Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday five: nothing endures but change

Thank you, Heraclitus, you wise one, for that nugget of truth.

In honor of my first week in the RevGalBlogPals web ring, I joyfully join in this thought-provoking Friday Five:

1. What modern convenience/ invention could you absolutely, positively not live without?

I am umbilically attached to my iPod. It's the satisfyingly- well-designed little vessel that carries my music with me (for practice, for exploration and for pleasure), and also gives me instant access to audiobooks and various other forms of food for my head--sermons from daily chapel at a couple of seminaries and much from NPR, in podcast form: The Writer's Almanac, Speaking of Faith, This I Believe, Story of the Day, The Splendid Table, American Radioworks, This American Life...and the giggles of Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!

Well, and since I started writing this blog and reading many of yours, I'm awfully attached to my Mac, as well. :-)

2. What modern convenience/invention do you wish had never seen the light of day? Why?

When I'm in a public place, my answer to this would unfailingly be "the cell phone." We seem to be losing a couple of things since it came: a groundedness in the present time and place, and a sensitivity to the presence of others in the space around us. An argument could well be made that the iPod isn't helping that, either. True. But the cell phone thing adds the weird intimacy of being in someone else's conversation, in a wish-I-could-figure- out-how-not-to-listen kind of way. And don't even get me STARTED about the driving hazard.

3. Do you own a music-playing device older than a CD player? More than one? If so, do you use it (them)?

There's a tape deck in my car, and a turntable at home. They get used on a very occasional basis...they can't handle most of my present media!

4. Do you find the rapid change in our world exciting, scary, a mix...or something else?

Ummm...yes. Access to information and richness of technology are fantastic, and I'm tickled that my friend Sara and I can have immediate access to one another via blog, e-mail and Skype, though I'm in Minnesota and she's in India. And it's wonderful to get to connect with so many of you and to read what you're thinking about. However, I'm a bit worried in a general kind of way: the constant bombardment with information and the million opportunities present in the world right now suggest that we can have ALL of it, participate fully and assimilate immediately. Which is fallacious and exhausting...and oh, so seductive. Makes it hard to follow Large Thoughts from beginning to end, and that's apparent in every conversation I have about worship planning. That grieves me. We might be losing our collective ability to find and keep silence.

5. What did our forebears have that we have lost and you'd like to regain? Bonus points if you have a suggestion of how to begin that process.

The immediacy and constancy of intergenerational community, for all its joys and woes. Living and growing and aging among the same group of people has a quiet depth that I think we mostly miss in this Age of Affinity and Right Now. I'm always happy to be part of a barn-raising of some kind (though I AM grateful to be past the years in which a different group of friends was moving every weekend). The forms have changed (now it might look like a deck-building or a rehearsal or Meals On Wheels), and it's harder to fit these things in to our modern schedules, but any opportunity to build community is time well spent.


Jan said...

Good play, but best of all, I love that quote by Heraclitus. Thanks for that link!

Counselor in Process said...

I'm with you on the cell phones and what would I do without my MAC! Good Play.

Singing Owl said...

Have I said welcome to Rev Gals yet?

Welcome to Rev Gals. And thanks for playing. Good thoughts.