"Reading deprivation casts us into our inner silence, a space some of us begin to immediately fill with new words - long, gossipy conversations, television bingeing, the radio as a constant, chatty companion. We often cannot hear our own inner voice, the voice of our artist's inspiration, above the static. "So, I'm picking up my meditative knitting, eyeing my spinning, observing my breath, getting into my sewing studio, playing chess. Soduko anyone?
Playing chess?! That's actually a part of my screen time lately. My husband and I are playing chess. I learned to play chess as a child but never really played as an adult. But somehow my MMORPGing, Sacred-loving, husband has gotten into the game. First as a way to connect with distant family members and now me, his not so distant family. Its nice to play electronically with a toddler tornado in the house. I don't have to worry if my little guy has stolen my knight or if my husband has "accidentally" moved my rook. I'm enjoying relaxing into the game (I tend to get riled up into looking at every possible move and I'm a wee bit competitive with my husband sometimes) and to just play. One game will last days, but that's ok. Its a nice speed. My husband has also discovered that several of his bachelor friends have a chess client for their iPhones. So he's been playing them as well. He's been walking around the house with his phone in his hand, playing chess and describing what's unfolding over at his friends' place. One of them will play Grand Theft Auto 4, while the other 3 guys are all playing chess with everyone else. Then the Playstation dude will hand off the controller and give some one else a chance and get his chess moves in. A groan will go up as someone looses their queen. An ancient two player turn based game has become a social connectivity tool.
I find it interesting to look at my experiences with books vs. video games the past few weeks. The conventional view is that books are somehow higher culturally than video games. Video games are bad and books are good. Especially if you are a child. As parents we need to make sure that our children are getting the good stuff and we need to limit the bad stuff. As an unschooler and, dare I say, as a Buddhist, that's not my world view. They are ways to occupy my time, nothing more and nothing less. And its interesting to see an example turned on its head. Not good, not bad but rather what's working and what's not working for me. I've obviously OD'ed on the written word and have been exercising other parts of my brain via the internet, even connecting with my husband between parenting duties. Rejecting the conventional view, ditching the cultural values surrounding acceptable pastimes as they are doing me little good, and tuning in to my own knowledge of what is helpful to me right now.
I think I will try to sew a bit more tonight and give Cameron another shot in a few days after my brain has been given some space to breath. In. Out. Always there.