Fascinating, Comforting, and a Little Troubling

I just finished watching the first episode of “The Story of God” with Morgan Freeman on NatGeo Channel.  This episode explored what different religions from the past and now believe happens when we die.

There were a lot of moments that had me going “Huh” or “Wow” or “That’s really fascinating.”  One such moment was learning that the ancient Egyptians believed that the afterlife of their Pharaoh was crucial, as it ensured the sun would rise each morning.  All I could think is that yes, after both of my parents passed on, the thought that they are continuing on just on the other side of the veil,  that’s pretty much the only reason I was able to get up with the sun each day.  Any thoughts otherwise and I would have given up.  It was an interesting connection with this ancient civilization for me to think about.

It was, however, the story towards the end, that blew me away.  A couple have designed a robot (head and shoulders only for now) that will be a storage unit for memories, beliefs, and values of someone who has passed.  Morgan Freeman met the android which replicated one of the creators.  It was eerie, listening to her speak (the android, not the person).  The idea is that this will allow people and their thoughts, stories, and memories, to live on forever.

Ahem.

I was not able to choose the time and day that each of my parents ceased existing as they had before and left this world.  I am thankful it was not my responsibility to do so.  Imagine, though, that we had had the opportunity, prior to their passing, to create such an android?  How long would we want them to hang around?  Let’s say my children have one such robot made of “me.”  Who would be the person to turn me off and let me go?  Finally?  (Actually, I can practically hear my children, “Somebody go in there and turn Mama off.  She’s making me crazier than she did when she was really alive.”)  Seriously though, I cannot imagine making that choice about someone I love, robot or no.  And I mean, you figure, enough generations will pass, and then the robot would be someone no one really knows anymore…..someone’s going to have to turn G’Ma off eventually.  And let her go forever.

I shudder at the thought of all this.

I appreciate technology and all of its life-saving and life-protecting ways.  But life-preserving?  Like this?  I really hope this doesn’t become a thing.  I cannot imagine what it would be like–all the discussions and arguments about who gets “custody” or has to take “custody” and yes, in reality, when does the whole thing become mundane, and someone has to literally flip a switch and turn the robot, the “essence” of their loved one, OFF.  Or refuse to pay to have him or her “repaired.”

Just no.

Tonight I’m thankful for the mystery of life and the mystery of death, and I give thanks for the beautiful conversations Mr. Freeman had that, with the exception of the robot, brought my soul hope and peace and joy.

Love to all.

Story of God Morgan Freeman

“Story of God” with Morgan Freeman, courtesy of NatGeo Channel http://channel.nationalgeographic.com

 

The Birds Don’t Have a Weather App

The past couple of days have been unseasonably warm here in Georgia.  I’m not complaining, mind you, but while I enjoyed the warm air and I think my toes might actually have defrosted, I knew better than to trust it.

Sure enough, yesterday just before dark when Miss Sophie and I ventured out, there was a nip in the air again.

*sigh*

I know we haven’t had the snow to deal with like so many in our nation, but I live here for a reason.  (Well for several, but the pertinent one right now is that I don’t do snow.)

I thought I loved it when I was a child.  I think that had to do with how it caused school to be called off.  Just the threat of it sometimes was all it took.  As an adult though, I do not care for it at all.  Sure, it’s pretty, but it’s cold and slushy and just COLD.

This morning when I took Miss Sophie out for her morning constitutional, I opened the door, and the wind and cold took my breath away.

Do what?

Holding the leash in one hand, I immediately used my other one to open up my phone and look at the weather app.  I wanted to KNOW.  I mean I knew it was cold, but I wanted to know “how cold.”  (Because apparently my nose freezing up immediately and my breath coming out in visible puffs and not being able to feel my fingers wasn’t evidence enough.)

39.  Wind chill 34.

See?  I KNEW it was cold.

As we walked and I urged Miss Sophie to tend to her business a little faster, I listened to the birds singing.  I saw the cat Domino.  They didn’t need an app to know it was cold.  They didn’t have an app to prepare them for this cold weather.  They just existed.  I wondered if they were able to read signs that our people once paid close attention to.  I don’t know of many who can read the old weather signs much anymore.  We depend on the News Reports and the weather apps and there’s even that whole channel dedicated to weather and all that goes with it.

For goodness’ sake, I KNEW it was cold, and I still had to double-check the app.

It amazes me how dependent we as a people (okay ME) have become on electronics and the internet and all of these apps.

I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but I do wonder what would have happened if I tried to pull out my phone and tell my Granny what the weather was going to be next week.  I’m thinking I might have gotten an earful.

The thing is today was cold.  Next week (according to the app) it will be warmer.  But I don’t trust it.  I know March 20 is the first day of spring, but I also know that Easter isn’t until April 5.  Granny always said there’d be an Easter cold snap.  That’s why folks who know don’t plant their gardens until Good Friday, two days before Easter.  And every single year, I’ve watched spring tease us and then step back and let that cold snap come right in and take over for a bit.  Granny was right.

Every single time.  Without an app.

Tonight I’m thankful for the birds and the cat (and all the other critters–except the snakes and spiders, I can only be so charitable) who survive and even thrive despite the cold.  I’m thankful for whatever tips them off that it’s going to be cold so they can do what they need to do to be okay.  I’m thankful for the wisdom of the folks from way back–knowing about things like Easter cold snaps–that they passed along the line.  Most of all, I’m thankful that, even though it’s not quite here, there is a light at the end of the frozen tunnel–and its name is spring.

Love and warm wishes to all.

 

Friending Folks in Real Life

I have been visiting with my brother and sharing stories of all kinds.  We have laughed and laughed until we cried.  But one story he told me made me want to laugh, cry, and shake my head all at the same time.

Bubba is in a caring profession, caring for the spirits and needs of others.  He was recently at a gathering of folks in his area in the same field.  They were gathering to brainstorm and problem solve.  He said what amazed his non-smart phone carrying self was not that there were bowed heads, which would have been appropriate in this setting, but that they were bowed over their smart phones of various shapes and sizes.  He said conversations were at a minimum, and he was blown away by the focus that so many showed over their miniature screens.

Bubba sat over his lunch quietly as most of the group were otherwise occupied, when the fella next to him punched his arm and said, “Hey, I just friended you on Facebook!”

*crickets*

Y’all.  For the love.

I mean, my brother was sitting.  Right.  There.

What on earth?

We do this though, don’t we, so many of us?  We sit with our heads bowed over these phones and long-distance/non-tangible relationships and when the opportunity presents itself, RIGHT IN FRONT OF US, to spend time and get to know the folks right beside us, we totally miss out.  I have seen folks sharing pictures from their holiday festivities this year and many of them show people staring at their “little friends” instead of the ones they love who are gathered around them.

I’ve been guilty of this a time or two myself.

But I’m trying to do better.

Because I know better.

Phones and electronics should work for us, not vice versa.

Wishing you all a fairly technology free day…..so maybe we can start friending folks in real life.

Love to all.

IMG_6559

As good as this can be, real life is so much better!

 

LOL…..just don’t cut it

pic of lol

This afternoon my middle sister called.  She had a few minutes and wanted to share something that had happened in her adventures in homeschooling.  She got tickled as she told it.  So much so that her giggling overcame her voice, and she had to give into it for a moment.  Which started me laughing.  And before we knew it, we were both laughing and stumbling over words and neither could really understand the other.

Good, no, GREAT stuff.

See, we haven’t had a lot to laugh about together lately.  So much has gone on in the past four months, so much worrying, so much sorrow, so much business to tend to, so much to decide about.  And in all that I have missed her laughter.  Especially when it overtakes her story.  My Aunt says I do the same thing sometimes, that it reminds her of Mama.  Funny how I spent most of my life not wanting to turn into Mama, and now a random comment like that…..it becomes a treasure to hold onto.   I should be so lucky as to turn out like my Mama.

I wonder if the overwhelming laughter could be genetic because my Aub does the same thing sometimes, as she shares her stories.  She’s really good at that–sharing her stories.  I don’t take that lightly.  That’s another treasure.  And we can “lafe and lafe” as Andy Griffith might say.  It can take us quite a while to get through one story sometimes, just because of the laughter.

As I went on my walk tonight, I was thinking about my sweet neighbor who is moving soon.  Oh, how I will miss her!  We spend pretty afternoons standing in her yard or mine while our littles play, chatting about our days, our families, our children, our dreams, or what’s for supper.  We have texted about this and that from time to time, but our relationship consists mostly of face to face, can I borrow an egg or a can of tomatoes, real-life conversations.  And now we won’t have that.  I made a promise to myself tonight, thinking of my sister and her precious laughter, that I won’t let my relationship with my neighbor and friend become a texting or e-mail or facebook relationship only.  I love her laughter, and I love hearing her stories.  I hope we will be able to make time for regular phone calls and for visits when they come to town.

I am very thankful for the benefits of modern technology as I’ve said before, but I do think it has done us a disservice on this front.  So much of our communication with others is by text or e-mail.  I am guilty of this too.  Oh sure, we 🙂 and LOL, but there is nothing like a hearty guffaw in your ear when you are on the phone or right in front of you when you are sitting with a friend.  I love the camaraderie of laughing with someone until tears are rolling down my face.  And believe me, that’s the stuff that joy and healing are made of.  Honest to goodness Laughing.  Out.  Loud. Together.  That’s the best right there.  LOL just don’t cut it.