“ In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.”

 ~ Albert Camus

When is the last time you truly unplugged? What counts as unplugging nowadays anyway? Why is it so important to occasionally press your metaphysical reset button?

If there’s one thing we can all agree upon, it’s that we probably don’t do it often enough!

For those of us of a certain age, we can remember when life in general was much more unplugged.

It was 30 years ago this week that the Internet sprang to life. Within a decade, pretty much everybody who was anybody was on it.

Before then you’d be out all day doing whatever it was that you were doing until you got home and pressed the little button on the tape machine that was your telephone answering machine.

Nowadays people are likely to be incensed if you don’t reply to their text message within minutes.

It’s one thing to go on vacation and put an autoreply on your email while still peeking at your phone surreptitiously throughout the day.

It’s another to go someplace where not only is there no Wi-Fi, but no cell service. It’s a humbling experience to have that little supercomputer in your pocket be reduced to nothing more than a camera.

What’s interesting is to note how often you reflexively reach for it in those first hours off the grid.

Once you settle into it, it’s as if time starts flowing at a slightly different pace. Your perception opens up. You start paying attention to details, and experiencing the atmosphere in a totally different way.

For us, it had been way too long. What with Covid and all these past few years we’ve managed to pull off some traveling, but more in the spirit of family visits and necessary obligations.

This past week we finally succeeded in pulling the plug entirely and dropped off the radar to Orr Hot Springs

If you’re not familiar with Orr, it’s a cozy and semi-remote haven nestled in the hills west of Ukiah in Mendocino County, a few hours north of San Francisco.

A sacred healing spot for the Pomo tribe since time immemorial, it was first established as a retreat for western settlers in 1858.

Unlike some of the larger more well-known retreat centers, Orr has no workshops or events to speak of, it’s simply a place for folks to unwind. There’s no restaurant, you bring your groceries and cook in the community kitchen.

The icing on the cake is the fact that Montgomery Woods, which has some of the tallest and most secluded redwoods in the world is just a few minutes up the road.

And the hot water? Well, let’s just say it’s sublime. Aside from the community pools there are a number of long vintage clawfoot tubs where you can settle back with a good book and bathe to your heart’s content.

Wherever you are in the world reading this, chances are you’re not too far away from a place to recharge. Let this be your reminder that maybe it’s your turn?


Mark Metz
Director of the Dance First Association
Publisher of Conscious Dancer Magazine