We talked for 56 minutes,
according to Skype,
and if anyone else had said that precise a figure
I would have called them a liar.

I have been drifting in the hours since.
Lazily doing laundry, dusting, cleaning the solitary dish.
Listening to Eno again and again and again
(as you know my fondness for repeat; may it never falter!).

Watching the sun creep forward in the sky,
I type in a vain attempt to reconcile the
distinct advantage thought has over word spoken or written.

It can fill the crevices, the divides that we long to reconcile
with words, that we try to fill like a gutted bathtub.
Like flinging paper cups of water on a burning building.

Thought will always push further and, in turn,
further isolate.

We just have to settle for knowing.
Knowing you are there and I am here, a knowing that
spans the oceans and endless miles between a thought
and a dream.

A patter of rain on the streaky window, a rinse cycle in the washer,
a lazy Saturday afternoon dangling, a flickering promise of a productive day.

Content in my heart’s core (a foreign land) and the rain picks up in tempo
as if to offer permission for spending the day staring at that big bold window.

I retreat today to push forward tomorrow.

By Michael Gallagher

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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