I heard someone say they were tethered to their job today, and that got me thinking of the word tether and tethered, and tethering. I researched the most modern definition. Tethering is connecting one device to another. In the context of mobile phones and tablet computers, tethering allows sharing the Internet connection of the phone or tablet with other devices such as laptops. Connection of the phone or tablet with other devices can be done over wireless LAN (Wi-Fi), over Bluetooth or by physical connection using a cable, for example through USB.
Surprised to see this definition to the old word that usually implied tying an animal to a post? Me, too. I thought about what we’re tethered to… like,
Or are we bound to objects (like the smart phones and computers), people, ideas, or an action, an obsessive action? A Country? My one friend is tied to the news, every station, every event, and says, “I need to know what is going on in the world. There so much going on: Syria, drones, North Korea, the election. I’m afraid I’ll miss something I should know.” She’s tied to world events, the experiences of others. My mother was obsessed about the Kennedy’s, and had so many articles about them, she kept a scrap book. Talked about them incessantly. She also kept a scrap about manners–the appropriate way to behave at different social events, and also at the work place. She was fixated about being attractive, and acting appropriately, by the cultural standards of her time.
What about me? I’ve been obsessed lately about finding the right path. Will my life feel complete if I am acknowledged by others for my writing, listening, psychological, or teaching abilities? My plays, short stories, or helping when I can? A friend of mine at Hunter College School of Social Work, a priest getting his MSW with me, once said: “The happiest day of my life has already occurred, the day I became a priest.” He tied himself to God. I felt sad for him … almost like no other life experience would ever surpass that day.
Most often, we’re tethered to people, co-dependents–kinda like my mom. Kinda like loads of people. A friend of mine says she’s tethered to karmic energy, traces that follow us from life to life. I wouldn’t know about that, but tethering to an invisible force, like many do to religions, like my priest friend, is a form of co-dependency. Imagine being tethered to God? I couldn’t.
Oh well …
See how far my mind wandered, free and un-tethered contemplating tethered-ness? This is just a writer’s trip. No answers. One I take often when a word pops into my head.