Friday, January 08, 2010

30 Days of Touch -- Keyboard

The computer keyboard. I've spend a lot of time today touching it. From the time I got to the office to answer an email from my boss, to memos to staff about various and sundry things, to showing a new consultant around our information database, to instant messaging a staff person in Seymour, to chatting with a friend, to searching for songs on I-tunes, to ... Well, you get the idea.

A lot of things I did involved the keyboard, today. A smallish piece of technology (compared to the computer box or LCD) that is based, in many ways on a quickly becoming antiquated technology (the typewriter), it still is key to my productivity. My keyboarding skills, which were none too great in the typewriters day (I used to pay people to type my major papers in college) serve me well today. I can input information almost as quickly as I think it. And, indeed, the act of inputting it helps me think about ... um... what I'm thinking about. To see the words or numbers appear on the screen makes them real somehow and the lag between be my typing and my thinking gives me at least some small chance to reflect on what is appearing there. And if I want it to stay "appeared" or whether it's time to backspace and/or delete.

Especially emails that begin "Dear Idiot" or other such things.

And I can use that keyboard even in the dark (like right now) -- the only light coming from the computer screen. I don't look the keyboard. I know it by heart. My fingers move and the words and phrases jump into life up on the screen. Almost magically.

As I thought about touching these little plastic pads arranged ala' QWERTY, I began to think about things that I touch that help me spiritually slow down and think about what I'm feeling. What's my spiritual keyboard?

I have decided it is something that I cannot really "touch" but that touches me -- and that is spiritual silence. It is my touchstone. My keyboard. That which I finger and helps me think. Just as the rhythm of the keyboard helps me think about that which I really wish to say, so too does the rhythm of holy silence help me think about the things that I really wish to feel or pray or believe or act on.

Silence, likewise, mysteriously brings my soul's thinking in to crystal clarity -- without me really paying attention to how it's working. In the same way that I don't need to look at my fingers on the keyboard. They know their way. The soul knows its way. What I need to do more frequently is relax into that way, the way I relax when my writing is going well. To go with the the word flow. To go with the Spirit's flow.

So I am grateful tonight for the feel of little black plastic keys under my fingers.

And for the silence in my soul.


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