“Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing,
Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness;
So on the ocean of life we pass and speak one another,
Only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The sea is rich in potential metaphors … and if you know one thing about me you know I love a good metaphor. In this case I will pass up the obvious salty sexual metaphors for fear of being perceived as tedious. Who can’t see a quick Bermuda Triangle comment begging to be made?
Instead, I can’t help but think that the sea can provide me with far more thought provoking fare on this rainy morning. I realize that I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t feel the need to start muddying the waters by suggesting intent and outcome are never clear on the sea or on the internet. Some days we are nothing short of Master and Commander of the HMS Audacious plowing resolutely through the world wide web and other days we sit in front of our screens like the Skipper trying to control the Minnow as our “tiny ship gets tossed.” Most days we experience the duality of having successfully delivered the bomb to Tinian only to be sunk later and at the mercy of the sharks.
So this technology allows us to say hello to new people and goodbye to new people at a quicker and quicker pace and we try to feel that these fleeting connections add to us rather than erode. It’s not that I have an issue with saying goodbye … it’s just that sometimes I liked to watch the other ship sail away. I like to feel that sense of melancholy that somehow validates the effort I have invested. Now people just melt instantly into the teeming digital seas without a glance back. Lost in the crowd or the translation … you never really know the difference.