Tuesday, 25 September 2018


From years ago — perhaps ten years back — I remember a plain-dressing Catholic American blogger called Marie. She had very young twins, toddlers. I think she may have had another child too. She lived on a Scottish island, where she and her husband were farming. Such an interesting person. Forthright! I've lost touch with her now, and was wondering today what twists and turns have happened in her life, where she is today and how things have gone for her. Does anyone know who I mean? Anyone kept in touch and know if she's still blogging? I don't remember the name of her blog.

And Isabel Penraeth (of Quaker Jane renown). Does anyone know how she is? She's still online on Twitter, and on Quaker Quaker I think, but she has a scintillating intellect and I'm a bit dull for the trail she blazes now. But she's such a lovely person, very clear and bright in her witness, and I just wondered how she is and how things are going with her. Her little Tabitha must be a big girl now.

People make a contrast between online and 'real' relationships, forgetting that the folk we meet online are also real, as are the friendships we forge. Some people I've only ever known online are closer and dearer to me than many I know in what Buzzfloyd calls 'meatspace' (!) And that's not because in those relationships I can create a self-image to hide in. Those friendships are honest and our interactions sometimes dig deep.

I started this blog at a time when I was lonely and had moved far from home, after a decade of serial disruption that had torn my life to shreds. Finding friends online was a cornerstone of rebuilding happiness, and those relationships are a treasure to me.

I always used to put a photo of myself into my blog posts, not posing as anything, just me, not to promote an image but so that we could have really met, you and me, when you read the post — if you see what I mean. Then one day, horrified by the myriad images of myself I'd created in cyberspace, I went through and deleted as many as I could find. 

But recently I started putting photos in again, because I know how much I love to see the photos of you when I read your blog posts. I like the pictures of what you've made and are reading, the countryside where you go for walks, the flowers and sunrises you rejoice in — and yes, even what you're having for supper! But I specially like to see the photos of you, and I look at them for a long time, saying hello to dear you.

An inspirational quote that came into my email inbox from a British druid circle this week:
'As I looked down, I saw a large river meandering slowly along for miles, passing from one country to another without stopping. I also saw huge forests, extending along several borders. And I watched the extent of one ocean touch the shores of separate continents. Two words leaped to mind as I looked down on all this: commonality and interdependence. We are one world.' 
              ~ John-David Bartoe 


greta said...

hello, dear you! i treasure this on-line conversation and appreciate seeing your lovely face :-)

Pen Wilcock said...

Hello, Greta! Waving!

Pen Wilcock said...

Kay — thank you for your message! Yes, we have moved in the same circles! Ah, I'd got her name wrong, hadn't I — but you knew who I meant. Well done! I am no longer on Facebook, only here online. But if you see her on Facebook, give her a little wave from me and tell her I was asking after her, and God bless her from me. We didn't really see life through the same lens, she and I, but I enjoyed many of the glimpses into her journeying. xx

Rapunzel said...

OOoh, I like your outfit du jour, that green is lovely on you.

I also like to see who I'm talking to--the online world is real after all.

Rebecca said...

Thanks for including the photo! "Demure" is how I'd label THIS one.😊 I feel quite a bit he same re. friends I've "met" via blogs. Will always be thankful you crossed my path!

Pen Wilcock said...

Hi Rapunzel — I just love green to wear. I was thinking of you today, as I hand-sewed another mile or so of silk chiffon, only to discover I'd hemmed to the outside not the inside. Sigh. I certainly am not going to unpick it; this, surely is why lace was invented. And I thought you'd understand.

Hi Rebecca — Demure?! No one has ever called me that before. It has to do with the angle of my head, I suspect. The real reason for that is trying to get a photo without reflection across the front of my glasses. If you put your head down and to the side a bit you can dodge it. I am not really demure, but willing to have a go at being so! And yes, these enduring friendships — its lovely to keep in touch, isn't it. You are often in my thoughts.

Rapunzel said...

Oh Pen, indeed I do understand.

It is good for a sewist to have long arms, so as to hold the project at a good arm's length, give it a discerning eye, and ask ones self "Will this error actually even be noticeable?"

IF it won't then I just keep right on stitching. ; )

Pen Wilcock said...

There! I knew you'd understand!

Julie B. said...

Demure, yes, but you also look about 43 in this lovely picture. xoxo

Pen Wilcock said...

Ha! This is what I mean about how you meet such darling people online!!

Bean said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bean said...

Do you remember Magdalena Perks - she had a blog, she was married to Nicholas and they lived in Canada, she dressed Amish style, they lived a simple life, he had a stroke, she had a good blog all about plain living, then simply seemed to disappear. It seemed she returned to the US as she couldn't get permits to work in Canada, her husband remained in Canada. But I sometimes wonder where she is now and what she is doing, still searching for inner peace I would imagine.

Blessings to you,


Pen Wilcock said...

I do indeed remember her. She is still about and active online. I don't know if she has a blog now, but was present on Facebook a fair bit. I think she was in Chicago (?) working in a restaurant. Along with a man called Larry Woodsmall she began, and runs, an organisation called The Yoke.

Bean, I just love your new photo! You are so beautiful.

For some reason I hadn't got your blog on my list in the sidebar — did you change where you were blogging or have I just deleted it by mistake along with a bunch of others? Anyway, as a result I haven't caught up with your doings in months, and was shocked to read how badly you'd hurt yourself out running. I hope your jaw and your spine are all mended now.

Bean said...

Hey Pen,

I am all good, healed up and better, my grandkids like to point to the teeny tiny scar on my chin and remind me that grandma had an owie (sp) LOL>

Thanks for the compliment. You too are a beautiful woman - you always look so peaceful and content.

Glad to hear Magdalena settled somewhere, will have to check out what all she is up too and hopefully she is content.



Pen Wilcock said...

Got you back in my blog list now, where you should have been all along.

Bean Meeks said...

I need to get back in the habit of blogging regularly.

Peace to you,