August 03, 2008

Week 31 of 2008

Week thirty-one of 2008 has slipped past. My wife is still on vacation, though she’ll be coming back at the end of this week. I miss her greatly. I function reasonably well as a bachelor but there’s a persistent feeling of incompleteness and not-quite-rightness to being alone. I’ll be very glad to see her this weekend. We’ll get a chance to have dinner together at Medieval Times in Chicago when she gets back. Our fourth anniversary is this week.

Happenings of this week ... last Sunday I went to a house-blessing party for a couple from our church. While there, I struck up conversation with some of their neighbors. One of them was a sculptor by trade and was very interested in Epic. Our founder, Judy Faulkner, has made the artist community of Madison exceedingly happy over the years. The main Epic campus at Verona is filled with marvellous, quirky art of every kind. A few examples: they have artificial trees in one building, and wooden stairs leading through them upstairs. Midway up a “life-size” statue of a troll guards the landing. There is a lifelike sculpture of a squirrel in that tree. Just inside reception at Epic is a chessboard made of Muppet characters. There are dragons in that building as well. If you ever come by Madison, make sure you ask me to give you a tour of Verona. Anyway, this sculptor and a friend were so interested in Epic that I offered to give them a tour of the Verona campus this week. I was going to be in Verona anyway for a class on Friday, so we met for lunch (which is always good at the Epic caffeteria), and then I spent a little more than an hour giving them a tour of the place. It was a lot of fun. It’s always neat to show something wonderful to a person for the first time. One grows jaded to the glory of a place; it’s nice to have someone to remind you how cool it is. :)

I have finally acquired a library card! It’s been ten months since my wife and I moved to Wisconsin, so acquiring the card was painfully overdue, but at least I have it, at long last. :) A thought struck me as I wandered the library: I have a fairly large sense of awe when inside a library. The feeling of being surrounded by inestimable knowledge on every side has always made libraries seem a little ... awesome, possibly holy to me. There’s just so much there! The thoughts of thousands upon thousands of people, spanning hundreds of years, dozens of countries, and uncounted different perspectives are there, waiting for you on shelf after shelf. You could profitably spend your life there and still never come to the end of it. What struck me as odd was the fact that I feel no such similar awe when launching out onto the Internet. But all the knowledge packed into the library is the tiniest drop in the bucket next to the collosal knowledge at my fingertips when surfing the Web. There are the thoughts of millions (possibly billions by now) of people from every country of the world. In terms of sheer knowledge, the Internet outweighs any library many times over ... and yet I feel no such sense of awe. Partially because of how easily accessed the Internet is. You have to go to the library, enter the doors, and you see it all around you. The Internet can be accessed from the comfort of my own home (or from my Blackberry), but as a rule only one page is visible at a time. The Internet can hide its vastness behind the little windows we call monitors that we use to view it. But it strikes me that it would be wise to launch myself on the web with more awe than I do. I suppose what I need is someone who is experiencing it for the very first time, like the two gentlemen I gave a tour of Epic to.

Posted by Leatherwood on August 03, 2008 at 04:19 PM