Tim Love sent me a link to a Poets&Writers article by Sandra Beasley - more about the online debate. Fascinating.
Oh dear. I like the online thing. I really do. However, I love paper. My brain formed its familiar circuits in decades before this onlinery happened. I don't feel the same about reading on-screen: I flit quickly, less concentration, less connection between word and sound (unless there's a sound file with the poem, which I like).
Twitter drives me nuts. Some of my Twit friends tweet so much I have to stop following them. Twitter is for flitters, one of which I am, when online.
Not that I don't respect this stuff. I do. I just become part of a huge endlessly circling crowd of gnats, compelled by instinct to do my bit of tweeting, bleating, meeting and competing.
But as a headache person, increasingly I need to get away from the screen. Go somewhere with natural daylight and bird-song. Touch the paper I'm reading from. Calm down.
Because somehow the online world agitates me. It's the sense of infinite connections, infinite clever moves I'm not clever enough to make, that sense of the world spinning ever faster and my head spinning with it. Among the bloggerati, I am comforted by a Tony Frazer (Shearsman) entry:
I did get some work done today, if not quite enough to make feel better about the backlog. Ever get to the point where there’s so much to do you can’t do any of it? In that scenario today was half a success. Work also allows me (& I imagine most others) to hide from all the other crap that’s floating around, although I can recognise that hiding isn’t necessarily the answer to anything. I did stop now and again to wave my arms about...
Oho, yes. My personal panic is exacerbated by staring at a screen, where everybody in the world (and we are talking global here) seems to have more of a hold on reality than I do. Their RSS feeds are feeding whatever needs to be fed, their blogs are cuter, their insights astuter.
So I slink back to my own territory: one word at a time. Here's where Sally Festing's poems, Cliff Ashby's slow reflections nourish me. Twenty minutes considering a comma. The dust quietly descending on my stacks of books...