It seems like every day I read a new article about the need for a sabbatical from technology and the fast pace of the world. Those slow pandemic days are fading fast.

Some people talk about a secular Sabbath, some want to revive the religious one. Some people propose not only ditching technology for 24 hours each week, but creating new shared rituals and places for community during those times. Some talk about just taking a day to go and sit with the trees, to experience the world at their pace. I wonder how many of us could actually slow down and withdraw from our devices enough to actually spend a day that way.

And all of these ideas are a hard sell in a capitalist world.

the water reflects
the world through the trees dappled
sky moving over
rocks and feet planted
like hushed reeds waiting to sing
the songs of quiet movement
and transforming light

This drawing is part of my attempt to try different things in my art journal. Many artists write on their pages as well as draw. The image is based on an advertisement photo–I removed the models and the product (I can’t remember now what it was) and wrote spontaneously about the landscape. Whatever they were selling, I wasn’t buying. But I always notice trees.

let life move
while you rest outside
and listen

For earthweal, Interdependence Day.

28 thoughts on “sabbatical

    1. I’m actually thinking about how I could incorporate a screenless day into my life. It would be difficult to eliminate it totally, but maybe I could at least take a day off from WordPress and getting lost in the internet of ideas.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes Sundays seem like a natural–I already almost always spend the morning walking to meet my daughters, having coffee and tea, and walking back. I could extend the break from the computer for the rest of the day. I’ve also been trying to get out for at least a short walk every day, weather permitting.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s hard to believe that I got my first phone only 20 years ago, and then only because of 9/11. And really, I barely used it for many years. I still don’t carry it with me wherever I go though, which annoys people because I’m not always immediately available. But the screen is still ubiquitous in my life.

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  1. I like your take on this challenge. Getting outside in nature and finding quiet places to be in a challenge in itself these days. It always amazes me that people don’t fall over when they walk along looking at screens. I really enjoyed your journal page. It inspires me to try something similar.

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      1. That’s fascinating. I hope the idea of sitting in nature without screens catches on here. So many people need to slow down and enjoy the beauty of the world over here. It’s all go, go, go now we’ve come out of our last lockdown.

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  2. I’m not sure sabbath is intended so much as cure as lever off from dutiful dailiness, sacrifice of the ambitious I for the regenerative We (or weal). A chance but to be. Love the image and what it tends. (By the way, the poet Wendell Berry has a collection originally titled Sabbaths and now A Timbered Choir comprised of poems about Sundays in the woods. A favorite of mine.) – Brendan

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    1. Thanks Brendan. I actually noted Berry’s book when I was looking into different ideas of the sabbath. It’s on my (long) list of books to look for.


  3. I’m enjoying this post with a sense of extra timeliness since I just announced my retirement (you may recall I’ve been deliberating going on permanent disability for a while) and by this time next month will have so much more time to let life move me! Looking so forward to setting my clock to nature’s.

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