Musings: Seeking the Primal Escape from Technology

Deer Grazing Under the Apple Trees

A deer grazing under apple trees in Eastport, Maine

Nature is the most primal escape from technology that we can seek out to realign ourselves with our very humanity. While nature has long been considered the great escape, the need to escape into nature is more pressing than ever as we are literally consumed by technology itself.

There are devices all around us. Those devices suck us in. They trap us, spellbound. Waiting. Patiently. For the Text, the PM, the Tweet, the News Feed update.

Those devices alert us to pay attention to them, now, not later; not unlike the Myna birds in Aldous Huxley’s Island, parroting “Here and Now Boys, Here and Now,” reminding every one to be in the moment. Being in the moment is a wonderful thing.

However, if being in the moment means we are constantly connected to digital communication via IPhones, Droids, Tablets, Laptops, Desktops, and every other Smart technology device that invades our lives unless we turn them on “mute,” then we have a problem. We are swiftly becoming a Universe of Devices. We’ve forgotten how to disconnect. Continue reading

My Writing Life: Little Red Pays a Visit

I was hoping my move to the river a few weeks ago would provide me for good inspiration for my writing. It has taken me sometime to settle in to my new place and that has been a distraction from school, and of course my writing. The inspiration is starting to kick in, I am happy to say.

Writing has been my life and I’ve never fulfilled writing what I really wanted to write about so I am working on that now while I am working on BA at UMass Amherst University Without Walls where I am majoring in Creative Writing and Communication in the Digital Age.

I had a visitor to my front porch this morning. A little red squirrel who eventually started tearing into an old cushion on beat up wicker chair with a basket of fake forsythia in it. I grabbed the cameras. And then I grabbed my big 8.5″ x 11″ journal and started writing. I”ll take it… one page at a time.

Little Red Pays a Visit: Continue reading

Artist Chooses Clean Design for Website

I recently completed a website for Amesbury artist Luke Lepore:

Luke Lepore

Luke Lepore

Luke was looking for a clean, simple design for his website. He wanted something that would not distract visitors to the website from his paintings. In the world of digital communication, images speak as loudly as words. Luke’s fabulous art work speaks for itself.

I setup Luke’s website with WordPress and I used the WordPress template Gridsby to create the layout. Gridsby is a great theme that is very flexible, highly responsive and has many built-in options for fonts and colors.

It was a pleasure working with Luke on his website. Contact me here about creating you new website!

Gratitude Matters: 10 Awesome Gratitude Quotes

grapevineatmaudslayGratitude matters in every aspect of life, from your personal life to your work or business life. In fact, expressing gratitude helps us to remember that what we have plenty in our lives to be grateful for. It also helps us to remind the people in our lives that we are grateful for them as well.

Sharing our gratitude, expressing how grateful we are, is in fact a very motivational and inspirational form of communication.

Here’s proof that the inspirational expression of gratitude is an awesome from of communication using the written (or spoken) word: Continue reading

Sergei Polunin Dances to Hozier’s ‘Take Me To Church’

This last Sunday, Annie Lennox and Hozier wowed the Grammy audience performing Hozier‘s breakout hit ‘Take Me To Church’ coupled with Annie Lennox singing Screamin Jay Hawkins ‘I Put a Spell On You,’ which is on her latest CD, Nostalgia.

Hozier and Lennox teaming was all the rage on the internet, managing to go viral very quickly on social media websites, Twitter and Facebook. That was where I first saw it, as I don’t have cable. The short finale clip of Annie Lennox was what drew me to find a video of the full performance, and when I did, I discovered Hozier. I was quickly drawn into the lyrics and arrangement of ‘Take To Me To Church,’ and Hozier’s performance.

The latest mashup of Hozier’s brilliant song, ‘Take Me To Church’ is this incredible dance performance by Russian ballet dancer, Sergei Polunin.

Enjoy… Continue reading

Food For Thought: Online or Offline

I’m in the midst of a Reflections on Technology class at UMass Amherst, University Without Walls. One of the objects of the class is to reflect on our relationship with technology. This week’s lesson is specifically about fasting from technology and the implications of that fast. Deeper posed questions brought up in our class reading included a couple of articles on the meanings of being online and offline. Nathan Jurgenson’s, The IRL Fetish, is a great read on the debate over what it means to be online and subsequently offline.

A lot can be said about the benefits of going offline for a time, and Jurgenson points out that more and more people participate in spending time offline. In reality, there is no separation between being online or offline, it is contextual, among other things. Continue reading