In the meantime, Bridgett M. Davis, a Brooklyn-based novelist, said she recently learned how important it was to keep her personal electronics charged while on a tour promoting her book, “Shifting Through Neutral.”
“It was vital that I charge my technology in the hotel at night,” she said. “I would stay plugged in as much as I could while handling business.”
But back in Brooklyn, alone with her laptop as she writes a new novel, Ms. Davis said she had come to a reassuring realization. The faltering battery life of her aging computer now dictates the length of her daily writing sessions: two hours.
“It shapes my writing intervals,” said Ms. Davis, an English professor at Baruch College in Manhattan. When her computer’s display goes dark, she doesn’t search frantically for a free outlet. Instead, Ms. Davis said matter-of-factly, “I know it’s time to stop.”
The above is from the NYT article linked from above. It’s the last four paragraphs of the story, and struck a chord within me. I work in technology, and have for the better part of the last six or seven years. I sit, bathed in the luminescence of a monitor, in the radiation of a PC, for eight hours a day, five days a week.
The other side of me: I love antique tools, simple tools. I love to write with a pen on paper better than with a keyboard on ephemera. I own no digital watch. In fact, I recently resurrected a wrist watch that likely belonged to my Great-Grandfather Bailey. I also have a railroad watch that was my Great-Grandfather Brooks’. I do not own a PDA- I have used them, but I do not like to learn a new way of writing just to use it. I’d much rather use a pen on dead trees. Here, I have great affinity with one Wendell Berry. Excerpts from his essay, entitled “Why I Am Not Going To Buy A Computer” are here. Though I am not a writer, I feel a resonance with Mr. Berry. Yet, I do own a computer.
All this, in relation to the NYTs article? Well, I feel Ms. Davis hit on something that many ignore – cycles. We all live in a world governed by cycles. Day to night. Summer to fall. Spring to summer. Cold to warm. Birth to death. We struggle to fight against each one, try to overcome it as if it were a barrier, a disease, a pest. Ms. Davis recognizes the daily, but temporary retirement of her laptop battery as a signal, a cyclical signal, to stop writing. Instead of charging on, defying the electrons present in the battery, she stops. And I plan to do the same tonight, when it is dark, when my body tells me. I too will stop, maybe read, maybe roast some coffee, but definitely rest.
Solo Deo Gloria,