Thursday, January 3, 2019 – Analog

Dare I take another day at home? Another day with the comfort of a new book, penning a few words in my Moleskin, tapping out a few more on my laptop? Dare I resist the pull to return to society for one more day?

I have things to do, and a timeline in which to do them, it chafes a bit In these early January days. I am pulled between impatience to get moving, and a desire to be still and lie fallow. Ah, but that is life.

There are things to let go of, others to go deeper into, still others to sit in silence with, observing. Finding the balance, deciding which to focus on at any given time, is sometimes a challenge.

I am reading a book about Christian history right now called Water From a Deep Well: Christian Spirituality from Early Martyrs to Modern Missionaries by Gerald Sittser. There is much wisdom in listening to the past; we sometimes forget that, in our contemporary, fast-paced world. I sit under a blanket in my wing chair, with a Yorkie on my lap and a cup of rooibos tea at close hand, and read slowly, with a highlighter.

My return to analog reading means I can’t call up any of the words I highlighted yesterday, as I sit here in the dark in my bed sipping soy milky frothy coffee, but so be it. I will transcribe some of them into a new notebook I purchased on the last day of last year, and they will become friends.

Digital life has affected my brain, I’m convinced of it. I’m equally convinced that I can repair some of the disconnections with the balm of paper books and hand writing. I am not putting away my Kindle, and no longer following wise teachers online. I’m not going to stop wrangling words in this space every morning. I’m simply switching things up and, where it makes sense and with intention, replacing digital with analog.

Analog forces a slowing down, a more mindful experience. It connects with a distinct part of our brain. it instructs us differently. It might make us kinder, and more willing to listen. Who knows?


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. I agree the digital world and its “toys” have affected our minds, mine at least. I’ve grown so tired of it that I’ve put myself on somewhat of a lengthy sabbatical from my blog, newsletter, and social media (except for what I want to read). Lately, I too have been reading more analog books, several in fact. It felt good but I did find myself reaching to highlight that word here and there for a definition. Then I’d giggle at myself and jot it down. I like the idea of a notebook for those.

    Impatiently waiting for a surgery date, I find myself considering what to do next that I can do sitting or lying. I’ve taken up knitting again. I’d forgotten what a comfort it can be. I’m writing by hand now and again, jotting down notes now and then. When I return to the blog, it is heading in a different direction, more introspective and contemplative than “talking about writing.” It’s what I need to do at this stage of my life I feel a need to make a greater priority.

    Your posts have been calming and pulling me into a space of greater peace. I’ve needed that for two to three months now, and you’re words are helping. Thank you, Linda.

    1. Like you, Sherrey, I find myself wanting to highlight words in paper books to search for definitions. Perhaps I will get a second dictionary and put it next to my reading chair.

      I know you’ve had a long, and difficult, haul with back pain. I pray your surgery will be soon and that it will provide much-needed relief. I look forward to your return to blogging when the time is right for you.

      Thank you for your kind words about this space being one of peace. That’s exactly what I strive (though that word seems oddly out of place in this context) for.

  2. I love the sense of stillness and restfulness in your photo and your words … Despite the advantages of the Kindle for reading, I enjoy the physical feel of paper beneath my fingers and a pen in my hand.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Alexa. It seems many of us appreciate the gifts a physical book brings. (I still like my Kindle for reading in bed at night though.)

  3. I’m just catching up here and enjoying the comments and insightful post with this lovely line: “balm of paper books and hand writing.” I write in my gratitude notebook every day, and prefer analog to digital books. But I still order Kindle books (less expensive), buy print books from Amazon, and borrow from our amazing public library.

    Readers have mentioned the physical comfort of books, I suppose an appreciation we remember from childhood.

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