I, being able to relax around this with Katy, began to be more bothered by living in a construction project, so went south to stay with my son and his wife last night. It was good to be away from hammering, sawing, and problems.
Yesterday, Jeff, Kim, a co-worker of his, and I, enjoyed a Rome-worthy lunch at a wonderful Italian restaurant Positanos. Beforehand, I visited the Redwood Public Library which is built on a marsh and is a wonder for children and adults. There is a cafe, with great food and an exhibit on the birds and creatures that live in the mud. It has a view of the Oracle buildings, not my favorite, but my son tells me they are built to look like a data base. Who knew? They do have a lovely fountain in front.
Last night, I had fun with Jeff and Jan, and we enjoyed eating outside on a warm night with a beautiful, almost-full Autumn moon.
Today, on the way home, I stopped to eat at Bucks in Woodside, so I could eavesdrop on conversations of venture capitalists and check out the cars. Fascinating. The company Jeff works for did their IPO today, so I thought I might hear what was being said, but it seems Apple was the conversation of the moment, with one woman seemingly clear that if they listened to her, it would run better than it does.
What I am most with these days is our vulnerability that we seem not to feel as we make our way, and hurdle, or crawl, down freeways, driving in cars we shelter inside, and wear like an exoskeleton.
I realize that many of those who keep the computer world running work in buildings that seem, to me, standing outside, armored and sterile.
We humans have survived not because we have the best claws and teeth, but because we know how to build tools and shelters, and we know how to communicate, and yet, I believe we also need direct contact with nature. We need to sit under a tree. We need to rest, loll, laugh, and play, on the ground.
Clearly, the communication tools of today bring us closer together, and yet there is a cost beyond that of the seeming exploitation of workers in villages in China. There is a cost to those who work here, a cost of stress, deadlines and incredible demands, and yet it is I who look in from the outside. How do I know what it is for those inside? I feel like I'm balancing in the world Thomas Hardy described when he idealized agriculture at the expense of technology and the Industrial Revolution. How do I honor and balance leaves and steel, carbon and silicon, movement and flow?
I feel fragile, unnerved by this with Katy, and yet it has been a fascinating two days, with an immersion in nature and an opportunity to see a bit into the technological world that guides our lives. Well, not really seeing, sitting outside buildings, and then, having my son emerge from one, as though he had climbed out of a space ship, to be with me in all the softness that love imbibes.