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11 March 2002

OK. I'm getting entirely too entrenched in this journaling community. Last night I dreamed that David, SecraTerri's husband, was helping me with my (yet to be purchased) bike. He was down on his hands and knees examining all those chain-thingies in the back (you can just tell I'm a bike person, can't you?) and speaking some language I didn't understand. I don't remember if Secra was around. Maybe it was just David, running his rough hands over my cables.

Whew.  I think I need to go get a cool drink now.

It's amazing how, over time, as we continue to throw our own lives out here for all the world to see, we also get wrapped up in other people's lives. It's like watching a soap opera, only the stars are people you can't see. As you continue to read, week after week, month after month, these "make-believe people" become a part of your life, whether they are aware of your existence or not. All of us have become cyber exhibitionists and cyber voyeurs, each of us performing or watching from the privacy of our own homes. Only our computers know for sure.

I knew I'd really gotten sucked into this journaling community back in December of 2000 when the aforementioned David proposed to the aforementioned Secra and I found myself sitting here at the computer screen reading about it, with tears streaming down my face. And that was before I'd even met them.

I'd always felt that Al  and I could at least understand each other, since we both belonged to the club that neither of us intended to join.  We each know the pain of losing a child.  (Elle understands the pain of loss as well, as she is dealing with the death of her finacee.)   Following the tales of Al's problems with his remaining austic son, the triumphs of his other son, and his loving relationship with wife Barbara has become a nightly ritual. Plus, his monthly   "Lives on Line" has introduced me to a host of journals that I had not previously encountered.

I've laughed with Marn and eagerly followed both her exercise program, and the reports she wrote during her recent travels through Australia, since I have some passing interest in that country myself.

I shared Stasi's joy as she discovered, after a lengthy period of "trying" that she was pregnant, and watched her through the pregnancy and then birth of young Daisy and the ups and downs of the various frustrations in her life.

I've also worried with Saundra about the safety of the child she's carrying (especially when things were worrisome in the early days of her pregnancy), and have cheered when her writing gets attention from a TV show or a writing contest.  I shared the worries of The Bitter Hag as she struggled to find work, now very happy that she seems to have discovered the perfect job.

There have been many emotional ups and downs in the life of Cubicle Girl, first as she struggled with the decision of whether or not to leave New York and follow her heart to Boston, and then the worry about finding work in her new location, followed by the survivor's guilt she's been feeling over the tragedy of 911, as she used to work in the World Trade Center and knows many people whose lives were affected on that fateful day.

I've had a good time watching Ava (who is older than I am...there are not too many of those around) learn HTML, trying when I could to offer some advice and sharing her pride at finally mastering the art of writing code for links that work.

I enjoy Michael's tales of his job, his trips to 3-Com Park to watch The Giants, and his relationship with his mother. It's also fun to listen to his reports on plays he's seen, especially now that I'm a critic.

I am enjoying all the news about the wedding preparations that Sunshyn is making (especially now that we have met face to face), and there are a bunch of us who are hoping that Denver Doug will be able to attend the wedding, since so many of us have become his fans.

There are also people like MaryEllen, Lisa and Tricia, all of whom I knew in real life before they started writing journals. It's fun to keep up with them and their families as well.

There are a lot of people who don't read journals and who don't understand the bond that forms between writer and reader. The above is just a small sampling of the journals that I try to keep up with, at least periodically, and I have truly come to care about these people and to care what happens to them.

It's one of those "ya hadda been there" things, I suspect. But this journaling community really is like one huge extended cyberfamily, so large that you don't always know all your "relatives," but you're glad they're there anyway.

(And thanks to all those people I've never had contact with who stop by here from time to time and keep track of my life!)


Quote of the Day

The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created--created first in the mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them, changes both the maker and the destination.

~ John Schaar, futurist

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