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.


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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  • 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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