Technology is wonderful, except when it isn’t.
Take alarm clocks, for example. Not that long ago, high tech alarm clocks featured large, red, glowing digital numbers, and we had our choice of waking up to a series of beeps or a radio station. Prior to that, we wound the things up and they yelled out, with bells.
Now, thanks to technology, we can sleep with our phone (some people do this, hugging the unit next to their ear, like a teddy bear). We can awaken not only to a series of beeps, but also electronic robotic default tones, or tinny tunes from the online radio or a music service.
One thing we don’t awaken to is silence.
But how can we, nowadays, when part of our technological lifestyle is that we get up early to devote a chunk of our waking hours — our most active, creative time of the day — to . . . work? (Fortunate are those whose work engages their intellect and creativity; even more fortunate are those whose engaged intellect and creativity economically benefit them and their family, as opposed to a corporation or financial magnate. Would that this were the norm.)
To get to work, which for some people is a couple hours away on a freeway, highway, and series of roads, we need to arise before our body really wants to. And to get our body up before it really wants to, we need an alarm clock.
So our wonderful technology, which is supposed to make our lives easier and more convenient, wakes us up when we’d really rather, and probably need to, get more sleep.
The artwork, Morning Sun Salutation, shows us a different way to start the day, a new beginning that has unfolded itself, in calm silence and the gentle emergence of light, for many, many, many years.
The major sound we hear is silence, broken by the song of (real, not digital) birds who greet the day with cheerfulness. There is no rush, no leaping out of bed and pounding to the bathroom where we get ourselves ready while the coffee is brewing.
And while it may not be “realistic” to dispense with the alarm clock and focus on starting the day calmly and with a sense of peace, perhaps it’s a goal worth reaching for.
It’s not high tech; it’s timeless.
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