October 29th, 2002

abstract butterfly

I dreamed I found a new continent on google

I have the sense that all life is available on a hyperlink, if only I know the right search term to use to find it. I consider myself a rather good web surfer, capable of finding liberating moments with the flick of the tail of my mouse. Of course, liberation is entirely within the mind of the liberated. Sunday night I found www.fasola.org, the website for the Sacred Heart Singers. Sacred Harp, or shape note singing, was a 19th C. way of singing church music in which an earlier, simplified "fasola" scale was used. The great advantage of this scale was that it is very easy to teach to people who do not read music. The resulting unison choruses are throaty, resonant, bursts of joy, which are not about talent, just about participation. Listening to the snippets of sound available on line, and reading the history of how the tradition was preserved after most of the country was converted to modern musical scales, makes me want to seek out the local Primitive Baptist church where they do practice singings, so that I can drink in and be drunk by, the sounds of loud voices, singing together, without fear.

If Atlantis exists, I'm sure it can be found on google, and I'll bet the real problem is too many hits. 1,000,000,000 sites of fanfic about Atlantis, you know, and only 1 Atlantis. On a far less spiritual plane, I like the game in which I figure out the most absurd phrase, particularly a mildly purple bit of pseudo-erotic prose or a stereotypic bit of religious sermonizing, and then run it through google in quotes. The thing one learns from this game is that no matter how trite or improbable the phrase, a surprisingly high percentage of the time that phrase has been used in 62 websites. When I want to buy anything fun, I go find some obscure little site that has it, or buy it on ebay.

I dream of finding museums of rural photography, ant farms in full swing, hiking trails I've never dreamed existed, musics I've never heard which hypnotize me, art I've never seen but which blows me away. Someday the 'net will be domesticated--but right now I revel in its anarchy and chaos.

In my eighty seven seconds of planning for my November novel, I've come to realize that
the discovery of life in outer space with a radio telescope will seem trite and difficult to prove as contrasted with the cool graphics which life can portray in cyberspace. Who needs a warp drive when one has google.com? Who will need to discover anything when millions of websites are little islands out there, waiting to be found?
  • Current Music
    "Google Killed the Video Star"
abstract butterfly

Out on the road, but no private cul de sacs

I managed to catch my plane on time, thread my way through downtown SF back onto the north 101, feel filled with wonder on the Golden Gate Bridge,
feel amused when the highway sign said "Redwood Highway", but those gnarled scrubby things were live oaks and the little shrubs we call mountain mahogany, feel a bit more impressed when the trees begin to look more like real mahogany, and then impressed indeed when I thought I saw some redwoods.

I'm in CA for a matter tomorrow, after which I fly across the country to a meeting someplace altogether different, after which I drive and fly to get back home again. I enjoy the solace of reading friends' posts, even as the hectic flurry of things makes me a less assiduous commenter than I'd like to be.

I liked the woman next to me on the plane today. She and her husband were taking a daughter to the central valley to allow her to do a school visit of a church college. It turned out in their denomination, only 5 schools in the whole country will "do", and this was the most remote. I assured her that inland central CA is not really that different from small town Texas. She was impressed that I had heard of the 2,500 person town in Texas from whence they came. She explained that they moved there when her husband, a minister in xyz church, "needed a rest", and that the small town was a place where a lot of ministers in xyz denomination "rested". I imagine in the back of my mind, someplace, a congregation filled with sleeping ex-ministers, a sort of rest for the non-wicked.

It's too bad I don't feel any call to any ministry of any faith. I think giving sermons weekly would be fun!