No Signal Detected

I had to turn in my cell phone this week to be repaired, and the overwhelming feeling I’ve had is not one of anxiety, but of relief.

You see, I haven’t had a cell phone for very long. About a year and a half. I’ve never really needed one: I moved to Amsterdam from a tiny town of about 700 people a couple of hours north of Vancouver, and the people I knew there who had cell phones seemed more stressed out about them than any other aspect of their lives. Probably because the signal wasn’t great.

Now, I’m not against cell phones. I just didn’t see the need to get one until one was made that could do a bunch of things at once. Why carry a camera, agenda, iPod, AND cell phone with you, when one piece of machinery can do all of those things? But the truth of the matter is that since I’ve had a cell phone, I tend to work when I’m off duty. Not all the time, but in a sort of “I’ll just take care of this one thing so I can relax” kind of way.

So, without the cell phone, I’ve noticed that things are calmer. Not just quieter, but calmer.

And that I observe more. Mostly the intricate patterns of things that you catch in a glimpse, out of the corner of your eye, when you’re in that calm space that a cell phone seems to bowl right over.

It’s not the cell phone’s fault. It’s what happens to the mind when you’re suddenly reachable, all the time.

The cell phone company gave me a replacement phone, and I’m delighted to say that I can’t even begin to figure it out. It’s a completely different phone, and not intuitive at all, or maybe – just maybe – I don’t want to figure it out. I like the signal being off. I like being able to see again.