I've been breathing the analog air again. There's something about the dust particles and wafting scents that linger on an Ozark breeze; it burns the lungs just right. Last night I smelled the wet metallic pungence of rain soaked asphalt, it mingling with sugar-sweet honeysuckle and the souring, decaying skunk that didn't quite make it from one side of the road to the next. It was the perfume of Hartman Avenue, a veritable odoriferous feast for Lucy, the long-legged Porkie (what do you get when you cross a Pyrenees and a Yorkie?) at the end of my leash. The juxtapositions of life can be both acrid and sweet in one whiff. Isn't it grand?
Earlier in the day, I had purchased an organic, fair-trade chocolate bar that boasted a hint of lavender and crystallized blueberry bits. It was yuppie chocolate, the kind you eat square by square while listening to old records of Simon and Garfunkel. I peeled apart the wrapper and broke off a square. It was as smooth as the satin edges of a baby blanket, and nearly as soothing. There are some indulgences that seem like a betrayal of sorts, a reminder that I'll most likely always be willing to negotiate my cares for the price of a nice piece of chocolate. This was, unfortunately, one such indulgence. But even so, I'm not afraid to admit it--it was a right-good piece of chocolate.
Which reminds me.
While Lucy was looking for a proper place to tend to her business, I set to wondering whether my avatar-self (the online version of me, see) and my analog-self (the chocolate eating me) would get along rather well, or whether they'd claim friendship only in passing conversation, small talk, or over evening cocktails. I wondered whether the Twitter me would name-drop the real me, whether he'd quote me and with how much frequency. I reckoned my analog-self might find my avatar-self a bit pompous at times, or perhaps myopic. On the flip-side, my avatar-self might rightly question whether my analog-self was on the narrow road, or whether he'd be fit enough to squeeze through a very narrow gate.
Am I the only split-personality on the internet?
Am I the only one who carefully crafts the best version of self?
Jesus said to come unto him "ye that labor and are heavy laden." That's what he said. I guess I fall into that latter category. I guess that more than a few of you do, too. The cares of the world--whether digital, analog, or otherwise--create dichotomies. The dichotomies make me so tired.
Personality fission--the cares divide.
Bone from marrow--the cares divide.
There are, however, ways to re-harmonize self to self, analog to digital, hypocrite to healed. There are prescriptions for remembering who you are and why you're here, for dragging your weary and heavy-laden self to power of the gospel: lavender and blueberries; the musk of the old family bible; a quiet walk with Lucy in the katydid summer; prayer; scripture.
There is no discovery apart from respite, I think. There is no respite apart from minor indulgences, I think. There are no minor indulgences apart from grace, I think. And grace, I reckon, is the most luxurious of indulgences.