Monday, January 12, 2009

Finding Bloggerland

Whenever I pick up a new book I tingle with anticipation upon the reading of a new tale, but invariably a tale well-told will lead me down the path to the author’s doorstep. Though fiction has its place in my delights of the day, I much prefer a peek into form over fantasy. As a character scrubs garden earth from her nails, I yearn to know just what garden task the author has lately indulged in to provoke inspiration she simply had to set down for another to read. Likewise, a smudge of flour upon the face of a kitchen-bound soul hints at something much more than just a whim of literary convention. To know how the flour clings to the cheek in such a way must find its genesis in the act of kneading dough rather than perusing a thesaurus. And so I jump to the dustcover at end and seek out the face of such mysterious voice and the tidbits of truth spilled out beyond the story’s close.

Books always afforded me introductions to new people in new places with new ideas. However, upon entering the blogdom I dipped into streams of like-minded groups regarding homeschooling, politics, literary avenues, and spiritual guidance. I found little “new” on my programmed paths. Soon, however, I found side-jetting rivulets to recipes and home-enhancement projects with such immediacy that I dropped off the reading of many glossy (ad-larded) magazines and read spontaneous essays and perused casual photo shoots from novices, just like me, dancing through life with interests and hobbies to share. Curiouser and curiouser, I cruised out into open waters of regular-old blogs of unknowns from who-knows-where who elected to open the door and wave the casual passer-by in for a peek. I hesitated . . . I dithered . . . I wondered what it would cost? Boredom? Easy enough to leave unnoticed. Shock? Pretty easy to turn tail and run at the first sign of danger or horror. Confrontation? How virulent a tone did the information fount spill out and would I need reply? Once again I took comfort in the anonymity factor and plunged ahead.

Once I left the well-trodden path of commercial or political sites I plunged down into green pastures of new ideas, verdant coves filled with lives blooming and growing far from the shadow of our cultural constructions. TV, radio, newspapers, magazines all “shared” a carefully constructed view for a purpose: to inform for revenue. More crassly: To convince me to buy whatever festooned the page or framed the dialog shouted my way as I paused in my daily routine for a moment’s refreshment -- crazy really, to fill my free time with a non-stop barrage of pushy ideas. I cast aside TV nearly 20 years ago, found radio to be a droning bore, and loathed the ink-staining from a newspaper splashed with “SALE” ads everywhere. Magazines remained relatively clean and inviting, and the internet provided ink-free news with a world-wide option that informed me beyond the local mind-set. Still, the ads annoyed me and I retreated to books, books, and more books when real conversations ran short at hand.

One night during the final email check before bed (eagerly anticipated, as my overseas friends often shot off a missive early in their day but late in mine), I received a homeschooling newsletter containing an invitation to read the blog of the author’s daughter as she traveled via car through New England and on up to Prince Edward Island. The gypsy would punctuate her trip with stops at an intriguing variety of authors’ homesteads along the way: Walden’s “Pond,” Louisa May Alcott’s “Orchard House,” and many more leading up to the crowning jewel -- a tour of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s precious PEI, home of sprightly Anne with an “E.” I linked to that wonderful meandering e-diary of a young girl in her compact car on a quest for something intensely personal and strangely familiar (having visited the Island recently with my own dreams to find), and read with delight of the wanderings of the heart and gifts found thereupon.

For quite some time I read the blogs of this family alone, having received personal invites as another family member stepped up to the keyboard. I never ventured to seek and find a doorway all on my own. I dared not peep in an intrusive fashion. But one day a comment left on this familiar blog begged following and then it happened . . . like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, I found a world most unusual, most open, most surprising, and most friendly. I met dear ones who danced, cried, sought, revealed, and lived most openly within the borders of an electronic neighborhood knitted together via the click of a button and the whim of a reader. Like reading an endless stream of dust-cover introductions, I flitted from this one to that one to another and back again. Exhausted at times, saddened at others, but mostly delighted, and always intrigued to return again for another post, I read as a nameless consumer of thoughts until I found a woman suffering as her father lay dying. Having recently lost my son, I reached out in the form of a simple note of prayer and support set into an ocean of comments. She wrote back!! That thin tendril of real interaction instantly replaced the anonymous window-shopping I had previously engaged in. I gingerly wrote back and a pen-pal effect ensued. I then ventured out on another’s comment page, thus beginning a new phase of blogging.

Eventually some of my “real life” friends began engaging in blogging and I thought it made sense to start a blog of “current events” in our household and break the need for that lengthy letter each Christmas. I never intended to find new friends, nor did I believe I would unbutton my heart and spill forth deep feelings – rather, this bloggy thing would be a message board with pics and entertaining tidbits to allow me to communicate in bulk about our bulk activities.

Okay, you know the next line as well as I do: My friends didn’t come to visit . . . but others did . . . and they became my friends! I never entertained the idea of such a world-wide pen-pal fest and SO MUCH FUN! I feared a time-gobbler but found the necessary restraint through various automated “readers” and tools and SELF-CONTROL (which I pray for DAILY). This journey to e-Wonderland has even yielded connections with truly-live writers who formerly only inhabited the back leaf of a dustcover for me. What a Gift!


Thus, a girl who lived much of her girlhood with nose firmly planted between the covers of a book, grew to be a lively woman who lives, loves, and learns in a life filled with family, friends, books, and now bloggers. It’s a WONDERFUL LIFE!





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And Now I leave you for a few days as I whisk away to San Francisco with Miss Lydia. We have received invite from a dear sis-in-law/auntie in the Bay Area to come visit the sights of San Francisco with her. All others opted to stay home for one reason or another, so Lydia and I embark on some rare “alone” time. I will return at week’s end with pictures and memories captured in words and whims. Until then . . . ; )





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*All pics from Disney's Alice in Wonderland


24 comments:

Flea said...

Y'all have a great time in San Fransisco! I love the story of your blogging beginnings. I've always been a letter writer, so blogging was a natural extension of who I am. It's always fun to hear others' journeys. :)

Laura ~Peach~ said...

how wonderfully put.... you have such a way with words... I hope you have a wonderful time! Hugs and much love Laura

Karen said...

Have fun in San Fran! Someday, if you venture to the East Coast, together we'll head further East and tour PEI ourselves. THAT would be so much fun.

Julie said...

I couldn't agree more with the idea that we have so much more to gain from interacting with each other-- real people with beating hearts-- rather than the carefully marketed media filled with only the ideas their adverstisers have paid us to have, rather than with spontaneity and truth. And I have certainly been blessed by the things you have chosen to share. Thank you!

Virginia said...

I'm blessed to have found your blog. Have fun in San Francisco!

Blessings,
Virginia :)

Becky said...

What a beautiful story. Have a wonderful trip.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Wonderful! You summed it all up so nicely. You have a great time, and we'll see you in a few days!

Dawn said...

If I was as talented with words as I think you are, this is just what I would have said! You wrote so eloquently just how I feel about this wonderful world of blogging.
And now..you're going to my favorite city. :) Have a wonderful time!

Natalie said...

Eloquent indeed! Your site is comfy and homey and delightful. :D

Cynthia said...

Thank you for coming over to Oasis, Debbie,I know what you mean about real talk that leads to real relationships in blogland. Your comment was so heartfelt and powerful. <3

Cynthia said...

Thank you for coming over to Oasis, Debbie,I know what you mean about real talk that leads to real relationships in blogland. Your comment was so heartfelt and powerful. <3

Cynthia said...

Thank you for coming over to Oasis, Debbie,I know what you mean about real talk that leads to real relationships in blogland. Your comment was so heartfelt and powerful. <3

CIELO said...

Wait... wait for me! We'll follow Alice to Wonderland, we'll stroll dark woods and primrose paths filled with bumblebees and butterflies.... I'll pick daisies you delphinium, apples, pears and berries, and if we watch very closely, we could see the garden fairies.... ;)

Blessings, and smiles!

Cielo

FancyHorse said...

I'm so glad you came to blogland, because I enjoy reading your blog, commenting, and getting to know you!

"My friends didn’t come to visit . . . but others did . . . and they became my friends!" - Oh, yes, I know the feeling! I invited real-life friends by email and e-friends from other sites. I havent' seen them here, but I've met some wonderful new friends -- you're one of them!

Have fun in San Francisco!

Tiaras and Tantrums said...

have a great time in San Fran - and that was a lovely post - I need to learn more self restrain!!

Britt-Arnhild said...

Dear Debbie.
What a wonderful tale and tribute you have written to blogging and the friendships here in blogland. I swallowed each sweet word with a broad smile :-)

I wish you and Lydia the very best of times together. Marta and I went down to Oslo for one day, a mother/daughter-day yesterday. We enjoyed every minute.

Ruth MacC said...

Is sounds, by reading the other comments, that a lot of people love you and enjoy your blog... Well, they can just jooin the queue!

God continue to bless you and your family and keep up the blogging!

Ruth

noble pig said...

It's a great thing isn't it. And it's more amazing how it all comes together. Have a wonderful trip in the city and I can't wait to see the pics.

Theresa said...

Hope you're having fun in SF.I'm enjoying catching up. I felt that I could have written much of this post myself. I just finished reading a biography of LM Montgomery that I purchased at Toad Hall Books near you. I was surprised to find that she was not that honorable of a woman, though in her defence she did have rough upbringing. Much of what she experienced she put into her stories of orphans and underdogs, though Anne is more likable of a character than she. I love Anne Girl no less, but was sad to read of LM's driven selfishness.

I wrote penpals all over the world growing up. The blog and the Internet seemed natural. God even blessed me with an incredible Godly husband that I met online as a penpal and corresponded with for 18 months before we began a whirlwind romance! Not the course I recommend for everyone, but God DOES work in mysterious ways! lol

I haven't been reading blogs lately, but enjoyed catching up a little on here tonight and seeing all your loveliness.

Theresa said...

Hope you're having fun in SF.I'm enjoying catching up. I felt that I could have written much of this post myself. I just finished reading a biography of LM Montgomery that I purchased at Toad Hall Books near you. I was surprised to find that she was not that honorable of a woman, though in her defence she did have rough upbringing. Much of what she experienced she put into her stories of orphans and underdogs, though Anne is more likable of a character than she. I love Anne Girl no less, but was sad to read of LM's driven selfishness.

I wrote penpals all over the world growing up. The blog and the Internet seemed natural. God even blessed me with an incredible Godly husband that I met online as a penpal and corresponded with for 18 months before we began a whirlwind romance! Not the course I recommend for everyone, but God DOES work in mysterious ways! lol

I haven't been reading blogs lately, but enjoyed catching up a little on here tonight and seeing all your loveliness.

Karen Deborah said...

you my dear are always full of fun. We just got home today and the bed is calling me! Will be writing to you soon a big thank you note!

Ruth MacC said...

Hope you are having a good and restful time in San Francisco. I just wanted to let you know that
we finished a series of books for Sean. It is a set of 5 called The Viking Quest written by Lois Walfrid Johnson and published by Moody Publishings and they were very, very good.

It would be a good series for boys and girls. Sean read some of them and Niall and I read some of them out loud. We finished the last book last night. Look it up on the net and see what you think?

I think your daughter would really enjoy them:-)

Ruth

Mim said...

Debbie
Oh I wish I could whisk away with you to SF as my daughter lives there....
she just left here 2 wks ago after being home for 2 wks.. it was marvelous.
Have a good time.
Mim

Elizabeth said...

Have a wonderful trip, and it's been lovely getting to know you through your blog too!!! :)