Some of you just can’t let me have my moment in the sun without photographic evidence. Sigh. I told you that I would show you pictures when I find the camera, for crying out loud! And yes, Tiffani, I know that my phone takes pictures, but the computer to whom the phone is related had to be moved along with the desk to accommodate the bed we needed for Granny’s stay this week. Yes, I’m a little testy because we still haven’t found the spoons and my cereal keeps leaking through the fork. I need my cereal experience to go well each morning in order for my day to function properly.
In other news, a friend from college posted some crazy blog number stats yesterday. I feel like RainMan when anyone starts talking numbers above 500, but I do know those stats translate to a lot of words floating out there in cyberspace and a lot of people reading them.
Yeah, this whole blogging thing a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma for me. (It’s a little too early to be quoting Churchill, isn’t it?) Every other week I resign from this blog. Many days I feel like my new friend (who I’ve actually met!) at New Every Morning. I tell myself that this blog is just a place to process my thoughts and if anyone happens by, well, that’s just gravy. But any blogger who tells you he/she doesn’t notice how many comments a post gets will lie to you about other things, too. Blogging can easily bring out my inner junior high girl. Every person needs and deserves to be heard. We all like to have our thoughts and feelings validated by others. We are hard-wired for relationships and we especially need for people to truly know us. One of my favorite C.S. Lewis quotations says that “friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You, too? Thought I was the only one.'”
I can also relate to a new friend in my computer whom I haven’t met yet. I like it here with my friends on this blog. But this blog is only part of who I am and it can’t become the most important thing in my life. I’ve noticed that when my life outside my computer is a difficult place to be and I have less control over the story playing out around me, I’m tempted to spend even more time inside my computer where I get to write the story. That’s not always a bad thing. I can process thoughts here; I laugh here; I get encouragement and good advice here. But when I spend more time here to avoid dealing with my stuff out there, my priorities need to be realigned and refocused.
One of my favorite bloggers and I were aquaintances at our small college, but I didn’t really know much more about her than her name and that she married the really cute Beta that a lot of my friends and I admired from afar. Somewhere along the way we became Facebook friends and I started reading her blog. She was another person who encouraged me to start my own blog. Soon some of her blog friends became my blog friends. Her died was diagnosed with cancer in November, my dad in December. Our emails and blog comments became texts which turned into phone calls. We’ve talked about feelings that were foreign to us and that we didn’t even fully understand but that we held in common.
Sunday morning her dad died. Over the past few days I’ve watched old friends who had lost touch before blogging brought us back together and new friends who didn’t even know each other only months ago. Together these friends have formed a community across the country who are eager to support our friend with our prayers, love, encouragement, and even in tangible ways. It’s really something to see and even more amazing to take part in this fellowship of friends.
I may never know who keeps visiting here from Poplar Bluff, Missouri, but I know the ones who are visiting from Washington, Oregon, California, North and South Carolina, Texas, New York, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, and Lousiana, and maybe a few more states that I just forgot to mention. You’re my Tweeps and the friends who live inside and outside my computer. Whatever you’re doing here, I’m glad you took the time to stop by for a few minutes.
The best conversations seem to happen in the comments after the posts, so I want to leave you with a question. Most of you read several blogs and many of you have blogs yourself. Bloggers: do you respond to commenters in the comment section or through email? Blog readers: do you prefer to continue a conversation in the comments section or would you rather hear back from the blogger in an email? If I leave a comment in a blog, I never know if I should keep coming back to the comments to see if the blogger replies there. Or, if I respond to someone in the comments, I never know if he/she will be back to see it. Discuss amongst yourselves, please.
And if you lurk here and never comment, this would be a great day to say hi. How did you get here? What is it about a blog (not necessarily this one) that makes you want to come back again?