Back from the Living

For the Archives is not dead. I’ve just been living.

For those following the postings here (though many may have moved along to blogs that have actually provided fresh content in the last month), the Archives has been my place to chronicle life’s everyday moments. But recently, due to a variety of circumstances, I found myself living more than chronicling. Experiencing, not recording.

And this summer was full of Life. The Bohemian, Jeb, and I, explored new terrain with a family adventure that took us on planes, trains, automobiles, ferries, buses, metros, and a vintage VW van. We tested the Bohemian’s US permanent residency card at the Canadian border (it worked, round trip!).

The day before our travels, my laptop’s hard drive crashed, leaving me with virtually no link to the internet. I took it as a sign, left the computer at the shop, and departed with a camera, composition book and a pen. For the next 19 days, I did not miss cyberspace.

Instead, I slowed down to an island-time pace even more quiet than the one in which I usually dwell. It was ten days on a Canadian gulf island, 1200 inhabitants, two small village markets, plenty of forest, no bank.

Upon returning, we learned that two hurricanes were heading toward our own island chain. Suddenly, I was thrust into disaster preparation mode, shopping at a big box store with a multitude of nervous patrons vying for 20 pound bags of rice. Ready for anything, with boards on our windows, we were grateful when the first hurricane only brought our island some wind and rain. Even more relieved, when the second hurricane decided to turn north and avoid us altogether.

With the threat of weather behind us, it was on to our family’s first foray into AYSO soccer. Somewhere between Jeb’s practice, cleat shopping and shin guards, his school supply list, and starting fifth grade, I’d retrieved my repaired computer and managed a successful transfer of data to my new hard drive. It was downright disturbing to realize how much of my world depended on that little black, back-up box.

And maybe that’s why I enjoyed being away from the digital realm for a while. Why I’ve been a bit reluctant to return. For that time away, I held a different currency. Virtually nothing was virtual. Nearly everything was tangible.

The only mailboxes I saw were metal and aging. The only maps I used were the ones I could unfold in my hands. The communications I had were face-to-face, infused with sound waves and intonations.

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And there was freedom, too, as I floated in vacation-land, where nothing was expected of me and everything was new. I free-fell into that untethered place so deeply, I even forgot the user password for this blog. Locked out, I was released.

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But I’m back. Attempting to strike the balance of living and Archiving. Seeking solace in the moments and inspiration in the sharing. Still following the Thread. Tracing new routes on the map.