Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Beep, Beep, Boop

My Uncle Harvey was blind. When I was a teenager I remember him participating in trials of new devices including a beeping softball, talking watches, and other items he'd receive from the VA or other sources. I remember he had a walking cane that made 3 distinct tones depending on the location of an obstruction. If there was a step down it made a low tone, if it was straight ahead it made a medium tone, and if it was overhead it made a high tone. In this way he could "see" where he was going.
I have my vision, but I tend to bump my head when I'm not paying attention, or slip off the curb while I'm looking at my phone, or spill stuff when I reach for a glass with a sideways glance and end up knocking it over.
I guess I should be more aware, but there's just so much going on. How can one grasp it all?
I have this phrase I use when I start feeling disconnected and distracted. I say, "I need to be in my shoes." Meaning I need to feel the bottom of the soles of my feet touching the insoles of my shoes. Here in this immediate moment. Just like that. It's like that beep from Uncle Harvey's cane making me aware that I'm missing something that's right in front of me. I need to stop and appreciate my surroundings, the people in my life, and the things I have.
It's so easy to get caught up in the pace of things. Always moving, always busy, too busy to stop and look around and see where we are.
Guess this is the real curse of our age. We're distracted. Disconnected. Isolated by our own technology and endeavors.
When was the last time you simply stopped to watch a bird fly overhead, or closed your eyes and smelled the cool sweet fresh air of Spring, or looked into a loved ones eyes without a word?
Not nearly enough I tell you. Not nearly enough.

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