Off the Shelf, 2014
I was flipping through a magazine today, came across an article titled On Privacy, and just stopped and stared at the title, for a long time. I'm not sure if I was originally questioning the meaning of the word privacy, trying to figure out what privacy means to me, or wondering how privacy fits into our culture today, but soon all of these questions were darting about in my mind at once.
So much has changed so rapidly. What we can do with our phones, all we've so quickly learned to take for granted. It's mind boggling.
I know some of it is beneficial, but at what cost? What have we lost?
I cannot stop thinking about Mildred's parlor walls in Fahrenheit 451, her way of distracting herself from the outside world and engaging with others at the same time, all in the privacy of her living room.
Then I think of what I always think of when I'm feeling overwhelmed, the simple mud cabin in The Temptation of Saint Anthony, the pitcher, loaf of black bread, and knife, the description of the sky as the sun sinks. I think of Saint Anthony sitting cross-legged and weaving mats. Flaubert took thirty years to write this book and I think it's time I read it again. In solitude, Saint Anthony does have to deal with his demons and his doubt, but isn't that as it should be?