Waiting for a dial up connection when you have Wi-Fi


Posted by in February's Magazine

And so, another year rolls round. By the time this post reaches you it will be late January, nothing but a few chocolate brazils and the cheese no one likes with the fruity bits in left of Christmas, and the first New Year’s resolutions already broken. The first cigarette already smoked, the first too much already drunk on a school night, the first ‘more pulses and whole grains’ not eaten. But for now, it is early January and I am by the impressively big tree in the Persevere, chardonnay in hand, reflecting on the year gone by and the year to come.

2017 was the year that I perfected, if I may say so, the art of the do-able resolution. 2016, some readers may recall, was the year of resolving to get in-soles and see a psychotherapist, and we all saw that worked out very well indeed. But it was quite gruelling and painful at times, on the calves, the soles, and the soul. January 2017 saw some all together less challenging goals, I was to get a decent mattress, a decent pillow, and, crucially, I was only ever going to wear a properly fitting bra. One way or another, the year was to be all about having the right support in place.

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And, goodness me, it hasn’t half paid off. I have a new house, a new job and I am feeling particularly fond of my husband and children. So I am not really setting any resolutions this year, apart from one more-of-an-idea-than-a-resolution, which is…

To stay connected. In anyway shape or form. To God. To other people. Which is probably the same think one way or another. And to do whatever it takes to be able to stay connected.

Because I think we need to acknowledge this is tricky, and be gentle with ourselves, do whatever we need to do, what works for us. If a glass of wine in the bath will help you forget the stress of work and sit and chat to your husband, if a cigarette in the stairwell will buy you the patience to sit and do an hour’s jigsaw puzzles with your toddlers. Wandering round the shops shopping for nothing in particular for half an hour might make you energised enough to face a tricky board meeting. Headspace and ‘me time’ make for better connections in the long run.

It’s tricky too to fight the interference. The anxieties, the resentments, the bombardment of information, the need to mentally plan next week’s pack lunches, any programme involving Lord Sugar or anyone Being Voted Out. All these things form a huge fuzz, a white noise, which clouds the receptors, dulls the synapses, makes all those glorious connections more elusive.

Maybe they needn’t be elusive. It’s there, all there for the taking whenever we want it. I think about this every time someone tells me they don’t know how to pray. It feels like they think they need to say the right words, sit in the right position, get all their spiritual ducks in a row before some cosmic channel will open up. They still think they need to wait for a dial-up connection. They don’t realise there is wi-fi.

We have wi-fi in all our relationships, and I would like to get into some metaphors about routers and so on here but I lack the technical knowledge so I would be out of my depth. But our lives are full of people just waiting for us to let the love between us and them through, not to create or give or receive it, just allow it to exist in what exists already and maybe notice it from time to time. Or even cherish it. Not in high romance or grand gestures but over sandwiches and jigsaws, or at the bus stop. It’s these mundane intimacies that can prove to be painful though, will have us running from ourselves, retreating into safer places of isolation, of control.

So my only other half-resolution-half-just-thought, which might be linked to the connectivity thing, is to have courage. Courage – fittingly enough – in the etymological sense of it. Because I found this year that the word courage actually means to stay in heart. I am not even going to say more than that; I am just floating it out there. Stay in heart. That’s what it means to be courageous.

I was thinking about this in the middle of the night during the festive season; when thoughts of leading Christingles services at my church were having me wake up in cold sweats thinking about small children and pointy cocktail sticks and naked flames. I found myself thinking about some lines from a Rumi poem, but I couldn’t remember the exact words. I knew it was something about opening hearts though and that I liked that I knew that was what I needed. As I headed downstairs for a drink of water, I found the Rumi book of poems, my husband’s current bathroom reading, was open on the exact page of the verse I was thinking of. It’s these words that I am taking as my guide for 2018:

Stop the words now. Open the window in the centre of your chest and let the spirits fly in and out.

2 responses to “Waiting for a dial up connection when you have Wi-Fi”

  1. html color says:

    Thank you for sharing the post.

  2. WiFi Map Pro says:

    Very nice and useful post admin. Thanks for sharing with us.

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