Cell phones. E-mail. Call-forwarding. FAX machines. Thanks to the miracles of technology and communications, we're available to our supervisors, clients and customers nearly 25 hours a day. What's more, based on the popularity of these newer forms of keeping in touch, we like them. Perhaps it's the novelty. At any rate, our time for leisure, voluntarily or not, has been reduced. And leisure time is what's needed to relax and to focus on where we've been and where we're going. We must escape, or we risk perpetual preoccupation with occupation.

It could be we're confused with all of the choices we have for using up spare time -- a zillion cable channels, the internet, chat rooms...we're easily distracted from what should be happening during our leisure time...slowing down.

Perhaps a large power outage is what's needed to wean us from our technological dependency. We could then work to keep our imaginations vivid by reading by candlelight; studying a collectible and fantasizing where it came from and what was happening around it at the time; or spending time creating something from our own hands to later display and admire. It is from these exercises that brilliance blossoms — the new author, or authority, or artist. Or perhaps just simply some time away from dollars and callers.

If it really is too difficult to break the habit of techno-dependency after hours, then maybe a self-generated 'power failure' might be in order.

But then again, maybe not.

Otherwise, you wouldn't be reading this.