samedi, mars 08, 2014


Forgive me while I have an existential moment here.

I'm a slow learner.  Perhaps it's because I spent a day bookended by nuns that I realized that something in the way I am living a good chunk of my life has gone seriously awry.

Friday morning I spent time traveling around the nation's poorest and most violent city with a sister who is making a huge impact on it because of her visionary and committed work heading a corporation that oversees five parochial schools.

Friday night, adventitiously, I stumbled across this wonderful book review on the website of the New Yorker. The topic? The lives of cloistered sisters and what impels them to leave society, including the world of social media, behind.

  I'm still reflecting on what I saw and read (to be shared in the next blog post), but it was a powerful day.

Yet at the end of it, I realized: there is just too much freaking noise in my head.  

Sounds crazy, right? Like that old Joni Mitchell song, "Twisted"?

But I don't think I'm nuts about the internal racket.  I'm a  social media addict, way too liable to be distracted by the shiny paper and the bright wrappings of another FB post, or clickbait on Twitter.

At the risk of being blunt, sometimes I don't like what I see revealed in the funhouse mirror (though by far the majority of my friends are temperate and wise in what they post).  There is just so much hating, particularly on Twitter, that it sucks the joy out of my heart.  

Social media has democratized conversation, but it's also given us a platform in which to share the debris in our cluttered minds and hearts.

Sometimes I have to take a deep breath and pull myself back from the verge of irritation or "righteous" anger.

I can't decide whether I think we are more true to ourselves online, or if a lot of the attytood we bring to the virtual water cooler is due to what we had for breakfast or drank the night before.

But I am vulnerable.

I know that I'm also a player. I wonder whose day I have ruined with my prating and prejudices, stuck in the same old grooves. 

I'm not sure what to do about the noise. It would be really hard to be a writer and not pay attention to the conversation.

For the moment, it would be good to keep in mind the simple and challenging precept: "in all things, charity." 

Even online. 

Less noise, more love. 

I have a long way to go.