Thursday, Dec. 01, 2005
Imagine A World
After a quick read at wildrosie's diary, it dawned on me: I've been on Diaryland for more than two years.
Amazing the difference that a couple of years can make. In that period I've met, in the flesh (so to speak) and online and on the phone, some of the most remarkable people you can imagine. Some are inspirational, some insanely bright and witty, some I'd like to pull into a huge bear hug. (Some I have pulled into huge bear hugs!)
And to think that were it not for this venue, there's virtually no chance we'd have met at all.
Just a few decades ago, humanity lived such an insulated existence. While the news told us about the things that happened in other parts of the country and in other parts of the world, the average citizen of the planet didn't venture far outside their hometown, at least not for any length of time. We were often born, grew up and spent our lives in the same town, befriending and loving only those who lived within that tiny cosmos.
Television changed our perceptions of the world, to be sure, but the Internet was the advent of the small-world phenomenon. During my first few months online I was privileged to encounter and befriend people from Canada, Australia, Indonesia, India and the UK. Later that envelope expanded to include friends from New Zealand, Italy, Finland, Estonia and more.
In a short while, the world had become my hometown. My perceptions were overwritten with a planet-wide consciousness. It didn't take long to realize that no matter where we reside, no matter our political affiliations or our native language, we are truly all the same. It's one thing to say it; it's another to truly know it in the deepest recesses of your soul.
My first day online was in August of 2000, though on that day all I did was a VERY quick sign-in to peruse one site. I signed back on in November of that year and established a Yahoo email, with 00 walking me through the process. The learning curve from that point was quick and at times downright brutal; by February of the next year, I owned a very busy forum and within six months had begun exploring a little about websites. But it was the forums that truly drew me. They provided a hereforeto unknown outlet for communicating the things that really mattered to me - the good, the bad, and the excruciating. And people responded, replying with answers that showed they really understood and cared about what I was saying.
It didn't take long to realize that the lack of physical contact didn't do a thing to inhibit friendships. On the contrary - if anything, it stripped away the chaff, enabling discussions that were unrestricted, funny, deep, serious, flippant... The window went from illuminated to cracked to shattered, and debilitating depression fled in the face of overwhelming support, where before I'd had none.
Some of the people I met online lived transitory realities and therefore their online time was transitory, as well. A handful of people have moved in and out of contact over the ensuing years. Some have remained fast friends throughout and our friendship has mellowed into the warm, deep connections that I haven't known in any other aspect of life.
Where before I was suicidal, having planned out every detail of my demise with the full intent of carrying it out, I haven't had a single thought of ending my life since being online. The connections forged here wiped away the conviction that no one cares. People DO care if given the opportunity. It's this connection and the people I've met online, more than anything or anyone else, that convinced me to shed my years-long avoidance of romance. I am willing to try again, even at the risk of more failure, more pain. I know now that there really are people out there - men, women, people of all walks of life - who are worth the effort.
Others have gone through similar situations in their respective lives. Some have been suicidal; others have survived enormous losses or are going through personal crises and tragedies. Some struggle with chronic physical or mental or emotional illnesses. Some show personal strengths that confound all rational thought, doing the impossible, day after day after day. Others have all but withdrawn from the world, keeping only the slimmest connection open through the Internet.
A change of subject... Last night I finished up work on the other website and then crashed - and I really crashed this time, as in near-collapse. So I didn't get a lot done other than dinner and the website. But I do have a few photos uploaded to my server. Just haven't had time to do a lot of editing yet:
I don't have any photos of myself posted yet - though I do have a few. Fair warning, though - they broke the camera, so view at your own risk when they're posted.
I've also got several more pictures from the show, and photos from the various ships (though the latter were taken with a standard camera and I've got to get the film developed.) Hopefully I'll get most of the photos posted over the next few days...
Before - After
In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )