Time to break out of the blog block that has dominated the holidays. Why not? Today Vince and Connie head back to school after 12 (count ’em, an even dozen) days off. Why else would the Parent Imperfect be tickling the keys in a 54-degree dining room at 5:30AM?
The reasons for the block are not mysterious. After pontificating about “Unplugging” the holidays, the PI and Liz presented Connie with her first cellphone and Vince with his first iPod Touch this holiday. Connie was one of two in her class without a cellphone, and the Touch is virtually obsolete, but, make no mistake, these were big changes in PI-land. Together with the PI’s “business” iPad, they made this the most “Plugged-In” holiday ever.
And so the PI and Liz limp into the New Year groping for equilibrium on new terrain. This will become, now more then ever, the land of contested Prohibition. Bootleggers, speakeasys and moonshiners will be everywhere. Liz and the PI obviously need to take to heart the hit commercial of the . You must have seen that dear child gawking into the iPhone with the voice over instructing, “Who would ever think of limiting an iPhone?”
Of course the new terrain has its high points, real and imagined. Being in closer touch with Connie when her bus is 30 minutes late and night is falling will be a very good thing. It will also be good to know without being there when one of her many upcoming rehearsals and performances of The Wizard of Oz is coming to a close. And, yes, Vince is approaching the day when he must learn to self-regulate his romance with the Internet…or not. Maybe having the iTouch will help with that, in some counter-intuitive way.
On Sunday, Pico Iyer brought to the New York Times a New Years tribute to “The Joy of Quiet.” While not generally the PI’s cup of tea, Pico’s unearthing of Pascal’s reminder that “Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries, and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries” seems important here. History, at least where the PI lives, is not be on the side of the unpluggers, but there may still be space to pass on the wonder of stillness.