Once upon a life, I had a time.
It was a pre-Interwebs time.
There was a hyperlinked system called “gopher” – it was the internet, text-only. No images except for line drawn images. I could get around on gopher and go to a ton of wonderful sites like altavista and Books A Million, where I could access information and evn (gulp!) buy books if I dared to put my credit card information into blank spaces that looked like forms to fill out in the world of pen and paper.
“Don’t give anybody your information, Rae!”, my friends told me, but the network nerds at the University of Delaware where I worked on the PLATO educational network said that Books A Million was safe. “Soon everybody will be buying things online” the guys who knew about this stuff said. I took a chance. I bought a book. It was delivered to my house. Nobody stole my credit card information. I thought the network guys might br right — people might actually start shopping this way. “No way!” my friends said.
I found some kind of early educational networked system and got my kids free accounts on it. I can’t remembrr the name, but it had “home” in it somehwere. Not PLATO Home Network, that was somerhing I helped the University launch for microomputer users– connectivity to the UD PLATO system for home computer users usinfg emulation software to make your IBM work like a PLATO terminal – no touch panel of course.
It was a blast, those early days, end of rhe 70s and all through the 80ss. Excitement.
I toook an obscure THomas Merton poem and createed a poetry-generating program that put in verbs where verbs should be, nouns for nouns, etc. etc. I loved sitting and pressing keys ro generate one poem after another, with rhyme and meter, and meaning.
The early days were the Wild Wild west. ENdless creativity to explore endless digital worlds. Nobody knew you were a girl if you had a name like “Rae” so you could argue endlessly about every topic under the sun. Fun fun fun and no daddy took the T-bird away.
Fast forward to 2022. I am sttring in the Day Room of the Middlerown ENeompass Healrh rehabilitation Hospital aftrr suffering two strokes that involved brain bleeds and all sorstt of awful things tha happen to 70something bodies that have not maximizedA healthy diet and exercise.
nd the fre wi-fi in this place is awful- diseastrous! barely functional. And the brain in tthis 70something body is operating under a whole bunch of deficits. Disastrous! BaRELY FUNCTIONAL. aND YET …. i AM FULL OF Gratitude for my life and I am eagr to begin again. Begin what? WHatever come next. The rest of my life. I need to be communicating and communicating is dificult. MY kyboarding skills are like a child’s who is just learning the language.
So I am frustrated. But game . The lights just went out in thr Day Room . No clue why. I guess I’LL Wander back to my room. I’m watching BET Awards. Feeling solidarity with the black community which has operated with cultural deficits for decades due to a very real and pervasive racist preference for people like me. I am starting to enjoy “wokeness” for its insistence on justice. We live in a time of grave Change and profound misunderstanding between people. We all opine when we should be listening and respecting.
I don’t want to signal virtue. I want to be virtuous. i want to respect every individual I encounter. I want to know virtue, to br virtue. I want to see virtue. Positivity is a virtue IMO.
The recipients of thre BET AWARDS ARE inspiring me witrh their acceptance speeches. They are speaking at length about the substance of personal achievement. Achivement is beautiful, in children and in adults.
Okay, trying to post a poem a day:
First Love (for Bill)
She hears his name
And the rim of the world recedes
The hallways curve with light
Her hair falls all to curls
And she has to pee.