Getting Smarter

When I first started blogging, I lived in a smartphone-less world.  I had the same little hunk of junk phone that I'd had all through my twenties, the crappy one you get for free when your mom and you buy the family plan with no bells or whistles, our numbers always just one digit apart.  I've stuck with those ten digits as long as I've had a cell phone; it's the next closest thing to a Social Security Number. "Yours is the only number I remember," my brother once said in a collect call from the pokey.  A number that's reliably, identifiably mine.

Back then, blogging was an inconvenient pursuit.  Posting daily meant not only painting the darn painting every day but scanning it, sizing it, and then spending dedicated time on that lunk of a desktop computer to bring the post to life.  Some days, it amounted to a full day of work. Other days, I would be out of town and have to use a chinsey digital camera, borrow a computer, and upload the stuff.  It was terribly inconvenient, but it brought my painting to a broader audience when I lived in a town that was smaller than a city block and thirty minutes drive from anything (also terribly inconvenient at times.)  Truth be told, there was something satisfying about that distance though.  You had no choice but to work for it.

I have a smartphone now.  The first time I went to New York city, I didn't.  I thought maybe if I bought an Ipod touch, I'd be able to use the limitless WiFi enveloping the city to navigate.  Boy was I wrong.  Turns out, internet ain't free.  The first time I tried to cross town to meet a friend for lunch, I ended up on the wrong street of the same name.  He lamented my mistake with an urgency to get out of that part of town as fast as possible as a gold-toothed man hanging around a dollar store heckled "why don't you take my picture, mama."  I was dragging around an analog camera too.  I am so obvious, I thought to myself.   I was an hour late to the lunch date, disoriented and completely freaked out.

These days, it takes little more than a few movements of a thumb to post an image, make a short film, explain damn near anything, or have the voice of a nice calm lady guide you anywhere.  Yet somehow, it doesn't make it easier for me to post a blog entry every day; maybe I've gotten lazy, or maybe I'm so over-inundated with technology that I've developed an aversion.  I wonder sometimes: have we lost our innocence, the naive curiosity that drives us, gives us the will to figure things out the hard way?  Have things gotten so much easier that they've inadvertently become more difficult because we don't have to use and exercise the tool we're equipped with, our brain.  When it all comes crashing down, will we still remember that number that makes us think of home?

Any way you slice it, I'm still working every day.  Here's a weeks worth of it.





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