By Hand

An unfortunate accident forced me to live the past ten days without a computer. I won’t go into details, but you all know that liquids are the worst enemies for computers. My beloved MacBook Air spent ten days in repair.

In the middle of November. NanoWriMo.

When I left the Apple store, my bag weighing nothing on my shoulder, I felt the way I did when my youngest child attended school for the entire day for the first time. I was searching for my computer like I did search for my son’s hand the morning he entered first grade.

Without a computer, I imagined that I wouldn’t be able to write at all. And for the first day, it was true. I walked restlessly through the house, feeling guilty to read instead of writing.

Everyone around me had a computer and I seemed to be living in another era. Gosh, I missed Google!

The fact that I would spend more than a week without my MacBook finally sunk in. I thought of the story I started to write and realized that being unable to access the Internet, my e-mail, and the easiness of a keyboard was exactly what I needed to keep going.

I collect notebooks, pencils and pens, although I use them less and less. I picked a nice notebook and a good pen and I sat outside, in the sun. There was no glare on my computer screen, no need to charge the battery. I curled on my favorite bench under the porch and I wrote. I wrote without the spelling checker highlighting my typos. I wrote in my large handwriting that pulled me back to my school days. I filled half of my thick notebook.

There was something liberating to write by hand as if my brain and hand were in complete harmony.

I got my computer back this afternoon. It is repaired and looks as new. I was glad to slide it in my bag and be soon able to return to our world in constant motion. But the urgency and speediness imposed by the high tech world rushed back to my mind and a pang of nostalgia for the last ten days tugged at me.

I will of course type my notes so I can catch up with the delay I took. I am not of course planning to ruin my lovely MacBook again.

But I stuck my notebook in my purse with the promise to write more often by hand.

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