OLD NOTEBOOKS: Here in our new place in South Delhi the internet speed is really low at the moment so I called the technician and he said it would be okay tomorrow for sure, but right now they were working on the line near to where I am. Okay, thanks, bye-bye and hang-up phone – that’s it… the devastation of no internet. How can I just say to myself, well you can read a book or something? We are internet-dependent beings, without internet we become kinda unstable… and I remember writing about this feeling before. So I spend some time looking for it in my drafts folder. There was a storm at the time too and I find it in the Search box, using ‘storm’ as a title, et: voilà! It felt like all the unearthed electricity in the air, had given my internet server a boost just at the crucial moment and ‘server not found’ was actually found:
Switzerland: Just before the storm started I was having this internet upload speed problem; trying to get a post into Publish but not enough oomph for it to go. I try again; waiting for it to slowly come up with the WordPress site to click on the upload button, but stuck again. I start to take it personally, caught in thinking this is ‘bad.’ And, pretty soon, it gets blown out of proportion, turns into a small crisis, like a fire burning down the house. The intensity of feeling is incredible. This is what a very low internet speed can do. Am I in withdrawal? Focus for a moment, just there at the desk, feet flat on floor, watch the breath, stop the mind, and suddenly I’m in an empty space, surprised to discover it was that quick! And without the wandering thoughts, there is just silence! Just the physical awareness of the body, comfortably seated with this inactive thought process like its engine has given up and it’s immobile. I could hear the storm really loud around this time; lightning and thunderous bangs and crashes across the sky – a perception of vast distance.
It’s like someone in the floor above has gone berserk, pushing over huge pressed steel cabinets and metal desks, metal oil drums, BOOOOM, BADAAANG, and a small silence in between, then the echo of it returning from a long way away in the immense space of night sky. Still sitting at the desk in the violence of the heavens and the room is brightly illuminated by a flash of lightning very close, followed immediately by another overwhelming CRASH. The lights go out, and for a moment I’m thinking the sound is the bricks and masonry of the building tumbling down.
I fall to the floor in a crouched position to protect the head and then up from there quickly out to the front room, and exit by jumping over the balcony from our place on the seventh floor? No, can’t do that, look around, no damage I can see. The flap of wings as birds roosting on the balcony rail are stirring a bit, but they’re not really getting in a tizzy about this. If the buildings were to fall to the ground, no problem, they’ve got wings and can just fly away.
Back into the room, waken up the computer and I get a connection right away, loading completed immediately. And that’s the story of how I got this post written in a room full of flashing lights like a Press event taking place and uploaded no problem – harvesting ambient electricity? The sounds of war and bombing raids; the noise of it was colossal, somebody said later it’s because of the Jura mountains reflecting the sound and the lake resonating like a huge sheet of metal; an area of about 500 square kilometers.
‘The first noble truth says simply that it’s part of being human to feel discomfort. We don’t even have to call it suffering anymore; we don’t even have to call it discomfort. It’s simply coming to know the fieriness of fire, the wildness of wind, the turbulence of water, the upheaval of earth, as well as the warmth of fire, the coolness and smoothness of water, the gentleness of the breezes, and the goodness, solidness, and dependability of the earth. Nothing in its essence is one way or the other.’ [Pema Chodron]