Putting Down the Phone. Looking Into Your Eyes.

I started this blog last fall as part of a plan to reinvigorate my career. I realized a) that I’d written four musicals (the last of which, Rebel Girls, is currently in development), b) that I was a relatively accomplished singer/songwriter, so it was time to pick up some new tools and start using them. Facebook, Twitter, a new website, a blog. Go for it. It’s clear to me that I don’t get it yet. There are so many different ways of using these tools, ranging from the ridiculous to the practical to the political to the sublime. And then of course, the tools within the tools.

When I was younger, I vowed to be the coolest older woman ever. The only grandma who was completely up to speed with the technologies that her grandchildren were using. Not that I have grandchildren yet, but still…that was my vision of myself. Now I’m thinking it’s not gonna happen. I’m not incapable of learning new stuff. But it just doesn’t matter to me like it does to, say, a 20-year-old. Speed is not as precious to me as quality. I appreciate the speed, trust me. I have an iPhone and I know how to use it. But lately I notice that as Elena and I are sitting on the train into the city (it’s a 40-minute ride in), I’m not conversing, or just sitting quietly with her. My head is cocked and tilted downward, as so many others are, texting, or checking FB, or playing a game. She has taken to bringing part of the NY Times on these trips.

So now I’m wondering whether it’s worth it. All these new tools, new languages, new outlets for communication… Are we getting all caught up in what our communication devices can do, and forgetting to actually communicate? I have been practicing, lately. Turning off my phone. Really looking into the eyes of whoever I’m talking with or listening to. It’s a little startling sometimes. How uncomfortably new it feels. But this is where my energy is going these days.

So what of my career? Truth is, I don’t know. I really don’t know. But I need to find a way to have this career, while creating and maintaining more space in between the events—for the moments of real connection with the actual physical people in my world.