Ode to a stolen smart phone…

I had my “smart” phone stolen three days ago, and didn’t get a functioning replacement until yesterday evening. It was SCARY couple of days, man! How did we ever live without these things? They’re like our personal little proxy brains umbilical corded to the very core of our being.

For two days I felt weirdly out of sync and off-balance, like something essential was missing from my internal composition: kind of like the dream when you’re in the subway without any clothes on, or you’re tearing through your old high school trying to find where the math exam is but you haven’t been to any of the classes all year?

It feels offputting and strangely marginalizing to be smart-phoneless–like you’ve been temporarily deleted from the great global network of digitized minions, texting and chit-chatting away in a caco-phone-y of binary code and emoticons.

Things didn’t feel normal again until I managed to get the new phone arranged with all the apps and the widgets and various other little doodads and frills just where I kind of remember them being. But of course, they’re not exactly the same, and they never will be. I’ll have to adapt to this new version of my old smart phone self.

What doesn’t kill us makes us crazier. And life marches on…

Opening thoughts on traveling…

After 8 months in Viet Nam–and following on the heels of a 5 month ramble in Central America–I have a deeper understanding of the emotions of the single traveler.  There is a vulnerability to it that can leave one so exposed and raw–that pain or sorrow or disorientation can cut straight into the nerves that run deep inside oneself. Into the very innermost chamber of the heart.

Yesterday, for example, I had a complete emotional collapse while motorbiking. I had to pull over to the curb, and weep like a stung child for 5 or 10 minutes. The first time I’d done that in, I dunno, 10 or 15 years. And I couldn’t stop–I had to let the geyser run its course. At the end It was both cathartic and draining. And there was no rational for it. It was as if a circuit broke after too much chronic overload, triggered by something as trivial as a night-light being turned on.

I have taken to the mindfulness meditation in the past couple of days. I arrived on a mantra, tonight, of “You’re doing OK.” Whenever I feel bad, or defeated, or I think of Her, I say to myself, “You’re doing OK”. A bad feeling will automatically trigger the affirmation which makes me feel, well, slightly–though maybe imperceptibly–better. I don’t really have it working perfectly yet, but it’s something I can work on.

My god, there’s been so much to work on with this voyage, so many valleys to pull oneself out of. It’s been such a trial by fire that it feels like I can never go back to the comparatively stable life I had before–the comforting shell I was ensconced in–the familiar sag in the old mattress. All of that has vanished like mist.

I feel as though my whole ego and self-identity has to be rebuilt and restored brick by brick, brush-stroke by brush-stroke, pixel by pixel. What it will go back to, or when, I have no idea. But it should be in a stronger, more hopeful state.