I listen to NPR’s Weekend Edition most weekends, especially Sundays. I slept late this morning, until almost 10am. It’s raining outside as the weather shifts in response to Tropical Storm Debby out in the Gulf of Mexico. The torrential rains will cause a deluge and flash flooding but we all need rain so badly, few are likely to complain. The springs and rivers are too low, many lakes are nearly dry. Texas has had the worst several year drought in a century. Where ever the storm tracks, next week the unhit areas will return to their petitions of “we just need a small, slow-moving tropical storm to bring us some rain and end this drought”.
Bob Edwards interviewed Eric Whitacre this morning about his virtual chorus and the new composition. Whitacre made a comment in the interview that struck me like lightening. I’m paraphrasing. He said the internet makes a new world that is “post-nation” and that human being will do almost anything to feel connected to other human beings and despite the ubiquity of connections, we are often in a room full of people but all alone. His 4,000 voice strong choir, all recorded and submitted individually, are compiled into a chorus to create his new piece Lux Arumque. He compared it to 4,000 messages in ‘electronic bottles’ all sent to him. The beauty and poetry overwhelmed me.
Last night I baked a new pound cake, at the urging of my internet and writing friend Amy. She wished me a happy weekend and suggested I make something yummy and post pictures. I’ve had this Orangette recipe for many months and set about making it. I had to stop in the middle and go get eggs and ($140 dollars of other groceries). I chatted on the mobile with a friend while baking the cake. We stayed on the phone while the cake did it’s best impersonation of a volcano, a slow lava batter flow forming stalactites and stalagmites in my oven.
It was that joy of having another person amused by my indignation over the cake misbehavior that made the experience fun. Had I been truly alone and solitary, the ‘mistake’ would have weighed on me. It is that uniquely human experience, the compassion of another person that allows us to find the humor in a situation, to forgive ourselves and to evolve. Otherwise, we get stuck.
Then late in the evening, when I should have been going to bed since I had taken Benadryl to combat the pistachio allergy, I got a text message from a virtual friend to hop on WOW and run a dungeon. I unapologetically admit to being a WoW chick, a Wowhead, a level 85 night elf hunter. I am Alliance. I am a sexy, turtoise-haired vixen; she is fierce and I’ll pay for my WoW account for as long as Blizzard exist. She personifies so much of me that the $14.99/month is worth it.
So….I jumped on and despite not having run a dungeon in over a year, I was suddenly in a five man run with my friend, my son, an old guild mate and a total stranger. I had an hour of true, unadulterated PLAY, escape and joy at achieving something innane and pointless. Like building a sand castle. It serves no purpose than to amuse me and bring me joy. And I get to chat with my son and listen to him given a few grown men clear and concise direction (he was the lead warrior calling all the shots).
I agree with Eric Whitacre. We go to great lengths to be connected.