Threads of Connection: Blog Friends

Ruminations about one’s personal blogging future may create a kind of bow-wave resonance among those connected to it, casting out harmonics unheard by those who found your website only once or twice and by chance. After five years, there have been so many distant stirrings–like ripples on a pond–on shores far away, on the banks of Goose Creek.

Gary Boyd writes yesterday of going back to Fragments archives to the beginning of the story in June 2002. And now, by virtue of our virtual friendship, he is part of the story ahead. (Note we both discovered the same blog theme, and it is to him I owe the fact that I haven’t pulled down this house of cards yet–and thanks to another Floyd blogger that there is a place to build it at all.) Someday, he’ll get to his beloved Carolina mountains. We’ll be neighbors.

And Rob Paterson, the peripatetic Renaissance Man of Prince Edward Island, shares in the life and visions of Floyd County, too, by way of our blogging, emailing and even a couple of phone calls (man, those folks up there really DO have British roots. Eh?) Here’s another sit-down meeting–who knows, maybe on our front porch–I expect to have one day. And without the blog, we’d have never met.

This is my house on Prince Edward Island, off the east coast of Canada. I too walk the dogs morning and night and know that I have found home and a life that I could never have in the city. I have work here and I also have work all over the world. I have friends here and I have friends all over the world. I have access to any culture that I want. I work alone but I am surrounded by men and women that I love–most of whom live thousands of miles away.

What’s my point? It is that Social Software is making it possible for a return to living in beauty, in nature and in a scale of human society that fits our deepest needs to be connected and known. While at the same time it is making it possible for those of us to live like this while also being connected to the wider world.

The world is becoming more urban every year. But Social Software is starting a new trickle “Home” to a way of life that is better for us.

So I know that, if I write daily or weekly, or in spells not at all to Fragments, Gary and Rob and a small constellation of blog friends near and far away will still be out there with their own twinkling lights that are also weaker, stronger by turns, there while a writer’s life may tunnel underground, submerge to the quiet place beneath ocean waves, become invisible for a time.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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