Saturday, November 18, 2006


Believe it or not, I have been so occupied by real world concerns that I haven't even been able to keep up with my favorite blogs, much less my own posts. I am stealing a few minutes to examine something that Tim touched upon.

My life has become somewhat insulated since I married my soul mate. I never did have a grand circle of friends, mostly just acquaintances with which whom I did not share much in common except frequenting the same bar or working at the same place. Since my Mom died I have pretty much been estranged from my rather large, far flung, and never there family, and I don't gel very well with my in-laws, although my step-daughters are truly a joy to me. As my Wife and I and our marriage has aged and mellowed, and our energy, time, and money to party has ebbed with the passing years, it's become pretty much me and her, two souls very happy to share our special place alone together, except for those times that the kids visit, or we go to visit them. Even going out to a restaurant has become a very rare treat as the assault on the middle class continues unabated and our finances become less and less adequate for anything other than mere living. I'm not really complaining about it; we love each other's company and manage to keep ourselves occupied as cheaply as possible. We both know it can always get worse, so we treasure the relative good times.

I do have people at work that I consider friends (as much as you can use that word for people you spend 12 hours three days of each week with), but my lifestyle such as it is still very much resembles that of a hermit, stuck behind the battlements, bereft of contact with people whose mentality and life experience would so grandly enhance my own. I'm sorry, but as much as I love my wife and enjoy the discussions we have about life, the universe, and everything, I still thirst for comradeship with people who can absorb what I pontificate without their eyes glazing over or falling over with convulsions. I DO live in Redneckville, and my outlook is pretty much on par with latin to most folks I come in contact with. Whenever I am forced to "speak the language", it duns down my very soul and can be quite painful.

Then, thank Bob, I found Blogger. At first it seemed like there wasn't anything I read that was going to interest me, since most blogs I surfed thru really were nothing more than journals written by kids and people who shouldn't be allowed near something with a keyboard. Then I came across a crotchety old veteran with a flair for telling stories and making just about anything sound soooo sweet. Within a few posts I was hooked, and before long I felt a connection with this gentleman (no offense intended, good buddy) that I do not think would have been possible had I met him under any other circumstance. Then I came across a few others by virtue of the links provided, one guy very much like me in so many ways yet different enough to be downright scary, thanks to his diabolical flair with photoshop; a rather good looking (as in you'd damn well better laugh WITH her and not AT her) artist with a hard-nosed and downright hilarious take on what life has handed her; and a scholarly gentlemen who never stops examining life and all the things he has learned, not the slightest bit afraid to re-examine his beliefs, and the energy to take on life with gusto and respect for the earth.

Now, these would just be characters in an endless novel were it not for the one thing that sets Blogger and other such incarnations apart from just another thing to soak up off a monitor or television screen: the comments. What a wonderful way to have your say and discuss it too! What a wonderful way to have your ideas and beliefs critiqued, shared, chewed over, and dumped on if need be! This is the World village we have all been told would happen one day and folks, I DO believe it HAS! They say it takes a village to raise a child. I say it takes a village like Blogger to raise awareness, to share dreams and aspirations, to find some sense of community, and yes, some form of belonging when you think you belong to nothing or no one. Yes, I have one with whom I share my life, my love, who saves my sanity, etc, but I think you all know what I mean when I suggest this is not always enough when one thirsts for something bigger than their immediate local or circumstance. These new "friends" of mine help to quench that thirst, and in some way I hope I repay them in kind.

Yes, bloggers come and go as they partake of what they want and need from these forums and then move onto a new phase or adventure or just flat out grow weary of it. I cannot envision or recommend that people actually find their lives within the pages of these electronic villages, and become unable to live their lives in the real would with equal satisfaction. But as a place to pull up a chair at a virtual bar and refresh your soul after a hard and not so satisfying day, I have found no equal, and I do not see giving it up altogether any time in the near future. Whether or not they reciprocate, I consider many of my fellow villagers as friends, a different kind of friend, perhaps, but no less valuable, and no less missed when they stray for whatever reason, removing them from my knowing. I saddens me to no end that I will probably never get to meet any of the fine folks I have met in this world, but I do take solace in the fact that I DID get to meet them at all, for I do believe I have been enriched beyond measure in knowing them as well as they have allowed me to.

So, yes, Tim, I get you. Mom lied when she said I was an only child. I have brothers and sisters all over the place. I am not an orphan anymore.


Tim ID said...

Now that, THE Michael, is one of my favorite posts to date. I couldn't have said it better, my friend. Thank you for the eloquent and touching post.

whitesnake said...

The distance may be long, the cultures differing, the language dfifficult to understand but it is truly a kind of romance to have fellow bloggers who pop by once in a while.
There is a Whitesnake song that states.....

Be my friend,
Be my brother,
Be the piper when I call,
Cross the seven seas of wonder,
Be the guardian of my soul!

You know sometimes.....Bloggers do make sense.

THE Michael said...

You are most welcome, my photopsychotic friend!

Welcome, Snake! And yea, we DO make some sort of sense of things every once in a while......

Buffalo said...

Excellent and insightful piece, Michael. Well done.

homo escapeons said...

Write On Brother!
Fabulous summation of reality in the 21st Century where you can be as close to people thousands of miles away as you are to people next door...actually most of us are probably closer because Bloggers can't borrow hedge trimmers and keep them for 3 months...although they can borrow other things...but touch wood (don't look) I have yet to have that happen.
You and your wife seem to have a very symbiotic connection that most people would be envious of...but you still need to have an avenue for discovery and discussion that won't necessarily end with you sleeping on the couch.

You are right about bloggin'
I do not know where I was directing this energy before????
Great Post THE!

THE Michael said...

Thanks Buf.

HE, yea, married people sometimes are TOO close to each other in that regards, and outsiders help balance out the energy. There's only so far one can go when pontificating with a loved one without crossing a tripwire now and then.

I think we have actually discovered a genuinely undiscovered country and have lots of exciting things to see and learn about, hopefully without distroying it in the process.

Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

The virtual villages that we share ... damn, boy, you so got this right. I love this community as well & feel blessed that we can connect with other souls that we may have never bumped into via other means. As a truly "adopted" person, I have long recognized that family & community can come to you in so many different ways ... and the family or community you create is often just as (if not more) valuable than the one you may have been born in to. Thanks for this great post, brother. much love and peace, JP

Footpad said...

Oh dear. Blogger just hiccuped and and think it lost the brilliant comment I was trying to post.

Well, let's see if I can recapture the flame in that bottle...

I really like this post and these observations.

While I am relatively new to the blogging community, I have experienced similar comraderie in other online communities.

What we have, here, is the modern form of the corner pub, only we get to share ideas and stories with a larger pool of like-minded individuals...or if not like-minded, then at least those that can listen and share respectfully.

And, having said all that, I raise my glass in a toast of honor toward you and yours, a toast that appreciated your honesty and your hospitality...and then retake my seat to await the next blogger with an idea.

-- f