|Our first group photo, moments after meeting at Lavender Hill Farm. L-R Deb, Sandi, Sally, Linda, me (standing). Photo by DJan Stewart at DJan-ity (She took the picture, that's why she's not in the photo!)|
It has been almost a week since I returned home from the weekend retreat on Vashon Island with five bloggers that I met through their blogs. When Linda at Thoughts from a Bag Lady in Waiting first suggested the get-together, I was a little leery and I wrote about my fears here. My qualms were unfounded. Driving home last Sunday night I had five hours in the car to reflect on the magical weekend. Prior to meeting at Vashon, the six of us knew each other only through our blogs, yet we recognized each other immediately. There were no awkward silences in our conversations. Because we knew each other through our writing, we had an understanding of each other. We knew each others stories.
I like to write and I probably express myself better on paper than I do in conversation. Words are important to me. Several times over the course of the weekend my blogging friends reported that they appreciated something I had written in a comment on a blog. There is nothing more validating to me as a writer than to hear that my words made a difference. That we could develop such strong bonds through the Internet is remarkable to me. We have found a community...a community that provides encouragement, support, and understanding. This community also has a healthy dose of laughter.
Saturday night after dinner we all settled in comfy chairs in the living room and talked. Sally asked us "What do you look for in deciding to follow a blog?" Good writing seemed to be the consensus answer. We then began to compare notes on which blogs we followed. In the conversation below all the details and names are changed.
Blogger: I follow Depressed Granny.
Me: Oh, what does she write about?
Blogger: Well, she lives in a nursing home and she posts pictures of her gerbil.
Me: I couldn't say anything...I was laughing so hard. The Internet is a magical place where depressed nursing home residents find a following with pictures of their gerbils. She probably dresses him up in seasonal costumes...and we drop by every week to see what's new at Sunnyvale Nursing Home. So, it's not just the good writing that keeps us reading.
What is it that draws us together? This weekend on Vashon Island it was our willingness to take a risk and share our humanity...there were no pictures of gerbils!
|Our last photo, in the living room at Lavender Hill, just before we left for home. In the front L-R Deb, Linda, DJan. Standing in the rear L-R Sandi, me, Sally DJan set the timer on her camera for this shot.|