a world away

stolen pictures from vid chats

Hana Levinson

delray beach, fla

later she wrote this message:

I cannot believe this magic. I simply cannot believe it. But, I am grateful that at this time of my life I can be communicating with you, my Jonah, so far away… so far away. But you and I look at the same sky. We do. XXXXX Bubz

Itamar Nini Goldstein

nyc, ny

Hana Levinson

delray beach, fla

later she wrote this message:

I cannot believe this magic. I simply cannot believe it. But, I am grateful that at this time of my life I can be communicating with you, my Jonah, so far away… so far away. But you and I look at the same sky. We do. XXXXX Bubz

Corinne Gilbert & Paula Rosenstock

boston, ma

Katrina Grigg Saito

tokyo, japan

Seth Elalouf

nyc, ny

Tehila Nini Goldstein

berlin, germany

cousin♥

Ron Gwiazda

west roxbury, ma

the most beautiful thing about these images is that they’re candid, or at least as candid as one can be, staring into a webcam. it’s interesting that people do things like fix their hair, and compose themselves in other little ways that they wouldn’t do in person. we have a thing with cameras, it seems. but it’s just an abstracted eye, and the images are a stream that will fade like any other memory. unless of course someone is secretly taking snapshots.

which is seems i have. i couldn’t help myself.

but these beautiful people didn’t know i was taking photos. the expressions on their faces are candid, believe it or not. they’re smiling because they’re happy.

how is this even possible? i talk to my grandmother via ichat and can’t help but contrast this experience with the letters she sent daily to the jungles of burma where my grandfather served during WWII. how long did they take to arrive? months? how many were lost? how can any of this seem real to her, that i make web pages and applications as i wander around south america, connected to a worldwide network… without wires. and yet she’s quickly become accustomed, as have the people who live in these mountains, who don’t quite have email addresses yet, but know exactly what they are via the television shows they snag through satellite dishes. Internet is still a bit too expensive. The necessities are maté, coca leaves, bread and TV.

there’s something beautiful about the medium as well. the distortion. it has a very unique quality, distinct from the video distortion you may remember from analogue TVs and VHS tapes, depending on your age. perhaps it will be difficult to find this digital distortion in a year unless you’re moving around the mountains of a distant country as i am right now. It will be all but forgotten, like the sound of connecting to the internet with a 28.8 modem. perhaps we’ll hold on to it nostalgically in the same way many musicians add the sounds of record players to their songs, but i doubt it. technology is moving too fast for us to get attached.

and what a strange time in the shifting of technologies… that i can sit, face to face with a friend from japan for a half hour for free, when the same call via telephone might cost $30. the businessmen squeak out what they can.

but i digress.

these are beautiful people who have reached out to me, who wanted to connect across time zones and share some stories before returning to real life. i just wanted to take an extra moment to express my amazement both that this is possible and that i have these people in my life. thank you. i love you.

let
me know
what you think
just remember i have feelings too

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