Last week in my iPhone of the past few years finally died. It just didn't turn on after a night on the town. I assume the battery finally gave out.

For two days I went without it. I was relaxed. I felt at peace. I didn't feel the need to constantly do something: to always text someone, to research every question that arises in my mind, to document important thoughts, to cure my boredom with music, to read emails.

At the local flea market, I noticed people's faces in a way that I hadn't before. I met more people. I actually rummaged through what was there rather than casually walking by.

I was even more perceptive on my on walk and the tension in my face and back.

My car ride to a family reunion was not interrupted by rings nor was a distracted from staring at my phone. I am sure the highways of this fine state were safer because of it. 

On my way home, I stopped at corn fields and ate straight from the stalk. I got out my camera and photographed the rural area I came from. I took in the world around me and didn't really stress about anything.

Anyway, I bought a new phone a few days later, put part of my doesn't want it. Or at least I want to leave it in my car or at home - not in my pocket where it serves as a digital leash. I also want to withdraw from the need, Facebook, and all the noise that seems to create tension, anxiety and mental dis-ease.

I feel the anxiety slowing creeping back: the desire to be connected, to be informed. It's also made me aware of how much anxiety I left creep into my life via the disparet forms of communication: politically charged and inflammtory news stories, emotional distress on Facebook from friends, the need to "catch up," the longing and desire it always seems to create, and the sense of inferority and second-guessing it seems to fester.
I want to hear the birds, the wind., to look people around me in the eye, to think without distraction.

Instead of an iPhone I think I should switch to paper where I can quite literally gather my thoughts up like lost sheep. Where I can pause and focus and not be distracted by the next beep or buzz, where I am not overwhelmed with choice. Where I can reflect without the constant intrusion.

...where I can listen