Sunday, May 13, 2012

Meeting a good friend for the first time

Marcia De Coster on the right, and me on the left.
It's an odd fact of this modern world: we have good friends whom we've never met. Good friends with whom we share our work, our feelings, our joys and our fears.

I'm talking about Internet friends, of course.

I've been an online person for more than 20 years now; I started with CompuServe in the bad old days of "dial-up and get off quick 'cause this thing is costing us by the minute," and it amazes me to realize that I am now connected all day, every day, to friends all over the world. Some of my very best friends are people I've never met; these people know me as well, or better, than people who see me every day. I turn to them without reserve when I need help; we celebrate the good things that happen together, and we comfort each other in sorrow.

Without Facebook, Marcia DeCoster would have remained only a photo and a name on several cherished books on my shelf. Thanks to Facebook, she's a real live person; warm, loving and funny. I've gotten to know her through photographs and the written word; I've admired her work, enjoyed watching her granddaughter grow, and had my coffee while chatting asynchronously on various topics on our Facebook pages. Across the miles, we've both felt the joys and sadnesses that come and go in our beady worlds.

But, when it comes right down to it, nothing beats getting that hug. Or seeing Marcia's beautiful beadwork up close and in person. I can tell you that those earrings she is wearing are amazing - they sparkle and dance. Pure poetry in motion, they are. Pictures do not capture them; they need to be seen dancing from her earlobes.

And that's what is on my mind this morning. Motion. Everything moves so quickly now; I don't know if it's just because I'm getting older, or if the world really is moving faster. I certainly know that the online world moves very quickly; I miss far more than I see on Facebook. It's nice to slow down for a day; to meet a friend for the first time, to share our joys and sorrows with a look and a hug instead of a word and a photo.

I live a lot of my life in the virtual space of the Internet, and I'm grateful for it. I've worked from home for nearly 25 years, and I love popping into the "virtual water cooler" on my breaks. I've gotten to know people from every corner of the world, and my life is richer for it. But there is still something very special about being close enough to touch.

Nothing beats getting that hug. Nothing.


Suzi Campbell Creations said...

Cynthia I soooooooo hear what you are saying, as you could have been describing me in your blog to a tee...especially about the internet etc.

Well ok!..maybe not quite 20yrs online presence...but pretty close to it!!

And you are right on both counts...we are getting older and because of that the world is moving at a faster pace for us...*sigh* - one of the joys of aging huh!

So glad you were able to sit and chat with Marcia face to face...tis truly an amazing thing hey...well here I am in Australia early hours of Monday morning typing a reply to you!!.. *grin*

Thanks so much for sharing the experience

Eva Maria Keiser said...

Wonderful post.
-Eva Maria

Sally Anderson said...

I agree! In February, Mandy from the the Beads for Brains blog came to visit us in Houston. She and I had formed a close friendship, too, without ever meeting. We were a bit nervous, asking each other "what if we don't like each other in person?" But no worries. And my sweet husband, who didn't know her from Adam, adored her, too. It was fantastic and lovely and just made us even better friends! Hugs are so great!

Chelsea said...

Cynthia + Marcia. That is an absolutely combustible meeting of two great beading talents. The cool ideas must be just popping out all over the place with the two of you inspiring each other. I'd love to just walk through the room and feel the bead juju emitting from you two. I'm thrilled such bead genius was able to meet. You two inspire all of us mortals.

Kokopelli said...

How fun to meet up with online friends, isn't it? I once met one of my online beading friends in Venice and we went bead shopping there. That was great!

KipperCat said...

What a fabulous picture of both of you! How wonderful that you got to spend some time together.