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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

On the shore.


Sometimes, while you hesitate to take the next step, it helps to know that there is a life-saving device nearby, and a perceptive and attentive lifeguard.

Families usually play this role. They are there when you need them. They'll throw you a life jacket, or ring, or pole, and keep you from sure destruction.  This assurance, this belief that no matter what I've done, how stupidly I've acted, when I'm in deep doo-doo, the family will throw me a life-saving device, this comforts us, and lets us forgive and forget all the trauma that exists in families.

Friends also play this role. They point out our mistakes and our idiosyncracies right to our face. We expect them to keep us out of trouble, for our own good. We expect them to drive us home after a beer binge, after a fight, after we have lost our ability to control our lives. They know enough secrets and weaknesses, that if they got upset with us, they could become our worst enemies. 

Writing buddies have the special role of encouraging and detecting. Sometimes, they become such good friends, that they tend to do one or the other. They want to detect all the time; or, encourage all the time.  Unlike teachers who tend to keep a distance, making sure mistakes are always noticed and corrected, writing buddies have to find this balance.  Too friendly, and the critical eye suffers; too critical, and the friendly blanket is dropped.

That brings me to blogging friends.  Without any protocols, we have taken up our roles and fit right in. We encourage, we sympathize, we add to the discussion, we visit often enough to pick out the patterns of each other's lives, and we socialize beautifully.   When we get tired, we drop out of sight.

Don't you wish life was always this easy?

71 comments:

Niles McNeil said...

Interesting post. I write off and on but I have yet to stick to my guns long enough to finish anything any good.

Reya Mellicker said...

The community of bloggers is one of the most wonderful surprises that has come through the internets.

We do support, protect and defend each other. I love that!

As for my own family, I never expected them to through me a lifeline. But here? People are here for me. It's awesome.

xx

ewix said...

Hi from New York!
I was 60 yesterday
which is why I got to go to a super swanky restaurant.
I'm chums with Reya.
Lovely to discover your blog----I'm a retired teacher too

willow said...

I love my friends in the bloggyhood. They are far more caring and supportive than family.

janis said...

Ditto to Reya's comment,except I can't always count on those I expect like family & friends, but my blogger buddies seem to know the right things to say to me. Maybe it is easier, when you don't know the person face to face? Love to you my dear blogger friend!

Eleonora said...

Blogging has been so good for me that I have decided to apply its rules to everyday life. I'm trying to live my life like I blog and cook: with passion and all over the place!

This was yet another wonderful, thought-provoking post. Brava la mia Maestra.

Have to drop by your Italian lessons again, it's been a while.

Hugs
Lola xx

Brian Miller said...

i love my bloggy friends as well...they have been there when i walked the road alone...and of course i love my family as well, my constant companions.

potsoc said...

In blogland I feel I have a virtual family and very real virtual friends without the invasive potential of the real McCoys.

jinksy said...

Not sure life was ever meant to be easy!But Blogland definitely adds a big plus to it. :)

Renee said...

Friendships made in blog heaven.

I like to think of it that our hearts have met just not our hands.

xoxoxo

Sophia said...

I love the photo in this post. Brought tears to my eyes as I long to jump from here to somewhere else, just for a bit, to learn to "breathe" all over again. Does that make any sense?!

I too find that my friends out here in the blog world care far more about me than my very own family and so called "friends" right next to me. It's heartbreaking at times.

Thank you for all of your love, support, and care you give to me. It blesses me far beyond comprehension.

Polly said...

I wouldn't survive long without support of my family, but the friends in blogosphere are priceless. When I started blogging I never thought I would come across so many likeminded people that I would want to talk to all the time. I prioritise my blog time now. We're meeting again next week, another blog camp in Copenhagen coming up. Can't wait!!

I'm so glad you want to join the bookclub! Please email Diana at diana@ourcitylights.org so that she can add you to the mailing list and visit her blog on http://www.ourcitylights.org/

Reasons said...

Blogging friends can sometimes be more supportive and forgiving than those we are closest too - but as you say, they may also drop out of sight! A lovely post.

Eva Gallant said...

I love all the wonderful bloggers I've had contact with since I started blogging last June. It's a very friendly neighborhood!

becky at abbeystyle said...

Such a debatable observance. I think blogging allows generous entrances into open hearts and shooting them down is cruel. We are, after all, basically innocent, no matter what we reveal. OK, except for a certain gang of cynics. On the other hand, perhaps some of us long for a critique and constructive criticism. Not me, I like kindness, no matter what I reveal.
Rosaria, you are such a discussion raiser.

Natalie said...

Yes it is lovely, I treasure it.

I am so caught up in my drama of a life, that I cannot give it the attention I would like to, at the moment.
Judgement seems to be the thing.
In the real world, people can see you, hear you, and KNOW you. Here in Blogland for the most part, we only see a slice of the personality. It is far easier, to give the person the benefit of the doubt, and give the unconditional love and support that we all crave.

I am blessed to have my physical friends as blogging friends as well. We are all very real, very human, and it is an absolute joy.

I value you so much Rosaria, because you are very real too.Your loyalty and honesty, are things I treasure in a human being.x

Fire Byrd said...

I love blogging and I love my blog friends, especially the ones who have become real friends.
It's a world that makes a difference and I love that.
xx

Elizabeth Bradley said...

I see my bloggy friends like a life support system, they are to be treasured. You included! This was a thought provoking post, family and friends are so important, sometimes I fear it's too easy to take them for granted. I do not rely on close personal contacts to critique my writing, I learned not to do that a very long time ago.

Diana said...

So true!

ellen abbott said...

It is a wonderful community. I had no idea when I started almost a year ago, had never read blogs at all until I decided on a whim to start one. And now I have discovered all these wonderful people who troop over to my place and I, in turn, troop over to theirs. What fun!

Beth said...

I've never thought about how there has been no protocol... no job description. Yet, the people I've met in the blogging world have lifted me up, humored me, cried with me. I share more with my fellow bloggers than I do most of my family and friends.

Maybe, sight unseen, I trust you guys more.

Journaling Woman said...

I am finding out what a wonderful world the blogging world is and what a blessing to me the people have become.

Ji said...

Yes, family first, friends, then blogging friends...

very insightful post.

happy 2010.


http://www.jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com

Cloudia said...

Great post.



Aloha, Friend!


Comfort Spiral

Elisabeth said...

I'm new to your blog, Lakeviewer and intrigued by what you write, especially in relation to the business of being part of a bog community. I'm relatively new to the blogosphere and I have found it helpful and supportive, particularly in assuaging some of the isolation of a writing life.

I'm pleased to meet you here and look forward to reading more.

Elisabeth said...

Needless to say, I meant to write about being part of a 'blog' community, not 'bog' community.

It's not the first time I've made this typo and it seems particularly awful - or hilarious, whichever you look at it. I suppose we're all in the bog together.

Lyn said...

Lovely post Rosaria ... you always seem to hit the nail on the head. I think a big draw to blogging is that we can have easy, supportive "relationshps" with fellow bloggers - when and if we choose. No pressure involved, just the perks with no downside. Insightful as usual.

The Things We Carried said...

You nailed it again. Yes, I wish it were so!

Marguerite said...

What an insightful post! And yes, I do wish that real life was like blogland! I love my bloggie friends just like family and find them more supportive, at times. Great analogy about families and the life jacket!

Bernie said...

I have not had time to make long relationships on the blogging circuit yet, but I find it to be a very "feel good" activity. I think we become better friends blogging because we tell things we would not tell some of our friends. We are honest and open and we receive that back. It is love extended and received with a sort of anonymity (sp) so we tell all our deepest thoughts and feelings.

RNSANE said...

Blogging has been a lifeline for me in the last ten months, with the job loss. I've found so many kindred spirits. I still have my old friends but, for some reason, we seem to communicate less, especially my nurse colleagues now that we don't have the ongoing forensic connection. That does make me sad.

staceyjwarner said...

Blogging is a unique experience...it is a world in and of it's own and I'm so glad to be a part of it...

much love

Lori ann said...

Many of my friends have no idea what blogging means to me and how it's impacted my life. (explanations attempted)
I love being here, where we understand and support each other.
And I do love simplicity.
Rosaria, you are a gem.
♥ lori

the walking man said...

But life is this easy.If we allow it to be so.

Bagman and Butler said...

Food for thought. Bloglife is easy, re-assuring, non-judgemental...but I wonder what that does to our futures. If we grow through challenge...not sure what I am saying. I will think more about this. Thanks.

Dave King said...

I can't quite make up my mind whether at my age I should always have a safety n et or whether at this stage it hardly matters.

Shadow said...

our friendships have increased tenfold with the inception of blogging... and life is what it is, a series of ups and downs. for which we need family, friends and bloggers. to share the highs and lows.

Ribbon said...

I like what you've written here very much as you have expressed clearly what I've recently been thinking about.

I think that we have created this community because we want it.

I did'nt enter into the blogging world with this intention nor the knowledge that there was a community out there waiting to receive me.

I don't share my blog with my family. Only one member of my family knows my blogging address.
I have mentioned that I blog to a few members, but they haven't expressed any interest in what I am sharing on the internet.
I haven't been keen to share with them as I don't believe that they would be supportive.

I have very supportive and loving friends off line that are not surprised that I blog, but I don't believe that they completely understand the experience.

Blogging makes my heart sing.
As you know I blog to share and I share to learn.

On line you are very much a part of my much loved community....
thank you
best wishes
Ribbon

Ribbon said...

PS...
this is the real world...
I'm real, you're real we are all real.

all that we do anywhere anytime is a moment of our own reality.

here's something I read today in a grocery store...

'only fools complicate things and it takes a genius to keep things simple'

this made me smile

NitWit1 said...

I've had the same thoughts about blogging buddies.

However, I enjoy not knowing all the shortcomings that we don't want to talk about.

But I've seen and willingly participated in several severe life moments where support, care and prayer are solicited and given, usually severe medical crises or grief.

lunardancer said...

Sigh...So true. But we all know reality says otherwise. The best consolation we have for all the uncertainties and pitfalls marking this so called "life" are the people around us. Without them, I think all of us would have gone bonkers after our first encounter with heartbreak, and we would be screaming our heads off while squirming in a straightjacket right now.

lakeviewer said...

Hi folks,
You have expanded the conversation. We all agree that blogging is:

Simple--an easy activity, with few demands. We can write as long or as short a piece as we want. We can make it complicated and complex, quote and link to research think-tanks, or just talk about our dog's habits. Life should be this simple.

Accessibile--can occurr at any time, day or night, while we sit at a table, or in the back seat of a moving van. We can access people anywhere in the world at any time. These people could be at the top of the social scale, or just scraping by. We can reach presidents or prison guards. It is truly a democratic device/tool/habit/opportunity.

Inexpensive: we don't pay for the priviledge, but can actually make money. This is a big anomaly!

Private: You can leave comments and make people return to you; but, you don't have to. You can lurk in the shadows and unless someone wants the information bad enough to trace your route, you can stay in your neck of the woods. I know that there are people who sign up to follow but never leave a comment. At first, it bothered me. Now, I don't care. If you leave a comment, I know you want to be visited too.

Did we mention that bloggers have met in real time and have sent each other gifts and cards and birthday wishes? Wow!

We can start The Republic of Blogosphere and know exactly the qualities we want in our leaders.

Thank you, you smart and caring people, with such good taste and impeccable manners.

This is a new teaching platform.

♥ Braja said...

Would that life be that easy....

cheshire wife said...

When real life is difficult Blogland is a great escape from the realities of life.

A Happy New Year to you!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

So very, very true, dear Rosaria!! You have such wisdom and insight!!! I always learn something here!! Thanks for being that wonderful friend to so many of us! Love you! Janine XO

Diane said...

I do so love my blogging buddies :)

Renee said...

You make me laugh my head off.

xoxoxo

Nancy said...

Absolutely. The blog world is perfect in that we can give and receive and then leave, if so inclined. And it's true - we do become friends in the process. It really is an amazing thing.

Gaston Studio said...

Wonderful post. And you're so right about the community of bloggers; where else can you find such unjudgemental people?

Maggie May said...

I don't know what I would do without all my lifelines that come in the form of my blogging buddies!
Thank you for eing one of them.

Nuts in May

ds said...

Wonderful post. I am grateful for all of the marvelous folks I have met through blogging. It is a lifeline--even if it is not always visible...thank you.

Sarah Laurence said...

I love the affirmations of this post. Thanks so much for being part of my blog circle. You all help keep me afloat in the real world, to borrow your metaphor.

I just noticed you connected with my longtime blog buddy, Elizabeth Wix. You will enjoy each other. How delightful!

sallymandy said...

So insightful! Blogging friends really are a special breed, and it's an interesting time to be alive now, when this way of connecting is so common.

Your post reminds me of the Robert Frost poem, "Home is where when you go, they have to take you in." I'm sure I got the exact words wrong.

Thank you for your recent kind comments.

Terri Tiffany said...

I agree that this is an interesting thought-provoking post and a bit sad too at the ability we have to float in and out of each others lives so easily:(

Eternally Distracted said...

I love my bloggy friends, they help me laugh at my 'real' ones!!

My Castle in Spain said...

Lovely post...do you believe i sometimes go to places and a particular blogging friend is on my mind because of a detail or anything ?
Now...sometimes i feel overwhelmed and think i should give up blogging and i just can't !!
i also miss bloggers who quit the blogosphere...
Shit..you got me teary eyes, now !
A big hug to you, dear Lakeviewer and all my best wishes for this New Year. May it bring you lots of love and joy !!
Lala

ps: and thank you for your message..so sweet of you..

Debbie said...

I love the way you summarized the blogging friendship. It is exactly like that!

random student said...

i told this to my younger bro once who was being rebellious: "there's nothing that you can do to disappoint us -- your family."

Renee said...

Did I tell you that my Mom is dying dear friend. Not today, but probably within the next few months. I'm heartbroken.

Love Renee xoxo

Renee said...

I knew that you would give me comfort and you have and I love you for it.

I'm glad we are here together.

Love Renee xoxoxo

karen said...

Blog friends are great, indeed! I have started to read through your memoir blog, too. What a great idea..

Wishing you a wonderful and fulfilling 2010 :)

Mary said...

yes.

Enchanted Oak said...

Personally, I like it when you drop a bombshell on my blog even if it's only two words. You are a precious addition to the blogging community.
Cheers!

Chris

Eddie Bluelights said...

Sometimes Rosaria I would like the real world to be more like the blogging world. We are a very friendly, helpful and caring lot with very few bad apples, unlike the world where there are many.
Very interesting lead in and agree with you post very strongly.

Gran said...

Bloggers have been supportive (mostly) for me, with a few problems over the years (but with two people I had actually met). On the whole, I have found bloggers to be helpful and "there."

Helen said...

Rosaria,
So true ~ everything you wrote! I have been both the recipient and giver of this special kind of family grace. Take good care .........

Saretta said...

Good points! And well-written! I love that the blogger-spheres I travel in have always been so supportive. I have heard that there are nasty bloggers out there, but I have been lucky to avoid them thus far.

PurestGreen said...

The one frustration with being a bloggy friend is when you know someone is really hurting and you feel helpless to do anything but offer a few words. That's hard. But for the most part the blogging community is a series of positives and right now I can't imagine not being involved.

Delwyn said...

Hello Rosaria

you are right. Blogging is a very real community with many rewarding and supportive interactions but none of them have faced the test of being multidimensional as in regular interpersonal interactions. It is easy to get lulled into a false sense of security believing that blog friendships are solid. They could very well be but until proven they are only paper thin or screen thin.

Happy days

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