Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Time To Breathe

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity."
-Albert Einstein

My Spouse has bought a radio; it was delivered to our hands last week. Too many modern gadgets possess a radio ability of some sort, but we personally wanted the item to function only as a radio.
The event of purchasing was much talked about and dithered over as happens to be our tendency. Some credit card points needed to be used up urgently- the gathering of them stretches back years- and a decision was finally made. A radio could be used by both of us and would be a throwback to less technologically-advanced times, a much-needed interval.
My Spouse returned from work on Tuesday and tore open the package like a happy child, setting up the first opportunity we had in a long time to partake of the airwaves.
The first show that we stumbled upon featured a local man reading selected articles of the day from the nation's various newspapers.
The man was orating very nicely until a sudden silence descended.
Concerned, I said, "what happened?" while wondering how we might get a refund. I am a territorial, skeptical pessimist at certain times; too often our purchases fail to operate and we must begin the battle to claim our money back. I am at times impatient and can assess a situation and assume the worst in less seconds than it takes to draw a breath.
That, in fact, was just what the fellow was doing. He was only pausing for breath, as humans do, and turning the pages of a newspaper.
As I stated, in my defence, it has been an awfully long time since I was witness to the intimate, here and now, real-life moments that a radio can present.
Contemplative and charming were the next few hours as we reacquainted ourselves with the true blessing of a radio.
There was a real person murmuring, unravelling the day and conversing with unseen listeners. At times I misheard a word and reached out my hand, in a fit of desire for instant gratification, to rewind the show back a moment or two in order to hear a repeat.
There is a particularly novel feeling in realising that the world of the radio, for the most part, has not been tainted by time and progress.
The beauty is that it presents a gentle, slow world where there is time to step back from the frenetic pace of life and connect with those willing to lend a patient ear for a few hours. We used our credit cards points too- at long last.


Beth said...

What a beautiful story, the radio is such good company. I like to do my errands on saturday morning so that I am in the car to hear the morning shows on national public radio and then on Saturday evening I like Prairie Home Companion and Thistle and Shamrock. Enjoy!

Pappy said...

Or, making your own radio. I used to enjoy a crystal radio made in the shape of a rocket ship. It was only necessary to ground the set and adjust the tuner to get something to sound in the ear piece.

Anonymous said...

It must have been quite the thing in the 1940s when radio was truly large for war news and entertainment. One thing those folks had was listening skills, now it is all visual.

A friend of mine says that satellite radio has lots of talk on it and if so it is almost like a return to the good old days. Truckers in particular benefit from satellite radio in that they have the ability to get entertainment anywhere including in the mountains.

Great post

julochka said...

sigh...i so wish i wasn't desperately addicted to technology so that i could appreciate radio more. and i actually DO appreciate a podcast, downloaded because i'm not always "in front of" the radio at the right time. i desperately wish i could pare down my life and live in a simpler and more appreciative manner. and i try to in the ways that my limited brain is able to at the moment...buying as much organic as possible and trying to make sure those organics are as local as possible. perhaps one day, i too will appreciate the wonder of radio for what it is. but, alas, it will probably be through a lovely henry kloss unit which also docks an iPod...but one must also recognize one's limitations and know oneself...but thank you for at least helping me think about aspiring to better things...

Phyllis Hunt McGowan said...

I really like Garrison Keillor's humour, and liked reading Lake Woebegone Days so I'll try and check out Prairie Home Companion. The website has samples to listen to. Thank you!

Texican, my Spouse built batteries and radios when he was a boy- he says he made that crystal radio too. Thanks for prompting his memory! He still tinkers with electronics.

Steve, you're right as usual. Listening skills are not what they were. It's the same with old fashioned story telling. Stories that are thousands of years old were handed down through word of mouth and they had to be good listeners in order to tell them correctly to the next generation.

Julie, my Spouse is completely addicted to technology too. He loves gadgets and electronics and all sorts of things. It's one of the hardest aspects of our less cluttered life. That and books. So many books...he spent ten years waiting for the right digital camera and thinks and thinks about every gadget before buying. I'm the same with books. I try but I love books so much. You mentioned organic food, and other things- then it's no harm if you buy the things you love. We all have our passions :) As long as nothing is wasteful...

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