The image in my mind’s eye when I close my eyes after looking at the computer is a bright line that splits the mindscape in two. It looks like an electric horizon separating two depthless, deepblue voids. This is not a metaphor, it is literally what I see.
I unplugged from the internet, and it is wonderful. Such calm, so free. You barely miss it when it’s not readily available. But when access is easy, using it in some way occupies much of what I can think to do. The urges to go online are deafening and insistent. It’s like itching all over your body and trying not to scratch–any successfully rebuked impulse to pick up you phone and check for this or that is quickly replaced with many more, over and over, until eventually, almost inevitably, you give in.
But when I/you/me/us unplug the modem, there are far less urges to go online. Every desire to check social media or the news or the score for a quick dopamine release is then weighed against the cost of walking to the other side of the room, plugging the wifi and modem back in, and waiting 5-10 minutes for them to go back online. Suddenly, picking up a book and reading seems more expedient than looking up whichever trivial tidbit would please me on the internet for a few seconds, before being discarded forever into that endless river of useless shit I’ve had the pleasure of looking up and forgetting.
I hope to leave some optimism for folks who see through the games and realize the true potential of human being, however elusive it may be to me. I sort of understand, sometimes. But those fleeting moments that we can, the flashes of optimism seen, the spark of truth and light that lives in you and me: it is what I live for. If it were the last candle aglow, surrounded by cold void as far as I could see, would I let it go out? Would I surrender to the inviting, impending blankness of unconsciousness? Would I rather simply lay and rest than stay alive, if alive means a struggle to survive? Possible–to say I knew would be a lie. But I would at least guard it closely so that it might glow a bit longer; the warmth feels better than the cold. Perhaps temper it, to keep it hidden from the hungry ghosts, while we would bide our time. And if ever we saw another ember, or some fuel, we would grow.