Time to Put Me Out to Pasture

👤Joanne Campbell 🕔May 31, 2016

On days when work and life and everything that’s crazy in the universe converge at a singularity inside my head, I get overwhelmed to the point of having trouble speaking. Sentence structure goes out the window and words hide under ideas.

This usually manifests itself at our Northword proofing sessions: after our articles have been written and edited, a fantastic group of grammar nerds meet over wine and pizza and, armed with coloured pens, go over everything twice more. At this point, after riding shotgun the whole process, I sit in the corner and try not to drool or, god forbid, talk because when I do open my mouth to speak incoherence falls out.

I’m sure my proofers think I’m simple.

It’s at this point in the process that I need to be put out to pasture. No, literally, put outside, in a pasture, with cows and bugs and fresh air, with no computers or cell phones or Netflix or anything that at some point in its cycle has to be plugged in to work. I need to be unplugged in order to recharge

Here’s how I’d like to see it unfold:

Take me away, by the hand if you need to, do whatever it takes to get me away from electronics and memes and likes and YouTube. Replace them with rolling fields with a view of a valley, banded by rows of mountains and maybe a lake or two. Sit me down on a thick cotton blanket spread in the grass with a little stream nearby. At hand, a picnic basket full of good things to eat, like triple-cream Brie with blueberry chutney on a fresh sourdough baguette, a handful of sun-warmed wild strawberries, maybe some nice chocolate and a bottle of merlot. White china, heavy silverware, crystal glass.  

Also in that basket, a real photo album with hardcopy photos of family and friends, and heart-bound events I don’t ever want to forget.

Even better would be some actual family and friends. And a dance floor. Yes, that would be very good indeed, a great big dance floor laid out perfectly, out in the pasture. And a stage for music. Acoustic, of course, heavy on the percussion. The cows won’t mind. We’ll invite them to join us and we’ll all dance and play until after the sun slides under the horizon, leaving that tantalizing slice of electric blue, and the stars would dance with the aurora until we all fall down exhausted.

But, you say, wait—what about the fire? You can’t have a pasture party without a fire! Given how dry our summers have been lately, the fire-pit-in-the-pasture party might have to wait until the fall (unless the rain gods giveth what the sun gods taketh away). We’ll just have to dance by the light of the silvery moon. And our solar patio lanterns.

Of course, at this very moment, this pastoral interlude is still just another thought stuck in the singularity, something to look forward to when I’m able to speak again. I need to unplug in order to recharge, but don’t we all? Isn’t that why we live here, to have quick access to the great unplugged?

Point us to the pasture. We’ve got some recharging to do.