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