Thursday, July 2, 2015

Beyond the Bubble

Going to Falls Church last night to hear the Icelandic group Arstidir reminded me of the quote from Thornton Wilder's Our Town, where Mrs. Gibbs says,

Only it seems to me that once in your life before you die you ought to see a country where they don't talk in English and don't even want to.

Americans get so unbelievably obsessed with ourselves--Columbians too, for that matter--it's good to get away and to challenge ourselves with new perspectives.

I have a friend who is about to make a giant leap in that respect. Local blogger Lisa B, Mrs. S is about to embark on a year-long journey around the world with her family. She will not be like Wilder's Mrs. Gibbs who longs all her life to see Paris, France but dies without ever fulfilling her goal. No, she has a dream, she has made a plan, and soon it will be a reality.

I will miss her insightful writing in education and other local topics. But for Lisa, living real life has always come before hanging out in the virtual one, which is why you'd more likely find her tutoring at Cradlerock Elementary, supporting her "How Girls Code" venture at Fulton Elementary, or gathering and delivering food to feed hungry kids over the summer through Blessings in a Backpack than holding forth in her blog or on social media. Her worldview is bigger than the Bubble. I like that. I wish I could be more like that.

This post from Finding Blanche writer Wendy Scherer struck at the core of my own concerns about social media as Bubble. How much is too much? What do we miss when we engage so much in a virtual reality world that the real world around us begins to recede in importance? Where can we find balance?

Finally, I want to offer a few words about a local woman I never knew, but I wish I had. I imagine most locals "inside the Bubble" know her and her story, but I had not. This piece in the Sun is a very difference sort of bon voyage. It helps us to say Godspeed to a great lady whose work locally, and whose influence within her family sphere, was remarkable. Mrs. Cochran focused on people and causes that were near and dear but it is clear that her beliefs and principles reached far beyond one little corner of the world.

Life beyond the bubble may mean starting gentle ripples that move outward to touch the lives of others. It may mean making waves and riding them to an unknown conclusion. Beyond the bubble are things we haven't seen and ideas we haven't yet imagined.

Some days I think that's a good thing, and some days I'm happy to cuddle up in my safe little sphere and stay put.




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