Technology: Do You Give it a Rest?

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Emptying and filling, she said. I have been thinking about these words all morning. Emptying and filling, emptying and filling, emptying and filling.

I cannot seem to say the phrase too many times.

On the porch, where I'm sitting just now, I watch the yard do its own emptying and filling. Begonias still bloom iridescent pink, but the tangerine tropical flowers have disappeared. The Bleeding Heart is yellowed, leaning north. The white pine has its autumn too. Needle puffs turn bronze, fall into the yard. I will be raking soon. The compost pile will swell with fragrance.

Emptying and filling.

When I first started blogging, about four years ago, I could not live these words in my relationship to technology. Filling, filling, filling. Blogging every day. Reading, commenting, returning comments. Writing, trying, working. I wore myself out, though I didn’t know it until I accidentally short-circuited my laptop with a water spill.


I spent a full week without home-based Internet access. I felt restless. And lost. I walked in circles sometimes, not knowing what to do with myself, not mentally and emotionally able to fill my time with other things.

That experience led me to the idea of taking regular technology Sabbaths. Once a week I shut the laptop. I don’t blog. Sometimes I check email. But it is better to just walk away altogether for a day.

Filling. Or is it emptying? I cannot really say.

I find the piano, or fiction. I pick up the red cotton dress I am sewing by hand for the child of a friend. I peel potatoes. Slice, slice, slice. I smell onions frying or pumpkin baking. I hike through autumn, or winter, or summer. If it is spring I stand in the rain.

Technology is my job, one of my loves. But the words emptying and filling remind me to give it a regular rest. After all, there are onions and pumpkins, rocks and leaves, rain and a red dress… waiting.

Post by L.L. Barkat, author of God in the Yard: Spiritual Practice for the Rest of Us.

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Writing Project

Do you give technology a regular rest? What does that look like? Or maybe you are fine with being involved with the Internet every day. Want to share your technology story? If so, write about it on your blog and add your link here. We also appreciate if you link to us if you participate. Call it a mutual admiration society thing.