conversation

the problem with having school online is that i’d much rather be reading interesting thoughts posted on blogs of friends. i’ve been a bit sheepish about my love of blogs lately, but this morning i decided that’s silly. i know people who are just as talented as anyone i would read in a book. the simple fact that their thoughts aren’t published and distributed means absolutely zilch. it’s like i get to wake up and read a chapter in good books written by several friends. most mornings. that’s so much more interesting than reading chapters in interesting books by people i don’t know…because i can’t reply to them. it can’t be a conversation.

i’ve been pondering the idea of interaction for several years now. the dictionary says interaction is “a reciprocal action, effect, or influence. the direct effect that one kind of particle has on another, in particular, in inducing the emission or absorption of one particle by another.” the first time i thought about it (at least in my adult life) i was standing in front of this bizarre contraption created by a friend as a party decoration.  he had built two frames of wood – four feet wide by eight feet tall – and strung fishing line across them from right to left about every two inches. he then glued square inch bits of tissue paper to back to back with the fishing line between, so that each line of wire was more something like a tissue paper necklace stretched taught.

i love the construction and creation of just about any object, what intrigued me in this particular moment was the movement caused by someone – anyone – nearby. you could walk in the front door at the other end of the hallway and the tissue paper would flutter at the other end. i could stand in front of the frames and wave ever so slowly inches from the frame, and without ever touching them, they would respond. and yes, this is normal. it is something we never consider because it is so normal. but this particular day it started a storm in my head: i’m not even touching anything! I move my hand, my hand moves invisible particles that touch other invisble particles and they smash around until one of them bumps into another solid, visible, tangeable object that i can see! incredible!

i made all sorts of things testing and demonstrating my theories. things that move when you walk in a room, things that move and make noise (herein started my obsession with wind-chimes), all numbers of things that change depending on what is affecting them.

yes, i know how elementary all of it sounds, but the idea is fascinating to me and it goes beyond “inanimate” objects. i hav a love-hate relationship with interaction. mostly because i’m a human being. and as human beings, i think very deeply we all live with the understanding that we exist for a reason that is beyond our own independent selves. and that we have a responsibility within it all. our actions affect the people and things close to us. but not only that. they affect people and things we may never meet or see. and that’s a huge responsibility. one that i often wrestle with.

but this interaction – this ability to affect people and things – it’s somewhere deep down at the roots of why i do anything i do. because it makes a difference. because what i do matters. i love reading the words of my friends. their thoughts – whether silly, sad, wise, or simultaneously all of the above. because i am who i am because of the people who have been a part of my life – in whatever length or intensity. and i’m grateful for the interaction.

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lenticular?

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Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.
-Kahlil Gibran

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