Nature and Technology: The Reconciliation of Opposites

The late great Canadian author Robertson Davies once wrote that the Jungian definition of balance is the reconciliation of opposites. That has always stuck with me, and I am thinking about this a lot right now during this time of the coronavirus.

As someone who loves the natural world, I’ve done a fair amount of grumbling over the  years about technology, screens, and the Internet. From the time I was a teenager, a part of me has longed to live on a small farm with chickens, apple trees, and a big garden.

But I am married to a computer geek, and a small farm was not one of his wishes. Therefore, as it is with many marriages, we have compromised. We live on a rural road, surrounded by trees and nature and wildlife. But our house is kitted out with computers and all the technology that goes along with it. And I’ve got to admit that during this period of self-isolation, I have been ever so grateful for computers and technology as well as the woods outside my home.

Last weekend, in our very own living room, we “visited” with our North Carolina kids via our laptop, where we could talk and see their shining faces. We chatted for about two hours, and it was great.

Daily, I have been visiting with various blogging friends, and through posts and comments, I am connected with folks all around the world. How I value these connections.

At night, Clif and I watch something from one of our streaming services. Last night it was The King of Masks, recommended by our librarian Nick and available through Kanopy. This poignant film took us to China in the 1930s, where it examined poverty, gender roles, love, and generosity.

Yesterday afternoon, via the Internet, our library’s movie club—Cinemates—got together to discuss the 2002 film The Hours, a moving and heart-wrenching look at Virginia Woolf, mental illness, caretakers, and how a book can ripple through the ages to affect both readers and family. One member of our movie club noted how you can tell an awful lot about a person by the way they fill their hours.

Maybe, just maybe, going forward, our society can reconcile these two opposites—nature and technology—and twine them together in a way that in a way that honors nature while electronically connecting us to each other and the world.

Coronavirus News from Maine

From Maine CDC

Maine’s number of cases of the coronavirus: 155

The News from All Over

From CNN

New York has become the national epicenter of the outbreak, as cases there are now doubling every three days, overwhelming hospitals. New York state’s hospitals have enough personal protection equipment for just two more weeks, Governor Andrew Cuomo has said, while it’s in need of 180,000 more beds.

To help stave off a crippling recession, the Senate voted to inject a $2 trillion stimulus into the US economy, a move that now needs approval from the House. President Donald Trump has pledged to get the economy “raring to go by Easter,” a goal that experts warn is too ambitious.

A record-breaking 3.28 million Americans filed for their first week of unemployment benefits last week…

The Latest Numbers

Global Cases: 487,648

Global Deaths: 22,030

My Own Take: Over this week, Maine’s coronavirus numbers have edged up ever so slowly. I am cautiously hopeful that with all the self-isolating and business closures, Maine will be able to stem the horrible  coronavirus tide. Only time will tell. Fingers and toes crossed.

38 thoughts on “Nature and Technology: The Reconciliation of Opposites”

  1. It’s good to see you and Dad’s shining faces too!! 🙂 Very grateful for being able to video chat. It makes the distances not seem so far.

  2. Stay well and we hope to be able to see you two as soon as we can come out of hiding, at least on the deck, if not indoors.

  3. I suspect that many of us in the rural world rely on technology. I am not so sure that urban dwellers understand the importance of nature. Maybe as pollution decreases with us all staying put that will change. Thank you for another thought provoking post.

  4. Totally agree – we’ve been having weekly video calls with our parents. We have so many children crammed into the screen my dad laughs and says it’s like chatting to a hydra 😀

  5. Yes, this pandemic has really made us all value family and friends, and keeping in touch by video is great. I send my granddaughter little presents every now and then and she opens them while we are chatting…really lovely. Have a good day Laurie!

  6. I know the internet is often used for bad things but here it is really coming in to its own. It really is making a difficult time a bit more bearable isn’t it?

  7. I, too, hope we can find some kind of balance between nature and technology. I am so grateful for the connections, both here (online) and outside in nature. 🙂

  8. NH took a step to shut non essential things down as of midnight tonight until May 4. I must admit that seem daunting since I’m at Day 12 at home already, but here’s hoping everyone does what they can and together we’ll bring the curve down. Stay safe.

    1. Oh, I know! And the same to you and yours. As you might recall, we have a daughter in New York Center, the epicenter of it all. She is working from home, and so far, so good. But still!

  9. Lovely post. I’m certainly valuing blog friends more than ever now and am calling more folks to chat by phone. Some of the online services — for the ESL volunteering, streaming a final town board meeting, or having a dance party with grandkids — have been extremely frustrating, but I am getting better at most of those things or finding alternatives.

  10. Hi, Laurie – I too need a mixture of Nature and technology in my life….especially now. Currently, Richard and I go for daily long walks on the forested trails near our home. I am also now fully absorbed in Michael Finkel’s ‘The Stranger in the Woods’. I am definitely getting my Nature fix. Stay well!

  11. We just can not be more alike! I have cursed technology like a sailor and swore it was almost evil-at times- I love chickens and apple trees, too-but now, I am so very grateful for technology! I am fickle, it seems! Stay safe and well. love Michele

    1. For us, it is relatively new. We did not grow up with computers and the Internet. But during this time of plague, we are seeing how essential they are at keeping us connected with family and friends. I will grouse about them no longer. And may you and yours stay safe and well.

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