Friday, February 17, 2012

Say Wha????

Jeremy and I are in the process of buying a new computer. This one is pretty much running on fumes. When he walked into the computer store yesterday he was imagining his opening line to the salesman. It was something like this, "Imagine that I have been in a coma for about fifteen years, now tell me what I need to know about a computer." We laughed pretty hard about this but it's not far from the truth. Words like quad core, 1TB HD, and 6 GHz DDR3 mean absolutely nothing to Jeremy or I. When people start talking techno garble it sounds like the the teacher from Charlie Brown to me...."Wa waawa wawaa wa, waaaawaawwaa waa waa wawa." I just don't get it. I can't and often refuse to keep up with the trends. If I could get you all to read this blog via handwritten letter that would be fine with me. I have never sent a text. I use my cellphone for emergencies only. I don't check facebook when I am with my friends. I just don't. I don't answer the phone when I am talking to someone face to face.

A few years ago, I read an article about people like me. We are called Luddites. There was a movement way back in the early 1800's in England that was led by a guy named General Nedd Ludd. He was rumored to live in the Sherwood Forest and kind of had that Robin Hood sort of reputation. He started a movement of people, mostly artisan weavers, that would go into factories and break stuff or burn it because weaving machines were replacing people and their livelihoods; all because it was cheaper to mass produce in a factory. The modern definition of  Luddite (taken from the Urban Dictionary) reads like this: a person who is adverse to adapting to technology. I guess that is me.

I admit there are somethings about technology that I find convenient and wonderful. I'm a fan of my ipod. Music is fabulous and this tiny square of technology is loaded with hundreds of songs and allows me to listen anywhere, anytime. I also like the machines that make my life easier like the dishwasher, washer and dryer. I can't imagine doing laundry on a rock in the river??!! But, in a lot of cases technology, and all the stuff that goes along with it, is really stealing our skills. I recently had some young people in my home and laughed to myself as they tried to wash dishes with icy cold water from the tap, no soap, no cloth, no sink full of hot bubbles. Strange. A lot of people never write with a pen and paper anymore either and when they do their grammar, spelling and punctuation are a far cry from the good ol' Queen's English. (lol?!!??) (NOT a real word - aghh!) I think it's so sad that something so personal as handwriting will soon be in the history books as archaic as the stone tablet. Weird!

I wonder if the world was ever unplugged if we could survive? It would be an interesting experiment, me thinks. Anyway, gotta run there is sink full of dishes that need to be me....with my hands.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Skin Deep

Beauty. It's been on my mind since last week when I saw this elderly woman in Tim Horton's who glowed. I was people watching while Coen was finishing his lunch. As I sipped my coffee I noticed this woman. I imagine her to be in her early seventies. An age where most physical beauty has waned quite a bit. There are wrinkles and grey hairs and extra skin in places that you've never imagined it could be, but here was this lady, dressed simply in a turtle neck covered by a blue flannel shirt, with jeans and hiking boots. But it was her face that captured my attention. Time had etched lines there but there was so much beauty there too. Her skin seemed to radiate. Her cheeks were rosy and her mouth smiled. Her eyes twinkled when she spoke to her friend. There was something about this woman that captivated me. She knows some secret to beauty that I believe, though I don't know for sure, came from within her and was unmistakable in her countenance.

People spend so much time, money and effort to enhance and retain physical beauty. Beauty has been marketed and exploited. When I think of this elderly lady though with her silvery braid flung over her shoulder and her sparkliness lighting up Tim Horton's, I think she has something that money could never buy. It's the beauty that starts on the inside and works it's way out. I have no way of knowing her story, but I think like most people she has seen a life full of joys and struggles, laughter and tears. That's just how life is. She has most likely loved and felt the pain of loss. She most likely has experienced dreams fulfilled and hopes that have turned to disappointments. But throughout the course of her life, something has been refined in her and it shows on her face. There is beauty in her.

After watching this lady for awhile, I started looking around at the other women sitting there eating lunch, sipping coffee, and talking with friends. I can honestly say that I didn't see the same kind of beauty reflected in anyone else in that whole place. There may have been people there that were better dressed and looked more put together, more in shape, more stylish, more Botoxed, or with more make-up on their face, but none with as much beauty.

This kind of beauty is deep, deeper than skin. It comes from being content, even when things are crazy. It comes from having peace that holds fast when nothing makes sense. This beauty is full of joy and is always ready to share laughter. This beauty walks with others through their pain and weeps even though it causes wrinkles. This beauty is full of passion and compassion. It is a beauty that acts and is felt. This beauty speaks to the destiny that is in each of us. This beauty unlocks the potential inside of us. It is real. It is something we choose. It is something that takes more attention than the skin routine you do at bedtime. It takes more time than the hours you put in at the gym. It takes more investment than the products that line the shelves in your bathroom. It takes your life. This is the beauty to be coveted.