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not Googling it

For Lent this year I am going to practice not Googling it.

Lent is a season in my religious tradition that stretches out for forty days (not counting Sundays, because Sundays are meant to be these sort of phantom days that disrupt our notions of time) from today, Ash Wednesday, all the way to Easter. It’s popular in my faith community to set an intention to deepen a spiritual practice during this stretch of forty days. Intentions can manifest as abstentions: Like in fourth grade when I gave up chocolate or my sophomore year of college when I gave up hot showers. And they can be proactive: Like the year I carried around one plate, one bowl, and one spoon that I used for all my meals.

This year I’m going to make believe that I don’t have immediate access to every answer to every question that enters my mind. I’m going to pretend that I don’t have Google or IMDB or Wikipedia to satiate my curiosities before they’ve really had a chance to invoke my capacity to wonder for a while. I’ll carry around a little notebook and bit of pencil so that I might jot down my wonderings, to research later on a phantom day perhaps or once the days have lengthened into the ordinary time beyond Easter. I’ll also ask around, and see what I can glean from conversation. I’ll probably get a dictionary to set here on my desk. I’m not trying to give up knowledge, just to disrupt my relationship with immediacy. But sometimes, I will just marinate in the sensation of not knowing, and let that be my practice.

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