Friday, June 25, 2004

Separation Anxiety

If you lived in a friendly neighborhood for awhile, and made good friends with the neighbors, you would say goodbye if you moved away, right?

Not so in the world of Blog.

Reading the thoughts of another creates a very strange intimacy, and whether it is "real" or not, a friendship. I have a list of blogs that I am quite fond of. Over time, I have begun to build and actually feel a sense of community with my fellow bloggers, those that I visit every week.

Making my rounds of my favorite blogs is a little like taking an evening stroll around my neighborhood. Checking in with frequently updated blogs is kind of like passing a busy house with kids in the yard, flowers on the porch, and someone giving you a friendly wave. You can stop, listen to what they have to say - happy or sad, offer up your own little impressions, and move on, secure in the knowledge that the friendship is solid.

Occasionally, you notice that someone has done some exterior redecorating, and you can cast an appreciating glance at the improvements, maybe leaving a comment like "Hey! Nice template change! Easier to read, and the colors are great!"

Sometimes, you pass a blog and realize that you haven't seen much change there for the past few weeks. As a matter of fact, there are virtual soggy newspapers littering the driveway, and you figure they are on vacation, and then one day, you pass by, and all the newspapers are cleaned up, the lights are on, and you see that they have returned. You might get an explanation of their absence, and maybe hear a little about their travels, see a few snapshots. Again, everything is back in order.

Then there are those times that you walk toward a well-loved blog home and see broken blinds dangling in the windows; the door is wide open, revealing an empty shell where your friend once dwelled. And you think to yourself: what? no goodbye? after all of the time we spent sharing thoughts and experiences, they could just leave in the night and not say a word? So, with a mixture of disappointment and slight annoyance, you make a mental note not to bother to stop there anymore.

But then, you keep walking, and you see a moving truck parked at a house down the block, moving a new occupant in, and you think to yourself: I wonder who that is?

And so it goes . . .

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