Post Long Covid Torpor

I’m thinking I can probably be happier by not actively participating on social media platforms. And I think I’ve known this for a while.

What was life like before listservs and the blogosphere, much less before Facebook? I emigrated just as those things took hold. And I think that – had they not – my life since then would have been very different.

People ask me now and then how I am thriving out here – this village on the fringes of the city. Across from the mental hospital, down the road from the halfway houses for addicts, walking distance from the train.

I leave the house and walk to the train station. In the afternoon, I walk home from the station. I could live anywhere.

Except I don’t. I miss the city. Any city. The pressure of anonymous, noisy humanity. Like a weighted blanket.

It’s the individual voices, the steady, thin drip of snark, and the randomly-focused vitriol that hurts. Vitriol is an interesting word. I wonder why it isn’t used more often. It gestures, in a graphic way, to petrol and by extension to all things caustic.

In the fall, there are leaves along the edges of the trail that have withered into fragile lace-like structures. The midrib and the netted veins remain as a kind of mid-stage artifact of life.

I missed the fall this year. It seems I’m waking up in the middle of death. And it’s not quiet, as we tend to describe it. It’s the percussive slaps of melting snow, flung by the tires of passing cars. Browning from the edges, like a rotting artifact of hope.

I need to get outside again. To the lake. It was the either to the or when we decided to live out here, where I fall into the cracks of community.

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  1. Place is a difficult one. After having lived in a tiny village miles from anywhere for 15 years, I am finding new pleasures back in a city, but new strictures as well (embracing and recoiling at the same time I guess). I suppose we need to take deep breaths and reflect on why we are in particular places – perhaps they need us for a while.

  2. […] my dear friend Ren writes eloquently and with gravitas about living without social media, I have spent most of my weekend and today thinking about my deliberate absence from twitter […]

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