My son Ian just emailed me a link to an astounding video: a young man performing “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” on a ukelele. The informal video is set in New York’s Central Park, right next to Strawberry Fields. George loved ukeleles, and he also loved John, so everything about this performance feels very aligned and unusually resonant. (That sounds so trite, yet I don’t know how else to describe it.)
As I prepare for a talk on mobile learning I’m delivering at Longwood University on Thursday, weather permitting, I’m struck by how mobility enables something soul deep about this video. The mobile camera, the mobile instrument, the mobile person, and the song that has traveled through time and space to that performance, and then again to my computer today: all so I could hear birdsong combine with plaintive, bell-like tones from an instrument played with love, commitment, and real virtuosity. And my son shared this thing with me.
At moments like this, I don’t fear that I’m addicted to the Internet. I fear I am addicted to the world, and to those fellow travelers who look straight into a machine of glass, plastic, and metal and, whether or not we ever meet, see me on the other side.