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October 11, 2011

Its Not Enough to Tweet, You Also Gotta Push Send

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/its_not_enough_to_tweet_you_also_gotta_send_20111011/

Every day we communicate with remote aloofness that creates virtual connections. We tweet, we facebook, we text, I.M, BBM, M&M- woops wrong M. We have figured out how to be inspired through virtual distance. We listen to talk radio, we observe other’s lives on television, and we are affected daily while sitting quietly as other people live their lives. If you don’t believe me, spend one evening with Extreme Makeover- Home Edition, and you’ll understand what I mean. Freaking inspiring show! Every time I watch it I cry like a baby, it also makes me want to buy a hammer. But with all these forms of communication, are we really creating connections, or are we putting words out there in the world without any real reaction at all? As a friend’s friend posted on her facebook page yesterday, “If you tweet in the woods but no one’s there to hear it, does it really make a sound?”  The question is are we really making any difference at all? In this new age of technology are we truly building relationships or has the art of communicating to stimulate connection become extinct, destroyed and perverted by a click of a button?

There is so much information being shared, still so many complain that connection has been disrupted.  Yet we continue to put ourselves out there in the world every day through these means of technology with the hope that our words will serve as purpose, that business partnerships will be made, that friendships will be built, that love connections will be formed, and that our lives will be recognized.

In this month of Tishrei where we celebrate Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and finally Sukkot we are surrounded by prayers and words and speak in song and we rely on these ancient phrases to connect us to our Creator. We rely on our voices to be carried to the heavens to create change and impact our lives for the rest of the new year to come. We blow the shofar with its primitive sounds and hope the sounds pierce our hearts.  We make amends to G-d and say the proverbial “I’m sorry” adage, hoping that alters our relationship and our future. Why is it so crazy to believe that our voices down here can create vibrations, which resound an echo of connection sort of like a virtual tweet Up there? 

We have finally used technology to duplicate our connections with people as we have always communicated with our Higher Creator.  We have been tweeting and creating status lines and speaking in short hand into the woods since the beginning of time. We have been blowing noise into the folds of the universe since the first Ram walked past Abraham on that fateful dewy morning when the animal got stuck in the thicket bush.  We have been speaking all along, and hoping that these ancient poems, phrases and songs create, friendship, love, and affection from above. We have always hoped and believed that those “tweets” that sometimes feel unnoticed have been recognized by our Creator.

Words are a powerful medium for affecting the universe. We use them every day. We chant words, sing words, rhyme words, write words, read words, and now tweet and facebook words.  We continually use this medium of communication to form connections. But they are only the beginning.
Like a tide that has started by a push of wind from the flapping of a pelican into the infant tempest sea that builds into an adult wave, we are not here to tweet without building that sentence into a conversation that morphs into action.  Words are the engine, but how we react to those words, how we create because of those conversations, how we respond because of those phrases, that is the ultimate test and where the truth of our abilities lies.

My father had a great saying while I was a kid. He used to say “Just show up.”  We’ve spent the past few holidays talking, sharing, listening to speeches, tweeting “Happy New Year”, but now it is Sukkot. Now it is time to “Just Show up”. Now we gather in temporary outdoor structures and we engage together. Now we gather the citron fruit, the frond of a date palm, the leaves of a myrtle and the branches of a willow, and hold them in our hands united as one. These four kinds, which represent diversity in human kind are bound together creating our action after the conversation. As for my facebook friend’s friend, who I have never met, who I only know by words through cyber space who had said: “if you tweet in the woods but no one’s there to hear it, does it really make a sound,” to him I say Yes we do hear the sound, but if we do not reach out to someone, share and just show up by reacting to that sound to build our connections further, than maybe that is when the sound dies along with our own actions that never had the courage to pick up the vibrations and learn to carry it through.

Maybe the point to all these short hand connections is to eventually elaborate them into vulnerable intimate dialogue. If we just show up to eat a meatball under bamboo mats surrounded by Home Depot tarp- then maybe finally the connection can finally begin. Cause if we can’t walk into our relationships vulnerable to the elements, wearing our muddy boots that include all of our good bad and ugly, than really, what becomes the point to any of it?

Have an awesome Sukkot. And to all those gardeners who have to work around our temporary outdoor structures that look like cabanas, we salute you.

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