A few months ago I moved 1600 miles away, to Portland, Oregon; retired and looking for new people, new places and new adventures. Portland has not disappointed the adventuress in me. Every day I venture out on foot; a new mode of transportation I have discovered. I walk and walk, and talk and talk to those who will engage in conversation with me. But I have two rules when I leave home to explore: Rule number one is to leave my cell phone on the dresser, and rule number two is that the wearing of a watch is not allowed. How can I interact and connect with my fellow Portlanders if my phone interrupts our lovely conversations? My friends and family back in Minnesota can make use of the wonderful phone tool called voicemail. And this blessed gift of time called retirement frees me from having to embrace the illusion of time – and I have learned what an illusion it truly is. I can set off to the park with a good book or my writing materials, and when I finally return home and look at the clock I realize how many minutes and hours have slipped away while I was engrossed in the present moment. I realize timekeeping has a purpose in this earthly realm, but when I can step out of it, it is so freeing. That goes for the technology of cell phones also; they are certainly useful and needed at times. But I find that in meeting new people in my new home, I much prefer the connectedness of years gone by – face to face, eyes to eyes, smile to smile.
December 14, 2011