Poetry · Random Thoughts

Plugged In and Tuned Out

Plugged in
And tuned out

Headphones on
Blasting your music
or your podcast
Ten feet away I hear it

You can’t hear
The birdsong
The barking of the sea lions
The waves breaking on the shore

Hunched over your phone
Texting, playing games, web surfing

You don’t see
The birds with their young
The fading plum blossom
The new cherry blooms
The procession of colors

Winter to spring
To summer to fall
and back again to winter

Did you miss it?
Were you
Plugged in
and tuned out?

I’ve been watching as winter started changing to spring a bit earlier than we typically expect this year.  The plum trees that line our street were beyond peak bloom before equinox and the start of Spring this year.

Standing at the bus stop on the way to work the other day, I noticed that the ginkgo trees were starting to get some color at the tip of the small spikes that in a few weeks will unfurl into their leaves.  The same morning, the sun was reflecting off the side of the Columbia Tower, and there was a beautiful light in the east as the sun rose and lit up the underside of the high clouds.  Looking around, everyone at the bus stop was plugged in, oblivious to all that was around them except their electronic devices and if that bus at the stop light a block away was the one for which they were waiting.  I see many of the same people daily at this stop, and throughout the turning of the seasons over the past year, it’s been the same scene.

We hear so often “where has the time gone”.  Even when paying attention to the world around, it’s easy to be caught unaware by the changing of the seasons.  How much more so for those who seem to spend their time out of touch with the world around them?

I’m not a big fan of looking to pop culture to guide our lives, but for this, Ferris Bueller nails it:

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Take some time over the next few days and unplug. Put the cell phone down; unplug from the iPod and just sit and take it all in. Pay attention to all that is going on around you, and notice what’s new.

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One thought on “Plugged In and Tuned Out

  1. Beautifully said. We’ve become so connected and yet so unconnected. We stand to gain from technology but we could lose so much if we are not paying attention. Thanks for sharing.

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