Sunday, October 24, 2010


I remember one day when I was a kid.  I was in elementary school.  My twin brother came home from school and said he had something he wanted to show me.   He pulled one of the white tea saucers from the cabinet in the kitchen.  He filled it with water and carried it outside.  I followed.
Straight out the back door he walked down the path to the back fence.  There on a brick he placed the small plate.  Then he told me his secret.  If we left the water there for about two hours is would disappear.  He called it evaporation.  I called it stupid.  We left the water.
We came back later and the water was gone.  I was baffled.  He called it evaporation.  I called it trickery; the water couldn’t have actually disappeared.  I went and asked my mom if he had tampered with the plate when I wasn’t paying attention.  She told me that he hadn’t, she said it was evaporation.  I said it was magic.  Water vanishing into thin air had to be magic.
Science he called it.  I couldn’t wrap my mind around it.  I asked his how it worked.  He said the water turned into gas and floated away.  It was too much for my little mind.

My childish mind could not open wide enough to fit certain ideas that now seem so simple.   Naturally I wonder if I am still the same way.  Are there ideas and truths that I am blind to for no reason other than my intellectual immaturity?  Perhaps.  I wonder what I am missing out on by not being able to imagine bigger and better. 

I think of the portrayal of future technology in the media in the not so distant past.  Even when the mind was imagining space travel and making technology that would fit in a futuristic age they were limited.  Even their wildest imaginings could not fathom the amazing territories into which technology would expand.  If our computers, cell phones and music players were shown to those dreamers of the past, they would be utterly astounded.  They would be the equivalent of a second grader hearing of evaporation for the first time.  Magic they would call it.  And to us it is the common place, the mundane.
I am excited for my mind to be continually stretched and enlarged by the advance of technology.  Great things lie ahead.  I hope that I can keep up.

A Good Story

It was in the closet.  The one that was just around the corner from the entryway, across from the pantry.  The closet with boxes of things packed away that would only come out seasonally, Easter decorations, Christmas tree, wrapping paper and Thanksgiving decorations.  Along with things that rarely came out was the smell of things too long confined to spaces too small.  Tucked away on one side was the rod from which hung all sorts of articles of clothing that were infrequently or never used, but too good to throw out.  The garments were packed so tight that it was hard to pull any one thing out and not also dislodge its neighbors on either side.  There was a tuxedo that was too small for some and too big for others, waiting for someone to grow into it.  There was the old hunting jacket that smelled of leather and canvas.  There was the once used graduation robe, cap and sash.  There was the snow pants that still smelled new having seen little action. 
And there was the coat.
I don’t know where it came from or how I managed to find it amidst all the mess.  It was long, coming all the way down to my ankles.  The sleeves were too long and if they weren’t rolled up my hands wouldn’t come out the ends of them.  Because they were so long I could tuck them into themselves and hold them tight and close of the opening.  It had an inside pocket that intrigued me and was perfect for hiding any treasure I might wish to conceal.  Being so disproportioned for me I was able to pull my arms from the sleeves and into the body of the coat with plenty of room.  It was brown, soft and perfect.
I loved to put it on when it was cold, gray, and rainy outside.  I would button and zip it all the way up from foot to head.  I would put on my roller skates and go out into the rain fully protected and totally safe.
I loved to wrap myself up in that old coat because it enveloped, encompassed, and surrounded me. It made me feel safe.  I became a part of it, as if inside of it I was in an entirely new world whose boundary was just big enough to let me in.  As a child I wondered if that was how turtles felt, having their own little world that they could carry on their backs.  They could pull themselves into their shells and retreat to their safe space separate from the world.
I think that I love a good book and a good story for the same reason.  With a well told story it’s like I slip on a perfectly fitting coat that to surrounds me, makes me feel included and part of something.  A good story puts me in a new world keeping the real one at bay.  A good story is one that is hard to take off and leave, it’s one that draws the reader back and invites them to become wrapped up with it again.
Those good stories are worth finding and keeping close.  They make it worth searching through the ones that don’t fit quite right, don’t feel right, are ugly or out of style, too big or too small, poorly made or over decorated.
I want to write stories that fit like that old brown coat I found in that front little closet. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Our Buildings

There is nothing worse that when our good intentions and inventions turn against us.  We set out to make things better for ourselves and move toward a nicer future without seeing the consequences that will also follow.  We are blind to them because of the bright shining vision of the perfected future we hope to build.

Just the other day I walked out of a building and was shocked how beautiful it was.  It was sunny but cool, there was a slight breeze and the smell of fall was in the air.  I wanted to sit in the grass and read a book, write, or just sit quietly and think.

I was missing the out of doors because life is increasingly getting centered indoors.  Buildings were made to serve us, protect us from the caprice of bad weather.  But they have come to hold us prisoner.  They are no longer a place to escape to but a place from where we should escape.  The walls and roof that keep out the wind, cold and rain also keep out the sounds the smells and the joy of nature.  And yet that is where we spend our time.  It’s because that is where we put our stuff, and without our things we are increasingly useless.

As I stood outside in a perfect afternoon I thought of the building that I had left.  It was not to my liking. 

It had a manufactured feel.  It was definitely man made.  The walls were confining, barriers that dictated, walk here, and congregate there.  The spacing dictated economy of materials.  Rooms were made to serve a purpose and no more.  The walls were also a barrier to elements.  Outside was kept out.  Inside there was the hum of the air conditioning machine.  The air was cold, machine processed and manufactured.  It was trapped, caught in the buildings grasp, cycled and recycled making its rounds countless times.  I was cutoff from something better.

For most of the year the weather is inclement.  Being outdoors is no pleasure.  And so we have our buildings.  But the cost is that we are stuck to them, tied down.  When the weather is nice we cannot enjoy it.  We are forgetting how to function outside.   Too much time is spent indoors. 

I imagine I am writing this because it is so nice out.  I would rather be playing Frisbee and bike riding and reading beneath a tree than doing anything indoors.  So don’t mind me.  Soon enough I will be very grateful for walls and roofs and machine heated air because winter is not far off.  And winter is no friend to me.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Carried on the Music

His clothes were dirty and worn.  He was not tidy, but unkempt.  He sat outside on a bench in the park.  From a distance and from the back he looked hunched over.  But as one got closer it became clear that his posture was the result of playing a guitar.  The first glance would give the impression that he was homelessness, though he may or may not have been.  It did seem that he was a traveling kind; a type who had no deep roots to any one place.  He played his music as if oblivious of the rest of the world.
From the outside he looked if not happy at least content.  He was making music and that seemed to be his focus and purpose.  The story on the inside, what wasn’t visible to the eye was different.  He felt alone and cut off.  He felt a lacking, a hollowness.  He had imagined a life different than the one he was living.  In his invented life music was present but it was different.  It wasn’t the playing in the park that only earned him a meager allowance it was more.  He had wanted to be famous and make a good living from his music.  Instead he only just managed.  And the music that he loved was always a reminder of what wasn’t, of what he hadn’t achieved.  The music he loved had slowly taken to reminding him of what he hadn’t accomplished; it became a dull but persistent grinding in his core that took the joy out it, poisoned it.  So while he played he wished he weren’t.  Perhaps it’s time to move on, he thought, maybe it’s time to give it up and be done.
Another man approached the musician from behind.  He was dressed in slacks and a polo shirt.  He was clean shaven and neat.  He walked with purpose toward the musician, but not with haste, it was almost strolling.  He made his way around to the front of the bench and dropped something into the open case that lay in front of the man and kept walking, strolling through the park as if taking in the whole world.
The musician played for a moment longer before looking up.  He saw the back of a man and nothing more.  His glance moved to his case and paused there longer than he had expected it to.  He looked up again at the back of the retreating man, then to his case.  At a pause in the music he reached out a quick hand and snagged the roll from the case and put it in his pocket.  It seemed like a lot of money, too much to leave out where it could be easily stolen.  And then the playing and the music continued as if it had not been interrupted.

Later when in the safety of his room he pulled from his pocket the rubber-banded roll of bills.  It opened in his hand.  Rolled in with the bills was a clipping from a newspaper.  He read what was written.

*          *          *
Music on the Air
By Mathew Sanders

Time passes and things inevitably change.  Some changes are deep and slow and others are on the surface and quicker.  The skyline doesn’t change overnight but the clouds do.  The streets don’t much change but there is a constant flow of traffic and people. The trees grow slowly, but the leaves change color then fall from the branches and cover the ground, then new leaves bud and fill in the naked trees. Seasons change and with each new turning of time there is something to be gained, and with that also comes loss.  It is the balance of things, the ebb and flow of life. 
Here in the city one thing that comes with the warm summer air is the music.  Street musicians that have hibernated through the winter months awake from a deep sleep and are to be found again moving among us.  They are in the park on the benches, on street corners, but mostly out of the way where we hardly notice them.  They enrich our lives and the enhancement is so subtle that we sometimes loose it amid the other demands of our attention.  But like the smells of spring that are forgotten in fall and winter they come as a welcome friend come back from a vacation that has lasted too long.  I have often sat in the park to listen to the melodies and to find creativity carried on the music.
Music is powerful.
Music is not wafted on the air like smell.  Smell passes, is undefined and elusive.  It flirts with those that it passes. Smell is a tease that likes to play and then flitter away.  Music is different.  Music is carried.  It is deliberate.  It doesn’t pass by.  It looks for—seeks for—places to settle, penetrate.  It wants to enter into bodies and into people to inspire, give life, vivify, rarefy, elevate, deepen.
Music is almost palpable, almost tangible.
            Smell it is fake and the food is real.  Smell is the shadow that exists beyond the physical.  Music is as real as the instruments that make it.  Without music an instrument isn’t complete, without music it is nothing but a corpse.  Hollow, empty and lifeless.
            This then is my tribute to those who make life more full, who give us a beat in our step, who put a smile on our face and who put a song in our heart.  Our city is great because of the music. The music rises up against the sadness, the struggle, the monotony, and the defeat.  The music is a reminder that life goes ever on and that it really is a beautiful world we live in. Life is good.
            We are blessed for our city’s musicians.  They give life, and without them we would discover that our city was a lifeless corpse, the remains of something that once was living but no longer is.  With out the musicians we are nothing.
            Thank you musician wherever you are, yours may be a thankless job, but it is often the case that what is most needed is least acknowledged.  So here it is, too little and not often enough, thank you from all of us.

*          *          *

He finished reading the article and then read it again.  He was moved and found himself wiping his eyes and realized that they were moist.  He took a deep breath and breathed in hope and held it in.  He let out the breath as a deep sigh, the hope stayed in but he let the despair leave him.  He took another breath of hope and again let out his despair.  As the feeling of failure left him he began to see his work with new perspective.  He saw the value of his work.  He wasn’t famous and never would be, but what he did mattered and it was noticed.  As he slept that night his thoughts were light; he made a difference.  He was excited for the morning and new day.  He was excited to share his music with a city that needed it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Swing Set Shadows at Dusk

As day wanes the sun sinks and the shadows stretch and grow.  The light fades and the colors appear.  The blue canvas of the sky will jump into color and show the orange, red and yellow of the decline of day.  The shadows that have sat nocturnal during the bright of day come to action and begin to swell and grow.  They creep out from under all that stands on the ground.  Anchored to the objects that form them the shadows march away from the sun stretching as they go.  It is these shadows that will become the night as they grow and force away all that is light. The magic that is day will turn into the magic of the night.  It is in the obscuring black that nightly escapades become the reality.
But before the night swallows up the day for good there is a sliver, a slice of the dusk.  Dusk, the pause in time between two worlds so different.  It is then that day’s conclusion is considered and the plan of the night is set forth, devised and contrived.
Dusk is magic.  Summer dusk.  The heat fades and the cool of night floats out of the grass and dirt.  The sun no longer pushes his heat on the earth.
It was on the swing set that I would spend my dusks.  I would sit in the chain-suspended-seat and grip the rusted links.  The deep brown-orange would peak through the chipped paint in contrast to the faded yellow.  I would rock gently back and forth and the old chain would squeak and chirp and invite the cricket to join in the music of a outdoor concert.  The reluctant and reticent crickets would wait ‘til the fullness of dark to join the song, follow the metallic intro.
I would push myself backwards, feet on the oval patch of dirt, a brown egg on the green grass. Swing back in reverse—stop and then forward again with raised feet—stop and then reverse again—straight down and then another push.  So went the hypnotic motion.
Usually I would wait for Rachel to come.  She would creep from the trees and sit in the swing to my left.  She would always move in silence with no words.  She would sit and then turn to look at me and smile.  She would look away and gaze off into infinity and focus on nothing.  A gentle push would set her to the motion of hypnosis, like mine but out of sync.  Our pace was never quite the same except for random moments where we would be in unison for a handful of swings then our pendulum bodies would move progressively out of step until after a gap of unawareness we would again move towards unison and eclipse.
At some point we might talk, other days we would just swing in silence until she would hop off, wink, and run of.  When we did talk our words would float into the air and meander from mouth to ear in leisure.  Conversations were slow, they would move like fluffy clouds on a nearly windless day.  We may have spent the day together from the morning until the call for dinner but we still found conversation that was new and interesting.
She was my friend and then she was gone, moved away.
It wasn’t real until I sat in the swing thinking thoughts—fireflies in dark of my mind.  Thoughts would light up move around and then flicker out.  I expected her and sat until the last shred of orange slipped away.  The shadows had marched over the horizon and fallen off the edge of the world.  It was at the dark gray, right before the star speckled black that I remembered that I had said goodbye.  Her family had moved away and taken her with them.  It was something that I knew about from the beginning of summer but had not really believed.  I was so used to her being around that I didn’t think it was really possible that she could ever really be gone.  Even when I watched her drive away it was a dream, a fantasy.  Her absence wasn’t real in my mind. Until that moment as the day died and night was born.  It hit me.  I put my feet down and stopped.  I stood up off the swing seat.  I walked in a circle and then stopped.  I sat down on the grass.  Then it became real.  The weight of it sank down on me, it distilled like a dew of sadness—a wet blanket that made me shiver from the coldness. 
Eventually I got up and went inside.  I went to bed and dreamt strange dreams, nightmares of twisted memories.  I dreamt that she came back for me and that her leaving wasn’t real.  We were together again.  We could sit on the swings again—our swinging was the back and forth of a metronome that ticked on to infinity without measuring time’s passing.  Our bodies were the golden circle on the long arm beneath the grandfather clock that moved back and forth.  But the clock had frozen hands, lame hands, that would not and could not move or walk the march of time.
A week passed that was misery and nightmare.  But it ended when I accepted the reality of her absence.
She was the first girl that I loved and I didn’t know it until it was too late.  I never told her because I didn’t know it until she was gone.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Price of Luck

In blog format this will feel really long.  If you are going to read it you may do well to copy and paste it into a a word document and read it that way or print it.  It will be more manageable.  Or just commit to reading it and do here. Consider yourself advised.

The shop was tucked away out of view.  It was so tucked away that it was not easy to find.  The entrance to the shop was in the gap between two buildings.  The gap appeared to be there to give the four story buildings on either side breathing space.  The light seemed never to find its way into the small space to give any hint of a door’s existence. 
The door, when seen, was a sharp contrast to the new and sleek of the city.  It was an old door, brown and worn.  As a door it must have survived hundreds of years and seen many events.  The tree that it was made from would have been even older and would have been a sapling when the secrets that were sold inside were only first being discovered.  The fruit of the tree was used in certain formulas, the type of which were certainly in the shop that it protected.  The door was not made from a single piece of wood, but by planks.  The craftsmanship was extraordinary; the border of the door made a frame into which the rest of the planks were set.  The vertical planks were further secured with horizontal supports of the same wood, though narrower and thinner.  In addition to the wood metal shanks were spread from one side to the other connecting the boards with large headed nails.  The nails were used on other parts of the door, giving it a medieval look.  The top of the door was rounded and made a half-circle that contained symbols and strange writing. 
There was no knob on the door, only a plate on the side opposite the hinges.  In the center of the metal plate was a key hole whose key must have been a massive skull key.  Around the hole was decorative scroll work.  The curving designs looped around and were intertwined in intricate patterns looking as though they held some secret significance.  Without the key admittance was only granted from the inside.
From the outside it would seem as though all that could be on the other side of the door would be a narrow hall only as long as the buildings that sandwiched it, though this was not the case.  While the shop was crowded and small it was certainly larger than it should have been.  The lighting in the shop was dim and undefined.  It would be impossible to identify any single source of light that seemed to hang in the air.  The walking space was narrow, only wide enough for one person, having wares stacked on either side.  Old boxes, small trunks and other parcels were stacked one on top of the other along with packages in brown paper tied with twine.  Shelves stood behind the stacked boxes and held countless bottles of varying size and shape each containing a different colored liquid, powder, or curiosity.  The level in each was less than full, though all had parchment labels with faded writing.  From the ceiling hung various objects—dried lizards, bones, sacks of unknown contents, and metal instruments of unknown uses.
At the back of the shop was a small counter covered in such clutter that no part of the surface was visible.  There was a bookshelf stretching to the ceiling filled with volumes of all sizes, all leather bound and brittle from old age.  The spines of the books had large bands between which were written their titles and authors.  The space between the tops of books and the bottom of the shelf above held more books, lying on their sides.  Stacks and rolls of parchment were also fit into gaps and crevices that remained.  Many of the books were covered in dust, their knowledge having remained long unneeded.  A ladder hung on large rollers was pushed into the corner.  Over the rungs draped pieces string of varying length, thickness, and color.
Behind this counter hunched an old lady wizened with age.  Her skin was brown as leather and wrinkled.  Her hair was thin and white with no trace of gray.  It was mostly pulled back but disheveled, much of it having been pulled out of the tie.  It hung in matted clumps with a strand hanging over one eye.  Her eyes were a green, bright and cunning, though they mostly hid behind squinting lids.  They would dart back and forth seeing every movement and every change in her small world.  She thought out loud with grunts and moans and when she spoke her voice was raspy.  She mostly spoke in words and phrases, not in full sentences; she said only the minimum needed to get the answer out.
The smell that hung in the air was unique, the product of thousands of strange smells mixes together.  It was distinct but not unpleasant.  It was the smell of secrets and mystery.
* * *
It was on this door, to this shop, that a man with a concerned face knocked.  He was short and had a slumped posture of one who lacks self assuredness and has seen more failure than success.  His hair was thinning as well as receding.  He was not a handsome man, and he didn’t seem happy.
Bang, bang were his first two tentative knocks, followed by a long pause.  The thickness of the door had muffled the knocks and the man thought they could not have been heard.  Thud—He knocked again.  Thud—he knocked a second time.  His arm hung still, suspended, as he went for another thud.  Before his hand hit the door it opened.  The door’s movement was smooth, not the slow creaking the man had expected. 
Where he stood on the stoop it was dim but beyond the threshold of the door it was darker.  He couldn’t see in.  He stood motionless, his apprehension growing.
I shouldn’t even be here—he thought silently.  But before the thought was finished in his mind he found himself drawn into the darkness of the shop.
He noticed the smell as he entered, only to forget it by the distraction of the step he hadn’t noticed.  His foot fell farther than it should have, past where he thought the ground would be.  His body jolted as his foot finally found the ground.  “Oh,” he said not as a thought but as the reaction from having air forced out of his lungs.
Inside the shop his eyes began to adjust.  He took two steps forward.  The door closed behind him.  He heard a shuffling sound near the back of the shop and followed the aisle toward the sound.
He found himself standing in front of the counter and the old lady.  He stood there momentarily with his mouth open, not knowing what to say.  He knew what he wanted but had never put words to his desire.  Now when he needed the words they did not come because they had not been prepared.
“I need….” And his voiced trailed off and he stood simply staring at the woman.  She looked back at him, with penetrating eyes, as if reading his soul. 
She was the next to speak, “Yes,” pause… “I know what you want.”  Then she chuckled a strange, raspy cackle.  To the man it seemed as if she were mocking him, and not knowing how to answer remained silent.  She gave a sidewise nod of her head signaling him to follow.
They moved down a narrow aisle, silently, the old hunched woman shuffling along with the man following.  She knew precisely where she was going and stopped suddenly to reach up to a shelf at her eyelevel.  She took from the shelf a bottle of thin blue liquid and a small cloth bag that looked like it held sand.
The woman then retraced her steps to return to the counter.  She took no note of the man that stood in the way of her back tracking, he had to lean back against a shelf to make room for her to pass.  After a moment the shock of the old woman nearly running over him dispelled and he followed.  Back at the counter with bottle and bag on top of the newest layer of clutter, the woman gave a smile while nodding her head in turn at both ingredients.  Her gaze moved back to the man’s face, still holding the smile.  Then the smile slowly slid from her face.
“This isn’t it, but close.  You want success.  You think it comes from luck.  No.  Comes from work, toil.  Only looks like luck—you don’t know what work is.”  She waited, giving him a look that seemed to ask if he understood.  After a long pause she continued, either thinking he understood, or knowing he didn’t and going on all the same.
“This is gambling.  You know the price?” then answering her own question, “No.  Your type? never. Cost your life?  Your youth? Happiness?  Maybe.  But something.”  The man listened confused.  He had thought to pay with cash.  He thought that the concoction would be surefire.
What is this talk of gamble?—he thought to himself.  Instead of answering his own question he addressed the woman, “I’ll take it.”
She reached down to uncork the bottle muttering, “Maybe it takes you…”  Her voice trailed off as if not finishing the whole thought.  She poured two swallow fulls into a vial and added a pinch of the powder.  The granules slowly sank and dissolved, making the liquid milky.
The woman raised it to her eye level and gazed at the contents, slowly swirling the tube, then slowly extended it, offering it to the man.  He took it and simply looked at it, not knowing what exactly to do.  He wondered if he needed to pay first.
“Drink,” the woman said.  He lifted the vial to his lips and drained its contents.  He almost choked, and sputtering said, “That tastes awful, like… I don’t know what, but disgusting.”  He hadn’t expected such a vile taste.
“What did you expect, sweet like honey?” the woman questioned chuckling. “Yes, your type, always entitled to have sweet and no bitter.”  The woman then wiped her hands on her apron as if to signal that the exchange was complete.  The man felt he owed her something and asked the total for the drink.  The woman just nodded her head from side to side.
“Well, will it make me lucky like the others? Will it make me rich? Will it make me happy?” the man asked.  The words of what he desired now came to him.  He thought of all the men he envied for the ease of their success.  He thought of all that he wanted and did not have.
“I don’t know. Won’t make you happy, only you can do that.  Might make you rich. Or it might take everything.  Shortcuts are never sure.” Pause, “Now go, see what happens.”
With the old woman’s words the man became concerned, she had said gamble, and in his experience that only meant that you most likely were going to loose.
He left the shop the same way he had come in and stood on the sidewalk watching cars pass.  After deciding he felt no different and that the woman was up to funny business he turned and began to walk away. 
He noticed someone walking down the street in his direction.  The young boy was walking quickly and with purpose.  His expression was one of youthful love.  He was obviously enamored by some girl.  He also noticed a tinge of concern. Perhaps the feelings aren’t mutual, he mused.  The boy passed him.  He glanced over his shoulder in time to see the boy slide between the two buildings from where he had just come.  “Good luck, kid, it’s just come kooky old woman in there.  Just a waste of time.”
The man, distracted by his thought, turned to cross the street.  He didn’t look to see if there were cars coming. There was a car coming, and he put stepped directly in front of it.  The impact killed him instantly.  His last thought was one of blame to a person who couldn’t solve his problems.
* * *
Inside the shop the old woman was shuffling down an aisle with a young boy following her.  She paused, as if sensing the events outside, as if she somehow knew the man was now dead.  The boy was confused when the woman who stopped for no reason said, “Oh well…” before continuing down the aisle to find a few bottles that contained ingredients that she needed to mix a love potion for the boy.


Recently someone asked me if I plucked my eyebrows.

I said, "People pluck chickens, one tweezes one's eyebrows.  And to answer you question I do not tweeze by eyebrows (nor do I pluck chickens)."

That was a little deceptive but I think I am alright with that.  It does so happen that I tweeze my eyebrow (singular).  That's how I get eyebrows (plural).  So you see, by the time it has turned from one to two I am done tweezing.

This may or may not be true, I just found it amusing and thought I should post something since I have been slacking.  There are a few stories that I am working on, hopefully one will make it here sooner than later.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Trust in Tech

I love the moments when I am caught off guard by myself and learn something new about me.  They are moments that come from time to time, quite randomly.   And the things I discover are startling and revealing.

The most recent insight into myself came during a very casual conversation about email.  The thought, that I didn’t know was in my brain, crept up from out of the dark hidden shadows and was soon right before me.

He was a scrawny little figure, dressed in rags.  He looked underfed and accustomed to hardship.  Dirty and shifty, his appearance was the epitome of a street urchin.  What was most noticeable were his eyes.  There were sharp, but full of distrust as if he could discern those who could, and more importantly, could not be trusted.  He shook his head at me ever so subtly but I knew exactly what he meant.  He was saying, Don’t trust technology.  And then he was gone, as silently as he had come.

I use it, I enjoy it, and benefit from it.  But I don’t trust it.  For all that technology does, it can’t win my trust.  I know that one day it will let me down.

When the day comes I will be alright.  I will have my ideas, stories and thoughts.  I have entrusted them to paper and ink.  So when there is no power and my batteries are dead, I will pull out the stacks of paper and perhaps a candle and read.  And my soul will not be lost.