Tuesday, February 16, 2010
The recent storms have left me encased in a snowy coccoon with the tops of my lawn furniture resembling the middle part of an ice cream sandwich. My poor little Shih Tzu is growing weary of high jumping through the drifts to only be able to tinkle on snow that is already at her "tinkler" level. Her coat matted from the snow to where I have now dubbed her "Dog Marley" for her dreads acquired from the frequent trips in and out of her snowy lavatory.
I must admit I have to be careful for what I wish for. As a writer, but a writer with kids, the precious but few days I have any uninterrupted lengths of time to where I can write in solitude are not in abundant supply. I often wish I had a day to myself; one to write, to reflect, and to just do "guy stuff". Scratch things, walk around in poorly matched clothes, and eat where I want, with my trusty remote at my side. The weather granted my wish as my wife and daughter became stranded out of town for a few days. My son stayed at Grandma's to alleviate the childcare dilemma caused by school closings. I got my couple of days.
By the second cup of coffee on day one I found that even though I enjoyed sitting at my computer with hair resembling Nick Nolte's arrest photo, I enjoyed the peace of writing, checking mail, sipping more coffee, and listening to my music as I sang along with the new "We are the World". (I wondered why all the dogs in the neighborhood were barking.) I also noticed the silence. I thought the muffled silence was from the snow, but it was also from in my house. This was what I wanted; or was it?
Note* - (As I write this, the family is home safe, however as my son has been licking his hand and wiping on my daughter, and her retalitory kick which started the crying and the resulting arguing, may make me rethink this post!)
I noticed that silence is different when you are not sure when it will end. I found it uneasy. Even though I often beller for the kids to quiet down, I missed the madness. I noticed I would rather it be behind a closed office door than across county lines. I turned to my friends online. It seemed our precipitous culprit had left many stranded, some missing family, some not.
I was able to see the noise happening in my friends lives. I saw pictures. I saw snowmen. I saw faces and text. I also encountered one young lady who was separated by sand and not by snow as her husband was being deployed in a dangerous area of the world. I said a prayer. I was thankful my family was still safe and close enough.
I also enjoyed the supportive comments from friends on my blog and Facebook page. I wasn't completely alone. I chatted with people from three continents. I chatted with kindred spirits. I met new people. I wasn't alone in my snowy solitude. The friends I have online are like the little marshmallows in my hot chocolate. They add to the warmth. Little suprises that make you smile.
Now I know the debate of having online social friendships and relationships is provocative and causes many to question the "healthiness" of said interactions. I feel balance is healthy in most any relationship or activity. What I found is that I enjoy adding "spice" to my community of friends. I have "work" friends. I have casual social friends. I have long term friends. I have online friends. I have blogger friends. All of them add their spice to my recipe of a really cool human interactive experience.
I truly feel that human energy is something to experience, and there is no way a glowing box can offer the same connection. However, second to that is the "intention" and compassion that people offer via their keyboards amazes me at times. If one is truly receptive, you can "feel" the energy in the written word. I found the uplifting words of others can be a bridge to carry you over the chasm when there is a human contact void.
I have always felt blessed by the friends I have in the physical world. I am also blessed to have met people in my virtual community that I would possibly never had had the opportunity. To not only reconnect with those from my past, but to now have friends from coast to coast, in the UK, Australia, Middle East, and so on, I feel that I have been bestowed with a precious gift. Thank you all. Thanks for the bridge. Thanks for the spice.
Lessons From the Monk I Married. The Sunshine Blog Award. I too feel I often give the nod too may times to the same people so please pardon me as I sit on this as I try to share the love.
Belly Up to This Moment. The really cool thing is that she developed this award, and I refuse to soil her laundry by trying to explain it's meaning. I beg of you to check out her blog and find out it's meaning. Once again, I will pass it on. I want to find recipients.
Thank you all for your friendship, both the tangible and the digital. Both hold equal weight. Thank you all for allowing me into your worlds, and when you pop into mine, I hope you enjoy the stroll. Even though some may feel that digital relationships are as shallow as a puddle of rain on a sidewalk, to others you may be the only other ones in the room. You may be the beacon, the bridge, and the spice. The quality of this connection goes beyond bandwidth, and thanks for your posts to my soul!