Today I visited Shanghai in the rain, circumnavigated the mass of people and the vibrant colors of parasols sheltering the dreams dreamt only perhaps in Mandarin, beyond my comprehension, but their beauty I can interpret without a translator.
I then traipsed from there to Lebanon, where wearied field workers rested against stacks of wheat after a day of labor. Although I have no grasp of Arabic, the spentness of hardened muscles after real work transcends any language barrier, and I felt it.
Then I traveled to the Channel Isles and dug deep into my creative stores to ponder the perfect quiche-eating scenario that my mind could envision, and discovered that fertile imagination will always transcend distance, language and culture.
I joined a miner in the Forest of Dean, a miner of the natural beauty of our planet, fast disappearing under the weight of our arrogance and hubris; and wallowed amongst the Mallows found there near an abandoned quarry. Love of earth infused across a technical wonderland of wires, satellites, and encrypted signals, and that beauty settled into my consciousness.
Next stop was France, which I was hankering for after a discussion of quiche, but stumbled upon by accident, due to a shared passion with photography. I walked the boulevards I studied the language of for years, yet never quite made it to, and traveled briefly back in time to visit that young, naive girl who truly believed the entire world was her oyster, never realizing that oysters have no legs and are carried on currents.
And then I ended in the state of Tennessee, read words of love, of waiting, where again the commonalities of all hearts reaches across the divide of land, sea, language, culture; and felt the heartbeat of another, far more gifted with words than I, leap from the ether and touch the spark that is human in us all.
We live in a world unbounded now, where we can go and experience things while never leaving our desk. Where how many coins you may have jingling in your pocket is no longer a barrier to knowing; it costs only time.
Some say that the Web disassociates us, isolates us, that it makes us less open to human connection. I decry that, and say that it opens us to worlds of emotion, of experiences, that escapes the barriers which being land-bound factually creates and the crossing of which are still for the most part, limited to the privileged with an economy of time and means out of reach for many.
So I ask you, where did you go today? What dreams did it stir? With whom did you smile and share a momentary, if distant, connection? What delights did you discover, that you knew nothing of yesterday?
Imagination – the sharing of it creates a true Web, the web of humanity, blowing away our differences, and revealing our commonalities.
“You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
And a great song of promise…and realism
Be well. Keep smiling. Share yourself. Life is a beautiful thing.