Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mama Bean is getting a little hand-wringy about writing and focus

Today, I was lamenting all these blogs posts rattling around my brain that I can't seem to get down on 'the page.' (Sprout's birth story, homebirth advocacy, not washing my hair, washing dishes, baking and domesticity, the list goes on...) I was wishing that there was some way to just curl up somewhere warm and comfy and just be able to write and like not have the internet or distractions or the internet or facebook or the internet or my RSS feed or the internet nearby - like, seriously, why can't I just be on my computer and just be writing and not thinking about my email or my facebook or minesweeper for eff's sake!

Oh! How glorious that would be! What productivity! What golden moments of blogging wisdom would fall from my fingertips!

Wait, Mama Bean, you mean with, like... a pen? and paper?

ohyeahright. that stuff.

Can you imagine how quaint the idea of pen and paper will be to our children?

Tell us the story, mama, about the strange tools that could only do one thing at a time, when multitasking was just a dream of the future! Tell us again, mama!

I am not getting all curmudgeonly on y'all, over here. I am not a Luddite who wrings her hands at what Beastly Technology Hath Wrought. I'm not a so-called first adopter, but I'm also not the last. I was on myspace, I left before it got totally uncool, I've had at least four blogs in my lifetime, I have Twitter, people! So. I'm not gonna go on about the death of print media or anything like that.

On the other hand, it does make me sad, that. Print media.

On the other hand, I do like paper.

I am a paper person. Before blogs, I had those funny things we used to call journals or diaries. lol. I continue to be a Little Pieces of Paper Person, or L3P. Papa Bean is, too (but differently). Are you an L3P? Are there little notes and lists and phone numbers and store receipts with measurements for that shelf you want to put up downstairs and three month old schedules and appointment reminders and candy wrappers just littering your car and countertop and pockets?

If so, we are kin.

It used to strike me (and designers of sit-com sets) that this sort of paper paraphernalia was part of motherhood. All moms on my TV were L3Ps. I embrace it. But I'm getting left in the techno-dust here, folks. I don't even have a cellphone, let alone a smartphone. When I try to use Papa Bean's Blackberry he winces at my ineptitude. My new ipod is driving me crazy because the darn thing won't just do. what. I. want.

Paper never did that. /whine. /pout.

[Here's a lengthy aside: this is what gets me about all these small, portable electronics - the mother effing batteries. I just gah! I don't want to be a freaking battery babysitter! I don't want to have to coddle and care and worry about one more thing dying on me and leaving me helpless in the midst of my most desperate need! Or, you know, when I want to listen to a song or whatever. I am a terrible cellphone mommy, I'm turning out to be a terrible ipod mommy, there is No Hope For Me. Why can't these things charge themselves from the air? Can someone get on that already?! End aside.]


We don't write with pen and paper anymore. How will I teach my children to write in this electronical screen-y way that I, like, get, obviously, or I wouldn't be all bloggy and facebooky etc. but still... are we losing something? (Here comes the hand-wringing...) Are we losing the skills of focus and attention and whole-bodiedness of writing with just our hands holding the pen to the blank sheet of paper? Is there something magical in that which should be sustained, and not merely remembered as... quaint?

And how timely, that Veronica Mitchell should be writing about reading books with the whole body, too:
I bought a book today because of its scent. Because some day my children may want to browse our shelves on their own in the cool basement, and smooth slim volumes may call to them (now where did I leave that pencil?). I bought a book because reading is a dangerous endeavour, and I should be grounded in case of lightning strike, my hands touching something real, my feet rooted with the tree its paper comes from.

So I bought the book with the dusty-rose cover. I will read it with my whole body, even if I only use my eyes.
So maybe that is what I was lamenting - not only my inability to focus and leave the goshdarn RSS alone! I was lamenting writing with my whole body. And now I've got it all out in a shiny shiny blogpost. Aah, irony.

(Ack, Irony! How will I teach my kids about irony?!)

No comments:

Post a Comment