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Adele Elliott: Tangled webs


Adele Elliott



The machines are rebelling. At work, my computer died a dramatic death. It crackled like a raging fire. Horrible noises broadcast down the hallway, terrifying my coworkers. Then, the screen went black. At home, I got no e-mail for about two months; then 5,000 came at one time. 


Even when the machinery seems to be working, there are Internet issues to unravel. It''s no wonder this system is called "the World Wide Web." I truly believe it was designed by spiders. But, like it or not, we are trapped in a sticky grid that few understand. 


In our office we have a sort of tech support. Unfortunately, they are not exactly "in our office." A phone call summons them, usually the same day. They can connect us to the server and tweak a problem or two. But, twice lately, the cable company has mistakenly cut us off. Tech support can''t fix that. (Note to everyone: It''s a lot easier to turn the Internet off than to turn it back on again.) 


Perhaps it''s time to address the problems that I can actually solve -- those that do not involve technology. 


I will try to tone down my criticism. This may be difficult, because I am so good at it. It''s easy to find flaws in others, especially other writers, and almost impossible to critique my own work. 


I plan to do more for the animals. Chris and I certainly do not need any additional children; we are at our saturation point. But, occasionally we could slip a small check to the Columbus-Lowndes Humane Society or to Cedarhill Animal Sanctuary. 


Shopping locally is a good idea. I''m lazy and order most of my clothes from catalogs. Recently I found a pair of shoes at Leigh Mall that were exactly the same as one I had just ordered. Not only were the shoes here almost half the price of the ones ordered online, but I didn''t have to pay shipping charges. That made a big difference in the final price. That difference would have made a nice gift to the animals. 


I will complain less. Sometimes it''s advantageous to notice the loveliness around us, instead of all the imperfections. Yes, the summer is already too hot. However, we are not having floods or tornados or swimming in oil. We truly have it pretty good. 


On my porch, a small spider has woven a lovely web. It glistens in the morning sunlight. He has spun a gossamer lace, zigzagging and crisscrossing in delicate, filmy lines softening the corner of one column. I get such pleasure from each glimpse of that fragile creation. 


I wish that I could find beauty in the tangled web of wires and cables that make up the dreaded Internet. It is truly a trap -- once entangled, impossible to escape. The time has come, I think, to disconnect a bit more from things that frustrate me and link my soul to mechanisms and matters that are genuinely important. 



Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.


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