Thursday, January 28, 2010

State of Apple, State of the Union

So, it's been many years since I qualified as a techie geek, if ever I qualified. In middle school, for some reason, our school got a computer, and a core group of us learned to program in BASIC. Yes, I missed all instruction on decimals and percentages during my years of moving around, but I learned to program a computer. I know that language is dead now, but once I knew the thrill of making the computer do what I wanted, as it played Hangman with me.

These days, I don't often have the thrill of making the computer do what I want. I bow to the will of some unknown programmer somewhere and hope for the best. These days, I just want all the technology units to play nicely together.

I went to a technology meeting yesterday where we saw a presentation about SMART Boards and SMART Slates, and then I heard about the iPad. Frankly, the SMART Boards and SMART Slates I'd seen earlier had more of a magical presence. Maybe I'd feel differently if I held an iPad in my hands. On my old screens, it's hard to judge how much better the iPad screen might be.

I spent the afternoon catching up on some reading, making beef stroganoff, catching up on some poetry and retreat planning tasks. It was lovely.

I have no opinion on the State of the Union address because I didn't stay up to watch it. But truth be told, I almost never watch the State of the Union. Go ahead and talk about your plans. Wake me up when it's time for action.

I used to faithfully watch the State of the Union. I thought it was my duty as a good citizen. I remember in the mid 90's, the first time I turned off the State of the Union, how subversive I felt as I read and listened to old Suzanne Vega CDs. Then I wrote poetry into the wee, small hours of the morning, and I slept a contented sleep. Ever since then, I haven't tuned in.

Last night, I finished reading Nora Gallagher's The Sacred Meal. Gallagher is such a beautiful writer. Even if you're not a Eucharist geek the way that I am, you might enjoy the poetry of her writing. She talks about the first miracle of Jesus, at the wedding feast, turning water into wine. Then she says this: "In the clear water of our lives lies undiscovered wine. It is our charge, as men and women, as human beings, to commit ourselves to seeking and finding that heady spirit in our sisters and brothers and in ourselves. How to do that is probably different for everyone, but the first step is to know the wine is there" (page 66). For more on that book, wander over to my theology blog, where I wrote about it in more detail.

Then I read a bit from my print edition of the Qarrtsiluni journal's Journaling the Apocalypse theme issue. You can read it online here, but I liked it so much that I bought the print copy. What does it mean that I both love the Eucharist and hold the end of the world as we know it as one of my favorite themes? I see certain symmatries in that, but let me not wander into heavy theological territory.

Instead, I'll think about the issue of dead languages: dead computer languages, dead languages like Latin, dead languages in family units. Hmm. I feel a poem percolating.

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