Thursday, October 26, 2006

Thank You, Al Gore, For Inventing The Internets

Last night, I was invited to dinner by a dear friend, a friend I met because of this blog. Actually, the two of us were trying to remember exactly how we did hook up, and I think we finally decided that we had a mutual friend (blog-friend on my part, although we did actually meet once, real-life friend on his part) who told him about me because we lived in the same town, and then he emailed me about perhaps meeting at some point, and so we did, or something like that, and we've met many times since. Whatever the middle details were, it was Robin who brought us together. Thank you, Robin. When are you coming back up?

Scott made his famous homemade chicken and dumplings for me, and the meal was delicious from start to finish. He had also invited another of his friends, and the evening was filled with fun and laughter and blogging tips and bits from Joel's indie movies and talk of mutual friends and experiences and how much we all had in common. (Joel, you will have to update now; people might coming clicking!!)

I know that the internet has its share of horror (oh, believe me, I know. . . .) but so does a bookstore or a video rental. It is up to each individual to know which door to open or which shelf to explore, and most of the time those doors and those shelves are plainly labeled. Life is full of choices.

Blogging has opened so many doors to me. I've met wonderful people, and they have become an important aspect of my life, and many of them have allowed me the privilege of becoming part of their lives. The heart has many rooms, and blogging has unlocked a little room in my heart that I didn't realize was even there: a room full of invisible people whom I love.

Blogging has also changed the meaning of the expression "real-life." Some of my blogfriends ARE part of my real life; they might be a thousand miles away or more, but they are just as much a part of my life as are the friends who are right here. The internet has made that possible, and I thank Al Gore with all my heart. (tee hee)

I think that I love my family even more, after reading about other families and their love for each other. I have learned more from blogging than I ever did in school. (How do I make my living again? Hmmmm. . . .)

Blogging has allowed me to peek through the windows of others and learn how people deal with the hand life dealt them.

I had read textbooks that told me what experts had to say on many topics. LOTS of textbooks, and LOTS of experts.

But blogging has taught me the truth about how people are dealing with these topics.

A textbook can tell me how certain circumstances should be dealt with. It can cite statistics, and give examples, and stir it all together in the final chapter and tell me what should be done and how to do it. Pomposity at best, clueless at worst.

Blogging has taught me how people who must deal with certain circumstances daily, actually do deal with them.

Blogs are a far better learning tool than are most textbooks. Who knows more about dealing with a particular special needs child: experts who write textbooks, or parents coping and caring for an actual child every minute of every day?

Where can we find answers to questions in areas that 'experts' don't even know exist? In a blog, that's where. Is there ever a chapter in a parenting textbook that talks about what to do when your child starts quoting Stewie from "Family Guy" to the minister, or how to clean smeared poop from the inside of an expensive toy? Does Chapter 14 in a textbook tell a worried parent where to buy pre-teen clothing that doesn't make her child look like a nickel hooker? Is there some kind of list in a textbook that tells a parent what movies, or what books, or what experiences, etc, OTHER parents have tried and found wanting, or tried and recommend to other parents?

Can a textbook show me what it's like when someone who is beloved goes through addiction, withdrawal, panic, fear, loss, death, divorce, remorse, fear, old age, devastation, bliss, love, ceremonies, childbirth, holidays, celebrations, handcuffs (either kind), betrayal, wondrous life-changing love, devastating life-changing abandonment, child-raising, disappointment in a spouse or child or self, or anything else that may or may not be found on a stress-computing test? I think not.

But a blog can.

Blogs allow people to share things. Blogs bring out the empathy in us, not merely the sympathy.

"Oh, my life is too boring; nobody would want to read about what I do all day. I think it's boring myself!!"

I bet you're wrong. Start a blog and find out. Sure, there are some boring ones out there; often, this blog is pretty boring. But keep writing and keep writing, and you might make some discoveries about both yourself and the world in general.

Anne Frank wasn't a good writer in school. She became a good writer by writing. That is how any writer becomes a better writer. Nobody sits down and produces a bestseller in one fell swoop. (some of those bestsellers are pretty poorly written, in fact.) You want to express yourself? You want to share some aspect of your life and your accumulated wisdom with the world at large? Write. And then, write some more.

Thank you, dear Scott and Joel, for inviting me into your home last night. Thank you most of all for inviting me into your lives via our blogs, first of all.

Thank you all, in fact, for doing the same. If you're ever in the area, I'll invite you into my home as well. In fact, I look forward to doing just that.

Please bring ice. I never have any.
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 1:57 PM | |


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