Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hands Around the Globe

I am writing this on my phone at a Pasifika wharfside festival. A Samoan dance crew is doing their thing on stage, with much beating of wooden drums. A huge cruise ship is moored just metres beyond them; tantalising smells emanate from a row of food stalls behind me. The sky is only partly cloudy, so I'm hopeful the lunar eclipse will be visible in a few more hours when it gets dark.

Ferries sway in the harbour and a soft warm breeze is blowing. It was an easy choice to go sleeveless tonight, though the umbrella's always packed in case the unpredictable local weather turns wet.

That's the backdrop. And I'm hopeful in many other ways today too. Earlier, I began the day by chatting online with a writing colleague. In his part of the world it was early evening. He asked a question that jolted me out of my everyday reverie: when are you going to do such-and-such? Now I can't tell you just what he said because that would ruin the surprise; in any case, it was something I wouldn't have thought of myself. Something I had seen others do and sighed a little enviously at. So the question gave a much-needed prod and I began to think. Yeah, why don't I plan to do that?

One friend went offline and later another came on. It was after midnight where he lives and afternoon in New Zealand. I told him of the idea that had been provoked, and instantly he leapt on it. How exactly? What are the specifics? I came up with a few, and he said do it now. Start that thing rolling. So I did. I'm very excited where it might go, but it's so new there's nothing to tell yet.

Other times it's happened in a similar manner. Wonderful ideas are born in global conversations that I then picked up with whatever time zone happened to be around. Whether by video chat or text or a plain old phone call, we join hands around the globe in a wave of inspiration that grows with each turn of the planet.

And help is never far away. When the Americans go to sleep, the Europeans are just getting up, and when I get up, the Americans are generally raring to go. So at any time at all, I can count on having a colleague at hand to help out with a brainstorm in time of need.

As I finish this up, the lunar eclipse can be seen in the northeast sky. I ping another note off to my friends around the world. Today, I've seen new things. Hope, and dreams, and the shadowed moon.


  1. Grace this sounds wonderful - but when will you tell us what you're doing? You've sparked our creative juices and we're ready to join in. But WHAT ARE WE DOING? :-)

    You're so right about global friendships. They're wonderful. And with Skype, there's always someone somewhere ready to talk!

  2. I come from a land of immigrants, including my grand-parents and great grand-parents. I'm still in Canada, but I did move 3000 miles from home, so I know a little about leaving. I've always felt a certain sorrow for those hardy souls who left home, knowing they would never see a loved one again, and for those who stood on the docks and waved good-bye, forever. And now, you can talk to your friends around the world as easily as you'd drop in on a neighbour. Ain't technology wonderful!

  3. I too watched the moon's eclispe way up here in the Northwest. FANTASTIC. And I took wondered in my heart of what this wonderful thing could mean. Like Mary the mother of Jesus, we store these things away in our heart. Have a great Christmas Grace.

  4. Grace, you've said very well at least part of why I'm so excited to be part of this group. It reminds me of one of my favorite hymns "The Day thou gavest, Lord, is Ended"
    "We thank thee that thy Church unsleeping,
    While earth rolls onward into light,
    Through all the world her watch is keeping,
    And rests not now by day or night."
    We can sleep because on around the world others are awake and praying.

  5. I would love to have you join in! All in good time, friends :) Don't worry, you'll hear all about it...

  6. Donna - so funny. At the end of our Christmas Day as I fell into bed last night, I started to sing this very hymn. As our family celebrated the birth of our Saviour, we also anticipated the end of the earthly life of our sister-in-law. The words of that hymn gave me comfort and encouragement as I switched off the light and looked forward to a new day.