I haven’t written much about being ‘Netless (one month, five days, and seven hours as I write this, but who’s counting?) because after the first few days of adjustment, it hasn’t had that much impact.
Sometimes it’s devilishly inconvenient. When I desperately — I assure you, desperately — needed to know all the Hogwarts house colors, heads, and ghosts, I had to wait all the way until the next morning to look them up, oh alas alack.
Other than that and slower correspondence, the impact has been small and mostly positive.
My favorite thing about this ‘Netless interval is having a “moment out of time” several mornings a week.
Early morning has always been my favorite time. The best begins when it’s light enough to see, but everything is still in gray. Then gradually, as if it had all the time in the world, color seeps into the landscape.
This morning the first color arrived in the crimson blossoms of a camillia bush outside one of the sunroom’s windows, and shortly after that, the bush’s yellow-green leaves emerged from the general neutrality. Only later did color begin to seep into the house, and then only near the windows.
Soon, the grass turns green, the looming evergreens, previously only flat shadows, emerge in detail, and the muted gold of the neighbor’s house is revealed. But the colors are faded, like an ancient tapestry.
They’re different every morning. Some days everything is suffused with pink or orange dawnlight, which tones down the greens while coloring the bare white branches of the alders. Other days (like today when it’s overcast and there is no glowing dawn), the greens dominate the landscape. Eventually stronger light touches the tops of the trees; even on a day like this the sun breaks through and they light up, shining above the little valley on whose edge my house sits.
This time always reminds me of being on vacation as a child, creeping out of a tent or onto Grandma’s porch before anybody else was stirring. It reminds me of weekend getaways when I was a too-busy 20-something. I used to drive up to the Sea Ranch on the wild Sonoma coast and rent the same little modern gem of a house. I’d sit there in the silence, watching morning arrive over the ocean from the house’s loft bedroom. The owners were aviation enthusiasts and the oversize model airplanes suspended from the ceiling were always the first thing in the interior to take on hints of color.
Tiny breaks in an otherwise chaotic life.
With ‘Net, I usually have my face stuck in a computer every morning, answering email, writing blog posts, or scanning the latest bad news. I miss the whole glorious “moment out of time” event. Now, with the laptop tucked away in a drawer, I sip my tea and enjoy a sabbatical hour before getting to the day’s work.