Saturday, December 02, 2006

Reflections on the Blogoshpere

More than ten years ago, I was reunited with my college boyfriend, John Meyers. John had written a letter to me, and on the outside of the envelope he had written "Don't throw this away without reading it." He thought I might still be mad. Funny, I thought I dumped him.

I was actually really glad to hear from him. We quickly traded 'where we have been' stories and started a great correspondence. He was getting in touch with all the former girlfriends (in his shorthand, the "fgf's") because he was feeling nostalgic, and wanted to have community again.

John introduced me to the internet, and I got my first email account on CompuServe from the disc he sent me. Remember discs? Remember when our email addresses were numbers?

When I started blogging, I discovered this community thing is very important here too, and I think the blogosphere is sort of fueled by an energy created by the connections made.

Bear with me here.

Somehow, a few months ago, I stumbled onto the Curmudgeon's site: he's a lawyer in Chicago who is really a funny writer and a great philosopher. From his site, I found a number of other, most of them linked at your right.

But the other day I was despairing because I didn't have any good Christmas cards yet. I was too late to order the UNICEF ones I thought about, and I didn't want to get Hallmark ones, or buy any in the store.

Then, after chuckling over the Curmudgeon's latest musing, I found this card:

OK, well it wasn't quite that easy. I was stalling and internally whining, and I was clicking on blogs linked to Curmudgeon's, and that's how I found the extra-ordinary site of Bennie and Ben Waddell at from there I was able to find my cards.

I also bought some of these:

OK I didn't really buy these. I got an email from Bennie confirming shipment and showing me this lovely assortment of cards, chosen by him: what he added as a bonus.

Then, I was absolutely thrilled that he added a comment to my blog.

Then, my cup runneth over, Bennie actually did a blog post about my poem (I use the term liberally) Thanksgiving, and provided a link in his blog.

It's like the old days, when I would discover a poem, and turn to my pal Susan at the dinner table in Baldwin House and say, "Wow, read this." Only it's all in the ether.

And the surprising thing is it's just as nurturing and just as fine a community. Of course you have to wade through a lot to find gems, but it's really no different from getting on a train headed home at Christmas time, and wandering through the cars, and finding something in someone's face that made you think, OK, I'd like to talk to THIS person.

Thanks, Bennie. And those of you still looking for wonderful, affordable gifts which serve a real purpose, check out Bennie Waddell's art. You can Google him. Or find him through this blog. Or the Curmudgeon's. I haven't learned yet how to artfully imbed links to instantly transport you there, to Bennie's EBay site.

But trust me, he's just one car back, about three seats from the front, near the window. He's got a big canvas in front of him and he's painting with his son by his side. His wife and red-headed daughter are sitting in the two seats across the aisle. You'll love talking with them all.

It's worth the short walk. Let your fingers do it.


Ben & Bennie said...

You made me tear up up! You are so very sweet!

East of Oregon said...

I loved reading this post. I feel the community too and it is wonderful. Strange somehow, but nice. I am also a fan of Curmudgeon. He reminds me so much of a few people I've known, a precious soul. I like the cards.. now where's your poem? I'll have to re-look at those links... I'll be back. take care! :)