manipulate symbols for a living, ensuring that they are relevant to the way people are speaking and thinking on any given day. Keeping up with it all is how I keep a tactical advantage in the battle to win attention and trust. It’s a bracing challenge, but it makes it hard to honor silence and memory, to whom I owe whatever creativity I have. So I’ll be off lighting candles to them for a while.
Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you and your loved ones.