Village, neighborhood, community. More contained, micro-sized reflections of the wider world, backdrops for the human experience, where we rest, work and live.
Chance connections within the web log universe have produced encounters, meetings with remarkable others, that continue to grow into relationships that are not covered by computer language. If it does not presume too much, I think of them as friendships, they are certainly admirations, and contain a degree of caring that comes from being allowed access to what honest communication reveals.
It was last spring that I began my intentional pilgrimage to meet writers along these paths. Some I have known for nearly a year, others not quite as long, but since we met through our shared ideas - and all that word might describe - we have collectively been through life's joys and sorrows.
In this short time, a one-time reader has become a blog writer with a wide, enthusiastic following; there have been losses - deaths, rejections personal and professional, disappointments; there has been illness discovered and treated, remarkable recovery, remission, slow healing and cyclic medical challenges. There have been births, promotions, romances, creative triumphs, graduations, departures, arrivals. We have lent support, emotional and practical, for fears and flashbacks, crises, uncertainties, bold crusades, diminished faith, times of questions about everything from the stability of our planet to our skills as writers, parents, children, survivors and reasonably intelligent adults.
We each occupy a tiny island, clustered in the great water, close enough to communicate yet separated so that our meetings, our kitchen table talks and tears, are virtual. That in no way dilutes their importance or weakens the ties we have found to each other. Within me is the sense that we are, in whatever realms we occupy, being asked to open and include. We have grown past the time of superficial interaction and are being urged to step up with our whole hearts for those in whose company we have landed. Whether through choice or luck or pure grace, we are no longer strangers, not by coincidence for I don't believe in that. My friend Lisa calls it our tribe, it has been acknowledged as a band, a band of not-entirely itinerant seekers... thinkers and creatives. Humans. Sisters and brothers of the mind and keyboard. A big gang of musketeers, silly and empathetic, not afraid to rush in.
May the gods of mixed metaphors forgive me. May they and their kind show you only favor, hold you, firmly and tenderly, in all your moments, carry you through.