Karen Rivers


Karen Rivers

I want there to be no technology.   I want to not be typing this.  I want the shortcut between my brain and the words to be a path made by a pen and paper.   

I want.

I want Amazon to not exist.   I want to live in a village.  I want to greet people with hugs.   I want everyone to feel safe.  I want to know what it would be like to wake up and not check "for messages".

I want to live in a place surrounded on all sides by nature, by the sounds of an animal's footsteps in the fallen leaves, by water crashing furiously against a pebbled shore.   

I want to sit in an adirondack chair. 

I want to remember how to bake bread.  I want to sit around a kitchen table, all of us listening to a show on the radio.  

I want to remember, always, that on the other side of this screen, there are trees moving through their cycle of growing and shedding and re-growing and shedding again.   I want to look up and see an eagle, looking back. 

I want to walk on dirt paths without any sounds around me at all except bird calls and the peculiar talking sound that tree trunks make when they grow intertwined and are trapped in a perpetual dance with each other, their bark rubbed away where their limbs touch.   I want to spend whole days without the word "mortgage" entering my mind.  I want to sleep through a night without waking up with a start remembering that I need to be anxious.   

What would this same life be if, tomorrow, like my son promises is possible, all technology failed?   Would we all step out of our houses and apartments and rooms, blinking in the bright sunlight, temporarily paralyzed by the dazzling magical sound of the things we've stopped listening for, the symphony of insects that is always humming behind the engines and the radios and Netflix and iTunes and the lawnmowers?   

I want to get up in the morning and not hear anything but the dogs' claws on the floor as they jump from the bed, the sound of coffee percolating on a stove, the wind buffeting the glass.  I want to open the door, barefoot, and step outside.   I want my feet to land on soft moss, on dry fallen leaves, on grass that hasn't seen a mower.   I want to start walking and keep going into the woods without a schedule to follow, without something counting my steps to see if I measure up, without a podcast playing in my ears, without my phone in my pocket, without without without, in order to remember what it's like to be "with".    

I want to walk with you, with a friend, with a child or two, with someone I love, with someone new, all of us quiet, our breath hanging in the fresh dawn air, making personal clouds like temporary tattoos on the sky that mark where we stepped, some small part of ourselves mingling with the rising fog and lifting up to where the stars are shining behind the blue, the grey, the light.   

Do you ever ask, "What have we become?"   

What do you want?