Our times are filled with distractions. Our minds filled with endless horizons and information to be discovered and surfed through. The internet is now a 24/7 companion of many through our mobile devices. It fits in smaller and smaller gadgets, pocket size screens capable of connecting people, ideas, images, news… and beyond. I’m an avid user and liker myself. The internet has long been my tool to research and communicate. Living across the continent, the internet has definitely become a means through which I overcome the geography of distance. I write long e-mails, I blog, I post photos and occasional status updates on Facebook, I read the News, I skype-see everywhere my mom goes, I surf on Craigslist for used items, I follow other people’s pages, and clearly, all of that takes up a considerable chunk of my precious time. When access becomes so easy and versatile the greatest trick is to disconnect and turn our wi-fi minds off.
It’s about 2:30pm in the Similkameen Valley. The sun is out, glimmering the mountain hills and orchards. Georgia is resting on a blanket, kicking around, squeaking, doing her new bbbfffff sound, shaded by Sumac trees. Thanks to wi-fi I get to sit here and write. The computer screen holds endless possibilities between the digital-micro-satelite-levels and the physical-present-sitting-down-self. Like many of us, I strive to find a balance between connectedness and be-here-now. My blog posts are inspired by real moments and real children’s books. This blog post is dedicated to a dear friend of ours, Robynne, and the wonderful parody picture book she gave Georgia. Before we get into the book, a few words about Robynne must be said. Robynne is strong hearted and strong minded. She has an incredible attitude to life’s ups and downs, knowing when to let it pass, when to pick it up again, and when to tell it f*** off for a while. We’ve had some great talks and laughs. During which she’s quite loud. Don’t try to talk to her about any secrets (just kidding, she is one to trust your heart). Robynne can cheer you up just by showing up. Yesterday, she came over with her beloved birthday gift. I introduce to you, sweet rocking June (and Cherry, the guitar strap):
Robynne and Max have been playing together for long… long enough to fill a couple of song books. Brash & Frown (stands for their last names Frash and Brown) is a promising duet. Robynne rocks the voice cords on original and cover lyrics, along with Max’s folky blue-grassy tunes… I’m a fan (and so is Georgia). Now Robynne is stretching her fingers around June’s arms marking the beginning of a new phase of her musical talent.
Goodnight iPad is a reminder and joke about our, sometimes overly, digital lives. This book is a funny adaptation of the classic Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hunrd. Goodnight iPad is written and illustrated by Ann Droyd (aka David Milgrim). Click here to read a review and watch a book trailer on the Guardian. It starts out “In the bright buzzing room, there was an iPad and a kid playing Doom and a screensaver of -” The following pages refer to the latest of our techy lives: angrybirds, Nooks, HD-TVs, Blackberry phones, Facebook friends, YouTube, E-mails and Tweets, until the old woman in the room decides it’s time to Goodnight all of it! Launching each one of the gadgets out the window and finally everyone is going to sleep… And a peek into the dark room shows us the original Goodnight Moon being read under a flashlight.
It’s early to tell, Georgia is about to turn 5 months old. I notice her mesmerized eyes at the glimpses of TV and computer screens. I often skype my mom and Koochie in what is like weekly hang-outs. The other day while packing in Vancouver, Koochie entertained Georgia with his baby-talk via skype. When I look back, Georgia is giggling away to Koochie’s faces and sounds. In that moment, he was more present than anything else around her.
I can’t deny the practicality and joy I get from our digital/internet age but I feel a desire and commitment to share with Georgia the incomparable life: kept simple, wholesome, and organic. Her growth forces us to journey life at a slower pace and through a different scope. Seeing ourselves as example and parents. Our families, wide and diverse, bring Georgia a world of blend cultures, flavours, climates, languages, and places. During this month I will bring you more about Georgia’s time at the farm and the books that made outside our boxes. And in about a month we’re traveling from Max’s hometown, through Vancouver, onto a plane, stopping over in Dallas, onto a second plane, arriving in São Paulo, my home-gigantic-crazy-speedy-city. For now, here’s a glimpse of life in the Valley, Georgia during her morning read with Max: