The Difference Made by Presence
Pictured above is the Rasputin Keller at the Best Western Premier Grand Hotel Russischer Hof in Weimar where fellow travelers participating in an Invitation to Conversation… …in Germany trip are offered the opportunity to gather each night to share their experiences over, perhaps, a Lutheran tea or other beverage of their choice. This centuries old room carved into the earth and enhanced by the glow of candlelight can offer a sense that one has been transported back in time to the late Middle Ages and the age of European reformations.
Today, we have access to untold means of a virtual experience of traveling anywhere in the world. From an iPhone, other mobile device or laptop, with the right access credentials, we can access nearly any library in the world and literally thousands of primary source documents written hundreds of years ago. Books, pictures, music, videos and many other forms of media hosted on the Worldwide Web can transport us in ways that can almost seem real. Almost....
Imagine your morning inspired by the experience of visiting one of several sites that inform who you are today in ways you had not previously considered. After a leisurely lunch and conversation with fellow travelers, you are offered the time and space to rest, relax or reflect on your own or with others. Fellow travelers will meet you for an incredible dinner; after which you will be invited gather in the Rasputin Keller for quiet reflection and conversation.
While the stimulation offered by rich, colorful media and websites can virtually transport us, no book, picture or video can replace being physically present in places where historical events and ideas actually unfolded. There is a difference made by our physical presence in the places where the events and ideas that unfolded 500 years ago continue to inform who we are today. Imagine the difference offered by the atmosphere of a conversation with fellow travelers in a room built centuries ago. You might just feel as if you have been momentarily been transported back in time as the past is brought nearer to the present in ways only possible through a difference made by a physical presence.