Monday, November 20, 2006

Building Community

Of all the things I hoped to accomplish by writing a blog, expanding my circle wasn't among them. It never even occured to me. I have plenty of "real" friends, after all.

But now my blog is more than a vehicle for getting myself to write. It is a place, a neighborhood, full of friends who, despite being far flung in reality feel, in this little neck of Blogtopia, as if they live right next door. Just as in every neighborhood, people come and go. There are some with who you have merely a passing encounter or two, you nod in recognition and move on. And then there are the others, the ones from whom you, virtually speaking, borrow sugar, chat with over the fence and look out for.

I got think about it again last night after talking to Amy and Charlie. There we were, Charlie talking about his travels in America, Amy sharing life-changing news, both of them hearing me tell my family to bugger off as they kept pestering me to know who was on the phone ("Amy? Blog Amy?" asked The Child. "Charlie? Put him on speaker," said The Spouse. "Yes, yes, leave me alone! I'm trying to talk here!") And it wasn't "I've never talked with you before" weird, just like the time this summer when Edy called and we started in chatting as if we do it everyday.

There was an email this morning from Jon, telling me he was off to Texas and me responding that I hoped he'd have Interent access because I couldn't imagine going for two weeks without our near daily emails about everything and nothing. (We've talked on the phone, too. And he was with Ms. Healthypants, so it was a two-fer).

Tonight we're having dinner with Alan, the first blog buddy I've ever actually met. And I'm so excited to feed him cocoa-rubbed pork tenderloin and my infamous applesauce cake, to catch up and to talk about his brilliant new blog, knowing that hanging out with him will be delightful and comfy and we-do-this-all-the-time normal.

I think of our plans to go to the middle of the country this summer to cook for Edy and impose ourselves on Jon and the Iwanskis and to finally meet my darling poodle, JP, in Omaha. Geez, Omaha. Like that was ever a place high on the list of cities to visit before I die. But now it is. Maybe we'll even get to actually watch "Battlestar Galactica" together, forgoing our ritual Saturday morning "how much did you love last night's show" email.

There are the shoes from Edy and the cheese from Pat and I think, well, first I think that I really must bust a move and send those shoes back, but then I think "How lucky am I?" Finding all these people - and all the rest of you- was so random and yet, there you are, living your lives and connected to mine somehow by the stories you share, the observations you make and the jokes you tell. I want to be independently wealthy so I can visit you all, from O-town to Texas, plus all points in between and on both edges. And then I'd have to go to Canada and Europe and the UAE. And I bet most of you wouldn't mind a lick.

Strictly speaking, one should preserve a respectful distance, not assume too much, not impose. But at least with my little batch o' buddies, there is surprisingly little pretense. Even as we make our careful choices about what to share and what to hide, we tell a lot. We reveal enough truth about ourselves that actually meeting wouldn't be a shock. No one would redecorate or go on a crash diet. We'd have our beers and tuna sandwiches and chat away, with all our little in-jokes, as if we've known each other forever. It's a very nice thing, one of the things for which I will be thankful in this week of focusing on thankfulness.

All that said, I do now have to go dust and sweep, not because I think Alan will judge me harshly if he spies a dust bunny but just because that's what one does when one is having a friend to dinner.

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16 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous opined...

That was a nice post.

Tell Alan I said hello, even though I could just do it myself on his blog. I think it would seem warmer coming from you.

November 20, 2006 11:42 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Will do. (How was Desperate Sunday?)

November 20, 2006 11:48 AM  
Blogger jLow opined...

Y'know, I was just thinking the same thing myself yesterday during church. The sermon was about being thankful for all we have in our lives and the "all" not being things but people and experiences, etc. Those parts of our lives that we cannot put a price on because they are priceless.

So, here's a toast to all my priceless e-family!

Shalom!

November 20, 2006 12:44 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Shalom back atcha, baby.

November 20, 2006 12:58 PM  
Blogger Red7Eric opined...

Tho' I'm relatively new to blogging, I've made some lovely e-Friends through the years, and while actual human contact is essential, some of these folks are very close to my heart, indeed.

Feed Alan well, then tell him to get on the stick; there hasn't been an update to "39 and Holding" since last Friday!

November 20, 2006 1:05 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

I may have to just sit him down in front of my computer!

November 20, 2006 1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

Truth.

Blogopia is to me what the front porch was to my great-grandmother, but like R7E said, actual human contact is also essential. Glad you're able to have both.

November 20, 2006 1:15 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Me too, Dana. (And you know, it's been a long time since I visited NYC....)

November 20, 2006 1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

Desperate Sunday was skipped this week so we could all enjoy Thanksgayving dinner with friends.

We still drank wine though; just not from a box.

November 20, 2006 1:34 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Ooh, very classy.

November 20, 2006 1:37 PM  
Blogger charlie opined...

My fellow bloggers are just great. I love 'em all :o)

November 20, 2006 1:38 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

All you need is love. Somebody said that once.

November 20, 2006 1:50 PM  
Blogger Edy opined...

Hang on to the shoes for awhile, dearie. Right now, I am fending off a 73 year old dentist who can barely walk. He emails regularly at 1 a.m. to tell me he sees my name in the stars, etc., etc...

all a result of attending a community soiree in the WIG. I do not want to think of what might happen if I went about in the WIG and the SHOES.

Bring them along in the summer.

November 20, 2006 6:16 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

(wiping milk just blown out my nose off the computer screen) Edy, you absolutely must get a license to wear that wig. It is clearly a lethal weapon.

November 20, 2006 6:19 PM  
Anonymous Grish opined...

Blog Parties!

November 20, 2006 6:47 PM  
Blogger Edy opined...

come summer, I should be able to send the WIG home with you...

November 20, 2006 6:53 PM  

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