Restarting

There is something wrong with my computer. It is reluctant to connect to our wifi. Sometimes we have five or six other devices all connecting, and it refuses to connect, wants us to reboot the router, as if pointing the blame away from itself. But even when the other devices are asleep and this laptop is the only device attempting to connect, it requires several attempts to get it to connect.

We’ve tried updating the drivers, scanning with antivirus, reentering the router’s address and password. It just refuses.

So every morning when I log on, I log on, open the browser, watch it not connect, and restart the computer.

Restarting.

It boots up again, I open the browser, attempt to connect to WordPress. No luck.

Restarting.

It boots up again, I open the browser, attempt to connect to WordPress. It gets to the login screen then drops the connection again.

Restarting.

Finally it connects.

At first I used to rant and rave during this process. When computers don’t do what they should, I feel as if they are pointing a finger of blame at me. That clearly there is something wrong with me that I can’t get this password to work or an XL formula to work or the laptop to connect to the wifi. So I used to scream at the laptop and had to restrain myself from throwing it across the room.

Now I am more equanimous about it. It’s nothing to get upset about, it’s just the procedure for connecting this laptop to the wifi. (It helps to remember what it was like to connect a computer via a modem – what a silly thing that was!)

This morning it occurred to me that this process is like meditation. You sit their quietly, let the thoughts fall to stillness around you. Take a few breaths. Then realize that your thoughts have crept back, that you’re planning dinner or remembering the euphoria of Obama’s election night — remember how we suddenly felt that anything was possible? — or the dread eight years later… and you catch yourself thinking and…

Restarting.

And then you let go of the thoughts. Let go of the emotion. Sit quietly for a few minutes.

Until you recognize that your mind has started up again. Now it’s thinking about that sound, that high-pitched sound that is so constant that you really only hear it when you are very quiet. You had thought it was the UN’s AC but are they even running the UN’s AC right now? Maybe it belongs to the building behind you. How inconsiderate of them! And how come their AC is on when yours isn’t yet? Although it’s such a beautiful morning that you don’t really miss it right now and…

Restarting.

And so it goes, the practice of letting your mind grow still.

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