Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Small Worlds, Continued

Entry for 30 January 2007:

My entry for 25 January, “Ecumenical Concert at St. Mary’s” attracted a couple of surprising and unexpected comments.

First, James MacMillan, the composer mentioned in the entry found my blog entry and commented on it less than 40 minutes after I posted it. At the time, I felt touched, pleased and somewhat taken aback because I couldn’t imagine how he had managed to find my piece so quickly. It took me a couple of day to realize that Blogspot is Google; that is, Blogspot blogs are part of Google and thus must automatically loaded into the gianormous Google database instantly, if not sooner. (If we don’t watch out, we will end up having comments posted for entries that themselves haven’t been put up yet!) However, the fact that there is a rational explanation does nothing to take away from the simple fact that Glasgow, Scotland, and in fact the world itself is much smaller than we (or at least I) have realized. More than just a small world, it feels like living in one of those rotating habitats in space, constructed from a hollowed out asteroid (a favorite of 1980's & '90's science fiction): We're kind of enclosed on ourselves, so that we meet ourselves and each other coming and going.

Second, Isabel posted a comment this morning in which she gently brought to my attention that we perhaps should have known the identity of the very nice woman who sat next to us at the concert, who did the readings as the concert and talked to us for a while after the concert. I had wanted to include her in my entry but didn’t because neither of us caught her last name. It turns out that she is so well known that she didn't need to be introduced to the audience, because everyone else but us knew already: Kathy Galloway, the leader of the Iona Community, about which I was going on in my entry. Yep, we are just a couple of bewildered Americans/Earthlings trying to find their way around the Habitat, continually running across a really complicated web of interconnections, and missing them most of the time. Furthermore, although I can’t be totally sure because she hasn’t come right out and told me, I’m reasonably confident that the Isabel who posted the comment is the same Isabel who is my student on at Strathclyde.

I don’t think I’ve ever lived in a community where so many people were this interconnected. This sort of thing just makes me dizzy; it’s wonderful, but takes some time to get used to, especially for someone used to American individualism and disconnection. Sometimes it's a bit scary, but I’d really like to live into this one and see where it takes us!

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