In the space of the last three years, I have probably written a book's worth of thoughts. And I am profoundly grateful for the few readers I have, who stop by here and who occasionally leave a comment.
What I had not expected to find is a community of friends. Now, I am sure somewhere there is a sociologist who is cautioning my presumption that I can find communal solidarity with people whom I have never met. But I do.
Years ago, there was a wonderful sitcom--Barney Miller. Maybe you remember it.
I recall one show where a very distraught woman came into the police station. She proceeded to tell the officers about scenes of domestic violence and mayhem that she had witnessed. They probed, and after a bit it became very clear that what she was watching was not a window, but the television. She had mistaken an earlier version (TV) of cyber reality for ACTUAL reality.
That episode is at the back of my mind as a kind of caution for me not to confuse virtual cyber community with face-to-face community. But, I still care about the people I have met through blogging (and, of late, through Facebook).
Just as with our close-by friends, our cyber friends can be open and sharing. People whose blogs I read, and who read mine, know some of what I am involved with. For example, my blogging friend Philip knows I teach--so he sent me a very interesting article on the dangers of over-using computers in the classroom.
Or, I can share with my blogging friend Christine our mutual love of elephants, and support for the wonderful place The Elephant Sanctuary.
These are just two small examples of how we share communally through cyber-space.
And then, today, I received a comment on a blog that I had written so long ago I had quite forgotten it. Entitled Unauthorized Stories, I had written about telling tales on my children--who then called me on telling the tales. This comment came from a new reader--here, you can read what Curtis said.
Well, such a thing could only happen in this cyber community. I can't imagine someone I have never met overhearing a conversation I might be having--and then stepping up to say what Curtis said. Face to face, we simply don't do such a thing. But this space--cyber-space--allows us to make connections--to create community--in ways that we cannot or will not do face to face.
I stumbled upon your website through trying to find the words to Crosby, Stills and Nash's song, Teach Your Children Well. How I got here, only the good Lord knows but it has been a delight to me. Reading this story reminded me of being with my son two weeks ago (he is my baby and is 34) and going through a divorce. Telling him of how important my wife, his step-mon, is to me and that she has been really the only mom to him. I played the song of Foster and Allen "After All These Years." After listening politely, he said matter of factly "That's nice."
I realized he is not in the same place I am. When his children were toddlers, he said to me, "Dad, I am glad you have grandchildren because now, in your sermons, you will give me some rest. I assured him that was not the case, I only had more unauthorized stories.
Thank you for your blog, Peace, Curtis