So the plane is WIFI’ed! And with so many hours on my hands I thought I would reflect on surfing the web at 30,000 ft in the air. It Rocks! Who thought the heavens could be a part of the social networking world. When the Tanach describes the heavens above, the firmament above the earth, I am confident it did not include a connection to email and Facebook. The clouds outside the window and the streaming jet contrails off in the distance remind me that as I am hurtling eastward, my words are posted for all who want to read. When the ancients contemplated the heavens could they have imagined that their words would actually be a part of the heavens?
But as airplane and jet travel transformed the globe so too the ability to stay connected to friends, family and others even as one travels so far away through the wonders of email, the Web, and Twitter updates. The world is indeed much smaller.
The real challenge is that relationships are built locally. They are still built face to face. So even as we are connected by the streaming bits and bytes of information-presence matters. Being present-being an ongoing integral part of a friend’s life or a child’s life is the difference. For it is the small day-to-day, little interactions that transmit depth.
I know some of you will argue otherwise. That we are creatures in transition and that through all the posting and status updates and blogging you can know your family and friends better. But I still contend that hanging out together-feeling one another’s energy and yes, human interaction still sustains in a way tweeting cannot. It is good to hear another voice, look into someone’s eyes and get an immediate response. It is nurturing and keeps the soul intact!
So even as I post from the heavens. I will look forward to landing and being with people. And most of all returning after Sabbatical to see family, friends and community.