frances in the city

April 17, 2009, 12:52 am
Filed under: ponderings

I love the internet. I will be the absolute first to tell you this. I’ve grown up on this, so I really struggle fathoming how much time and dedication you old folks would dedicate to researching topics I can read about in literal seconds from the comfort of my couch. It blows my mind. I’m really thankful for the communication the internet has allowed, and I also appreciate the wealth of information (useful and not) available to us users of the world wide web. There have been a couple nights where my dad will instant message me internet links to pictures of places he visited in Europe. We’re hundreds of miles apart, but we can show each other what we’ve discovered in the past and present.

Every once in a while I come across something I’m really excited about. Usually I just bookmark it or save the image or send the youtube video to whoever it reminds me of the most. But I’ve got to tell pretty much everyone I know about this next one.
Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute from my beloved Office) started this amazing and unexpected website called SoulPancake. He wants this website to inspire conversation about spirituality, creativity, and philosophy. Rainn is personally a devout follower of Bahá’í teachings (I had to Wikipedia that one), but the site/questions/comments are open to anyone of any faith. They provide features, like interviews, blog posts, challenges, and questions, but they ultimately want to build a community where people can ask questions, offer answers, beliefs, theories, experiences, and participate in dialogue with other people. I love it! I’ve yet to actually respond. I’m just so overwhelmed by the quantity of sincere content. There’s a section called “Challenges” under the “stuff to do” tab. They just present a question and leave it up to the readers to respond in as many words as they’d like in the response section. So many thought provoking ideas.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Write a five-item list of things you’d actually be willing to chop off your pinkie-toe for.
  • Write a five-item list of things on your ‘to-don’t’ list.
  • What five books should everyone read—and why?
  • Write a five-item list of people who influence your art and how.

I love intentional conversation. I’ve truly craved it up here in Chicago. Some people are just purposeful about having meaningful discussion, and I haven’t found as many here as I’d like (All in good time). But this. This is so inspiring to me. I want to know the five things I’d actually be willing to chop of my pinkie toe for. I want to sit down and write who the five people who influence my art are. But I want to know your five item lists. I desire these conversations. Email me. Call me. Comment. I don’t care. But I’d love it if you could share something with me that results in sharing your heart. What’s on your ‘to-don’t’ list? What instructions would you include in a user manual for humans?
I sincerely wish I could take credit for questions like these, but I’m thankful that there are people out there using this crazy huge thing called the internet to connect with others in meaningful ways. There is so much to be shared and so much to be learned.



1 Comment so far
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Had a delightful breakfast with your mom this morning. We haven’t gotten together since January–and that’s too long! She got tearful about you :-). I LOVE intentional conversation, and I am often teased for asking questions like this. I wish I had the time to think about the answers and send them. Would love to hear your lists! Take care!

Comment by Lisa Herren

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