friend: no one you know
community: no place you live
streaming: live data
live: not living
Last week my landline rang. You have to be of a certain age to even have a landline. I almost never pick it up. But I saw the name on ID. It was a friend—someone I’ve seen in my small town every week for 15 years. We have a sentimental history but don’t talk much anymore. Seeing her name I thought the worst.
That’s how it is these days. The phone rings and you think the worst.
She was calling to ask me to have lunch with her. For no reason. Just lunch. An hour sitting face-to-face, chatting. The whole event was such a shock that it made me realize how far we’ve drifted from what words used to mean: words like friend, face, and chat.
We have a new society, and it has corrupted the vocabulary of the old. A society that isn’t social, with a language that is completely silent. I write this here so that one day the archeologists will be able to decode the encryption, and imagine what it used to mean to be alive.
This is why I will never stop inviting you to meet me face-to-face, and why one day you will.
The Art of Non-Parenting, Central School, Belmont, CA May 31.
Beginner’s Mind One-Day Meditation Retreat, Los Angeles, June 10.