I Think The World Is Shrinking

Like most mornings, I woke up well before my alarm. Unlike most mornings, I woke with a sense that something bad had happened somewhere. Before I could even name that feeling I was checking the news on my trusty iPhone. (I swear I don't sleep with my iphone. It sleeps next to me on the night stand.)

My hunch was confirmed. An 8.9 earthquake off the coast of Japan. I laid in bed and thumbed through the headlines and marveled at how immediate my (and the rest of the world's) sense of time and information has changed. When did this happen?

I laid in bed fiddling with my iPhone until 7am. The Today Show was starting and I found comfort in the fact that Ann Curry and Al Roker would have a handle on the situation. Can I blame these guys for the fact that the world seems smaller and faster? Is it their stellar news coverage?

I listened for the familiar, "This is Today on NBC" as I pulled a blanket around my shoulders. Then Al, kept tossing the reporting duties to a guy who was standing on the beach in San Francisco. It looked like a gorgeous day with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. He was talking about a tsunami warning for all of the west coast and how all the beaches have been closed. So, why was he standing on an apparently doomed beach? Did he lose a bet?

I was hooked. Transfixed. I didn't move for another two hours. I could not tear myself away. About an hour into the broadcast, I realized that I was actually watching water move across the planet. I was also waiting to see if this hapless reporter on the beach would be swallowed up by the sea. He wasn't.

The images of devastation and the Cal-Tech guys in Pasadena made it seem like the world was ending long before the waves hit our coast. It made me think about how vulnerable we really are... even in these days of smart phones, even in these days of the news traveling faster than a major ocean current, we are all still subject to the weather... just like all the humans who have gone before us.

My prayers go out to the people of Japan.