mad in pursuit notebook


God and Gmail

My gmail won’t load. At least not in the pretty new “standard” mode with all my labels and categories — only in ugly “basic HTML” mode. I’m beside myself. Obsessional. Abandoning my writing plan for the morning and flying into full trouble-shooting mode. Grrr…

I can’t leave it alone. Why is it that trying to get the “perfect” system only seems to guarantee a crash? Just when everything was going along so well… Just as we begin to relax and allow ourselves to be dependent on our prosthetic brain… crash. “That’ll teach you,” the Universe seems to say.

Teach me what? To have redundancies and back-up plans? Never tie up all your aspirations in The One? Is this what the mystics mean by “dark night of the soul”? The ecstasy is gone. Rats. God has abandoned me, leaving me alone in the school yard. The One I was relying on for strength and grace has left the building. Where to I go from here?

Read Rumi poetry. Rumi was in love with Shamz, till Shamz was killed. Rumi twirled in circles for days, then began to speak poetry about his longing for the missing Friend. His dark night was transformed into years of dancing and poetry as he sought to close the gap between painful separation and perfect union.

Maybe it’s sacrilege to talk about God, poetry and email in the same breath. But in a world where you can’t always rely on the kindness of your fellow humans, don’t we depend on our electronics to sustain us? Don’t we have our rituals and sacrifices to appease the mysterious inner workings of our computers? Don’t we turn our cell phones into fetishes, wearing them like a rabbit’s foot or a St. Christopher medal? And isn’t the Google Helpdesk as remote as the top of Mount Sinai?

I’m twirling, I’m twirling.

Nov 7, 2011