Mondays are tough, and this may be the toughest Monday of the year. Many of us took a break from work during the holidays, and we now are back at work. Your emails may be piled high, which means you probably aren’t reading this …. If you are then you are retired, had to work through the holidays, or, like me, are really bad and checked your emails even though you were on vacation.
We live in a world and a day in which it is increasingly difficult to unplug. I spent part of my time while visiting my parents fixing their computer because my mother loves keeping up with her grandchildren and friends on Facebook. I also had to set up my 83-year-old father’s new tablet so he could check email, play games, and read newspapers and magazines all without leaving his recliner. It is clearly no longer a generational thing.
So, what are the implications of this new hyper-connectedness? Well, if I was really looking for an answer, Brix, our little Maltipoo just tried to explain it. This Liberating Word has taken longer to write than it should because he jumped in my lap and kept pawing at my hand until I had to leave you and pay attention to him.
He is right. Keyboards are no substitute for skin or, in his case, fur. He will curl up on the back of the chair or wedge himself beside me simply to be close. There are other times when he seems to know that this inanimate thing on my lap is warm but not loving, and he is. Brix demands love, affection, and connection, and, unlike many members of his species, he values it more than even food.
Yes, I love to see all my friends of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but, this year, I’m hoping for more skin, more fur, more hugs, more hands, more smiles, more dinners, more time, more connections with eyes rather than screens. I have lots of friends online, and I appreciate them all. If you are in the neighborhood, though, let’s have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine before I forget the color of your eyes or the feel of your fur.
Rev. Michael Piazza