Small World

In response to a request from long-time blogger, Miguel Guhlin, I’ve been asked to write something as part of a meme on “how blogging has rocked your world.” If you are interested in contributing your own story, check out the link to the meme on Miguel’s website.

I’ve been blogging since 2004, being encouraged by a good friend who saw my need for creative expression and introduced me to Nancy White, who in turn taught me how to get started. I’ll always be grateful for the nudge. Blogging for me now is what poetry was for me when I was in high school: a place to record and transmute my experiences into words. Along with photography, it’s a creative playground where I explore my hair brained ideas and theories, offer advice, lament some things about my work and world, and celebrate things, too. What I did not imagine when I started is that it also would connect me to such great people. Although we may never have met in person, I feel the kinship of spirit and perspective with any number of folks anywhere in the world. Quite a wonderful thing.

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Shortly after I started blogging — I had a Blogspot template back then with a button at the top that would take me to the random “Next Blog” — I came across a woman’s journal to her unborn child. The author, Ellin, and I got into an email conversation and there was such a strong sense of synchronicity about it all, that psychic quality of finding kinship and “I know who you are” with a stranger. Because I couldn’t find it on her blog, I asked her one day where she was located. She replied that she was “at the end of the telephone lines” in a non-Western country on the other side of the world. Something in me “got it” at that moment. This mutual cyberspace was to be cherished as an amazing medium of human connection. A random hit on the blog of a woman writing to her unborn child led to an unforgettable conversation about — you’ll love this — angels. After that, I was totally hooked.

All too soon, Ellin stopped blogging and I lost track of her. (Ellin, if you read this someday, please let me know how you are).

I was changed, I guess, because I suddenly not only knew the world was small, I felt it, viscerally.

As I look back at my posts — there are only a couple hundred of them, not much for almost seven years — I see a lot of stuff that I don’t think is very good; and I also see things of value that I’m proud of. I’ve heard from some that my posts are too dense, and that they must “slow way down” to read what I’ve written. I’ve never liked the rules about bullet lists and punchy sound bites. My page loads are down from what they once were, and sometimes I feel my blog now is like a cabin lost in the mountains. But that is all okay. My blog has been a kind of sanctuary for me, for my own spirit. I put up exactly what I want to and feel grateful to be able to do so.

Along with such beautiful connections with others and listening to so many great voices, a blog is a good place to find and listen to your own voice, too. It’s a telephone, and it’s also a mirror.

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4 Comments

  • I’m so glad you got hooked Dan, and continue to share your Mana‘o and Aloha for us as you do. I’m always happy to “slow way down” with you, feeling that blessing in doing so.

  • Ah, Rosa, you always say the perfect thing. I’m sure Miguel would love to hear your response to the meme question, too — but that, of course, is up to you! Best always — our friendship via blogging has been exactly one of those great big gifts!

  • I think the poetic perspective still comes through in many of your posts.

    As more platforms make it easier for more people to say more things (and I’m thinking about Facebook, Twitter and Google+, in addition to WordPress, Blogger and Typepad), I suspect that many blogs – especially those that indulge in the long form, in this era of tl;dr – have fewer visitors (and fewer readers).

    In my judgment, you bring all of who you are to blogging, and that’s why I keep coming back … though that’s also why I have to make sure I only visit when I have the time and inclination to engage in deep reflection.

    The story of our initial connection – via comment exchanges about respective (and reflective) posts on Martin Luther King, Jr. – still represents one of the most compelling and enduring benefits I’ve derived from blogging.

    Thanks for helping make the world a smaller, more intimate place!

  • Thank you, Joe. I appreciate your comments and especially your willingness to engage reflectively. It means a lot to me!

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