September 14, 2002

Yom Kippur plans

I'm taking Yom Kippur off work on Monday. It's not something I usually do, but I always feel guilty when I don't. It feels a little silly to be taking the day off,
since I don't intend to go to synagogue, but somehow I do feel the need to spend a day in reflection. I have no real idea why, except that my days include almost no unscheduled time these days except on weekends, and I'm severely in need of down time.

As I think I've written before, I've never entirely understood the idea of fasting for Yom Kippur. The theory is that abstaining from food permits the mind to concentrate on Higher Thoughts, but if I go too long without eating I end up either distractingly hungry or lightheaded and dizzy to the point of uselessness. I've decided instead to do something that makes more sense to me, and go on a media fast for that day -- no radio, TV, or internet. Therefore, there won't be an entry here from sundown Sunday to sundown Monday. That should allow me to reconnect with things that are more essential to me. I'm not abstaining from books because they fall into the category of "essentials" -- I'm not sure I even have an identity left if you remove the concept of "reader" from it. People who know me would argue that I do, because they've seen me interacting with the world and other people, and it's true that I'm very engaged in it when I do it, but from the inside it feels like reading books is an even more central component of my life. Also, honestly, I have no idea what I'd do for a whole day alone if I couldn't read. Somehow hanging out at the mall, or spending money in any context, seems not to agree with the spirit of the occasion. I don't plan to row either, though I may go for a short hike.

It's sort of a hard line to draw. I've decided that even reading books online counts as being on the net. I haven't decided about magazines, but I don't really spend enough time reading them that
withdrawal is much of an issue. I'd abstain from newspapers, but then I would have anyway. I will listen to recorded music -- somehow that feels more like the category of books, for no logical reason.

If I do any writing, it will be with pen and paper. Maybe I'll play some guitar, and change the strings on my instruments. Mostly, I hope to think. But I don't know what I'm going to think about.

Posted by dichroic at September 14, 2002 04:59 PM
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