Surely you remember???
I’ve been making memories. Learning hard lessons. Meeting a few of you for in-person fun.
One person I didn’t meet on my quarter-long touring adventure was Lizzi Rogers, only because she lives in England. I can’t finance my own UK book tour.
But Lizzi came up with her own way to Make a Memory, and I hope her version will send her my way.
Please enjoy Lizzi’s Make a Memory submission “No Wires Required.”
“Is your husband going with you?”
It’s the question everyone seems to want to know when I start talking about my upcoming trip to ‘Murica – will I have a companion? A protector? A MAN?
I’m learning to hold back the eye-rolls by now, and I explain as kindly as I can, that Husby doesn’t know any of the people I’m seeing. He hasn’t built any kind of relationship with them, and has no reason to go.
“What are you going to SEE then? There are some AMAZING places in America…”
The other inevitable question, which has even been posed to me by some of the people I’m visiting – what do I want to DO while I’m there? What sights and attractions do I want to visit?
My answer (with an ill-concealed sigh of ‘here we go again’ness) is that I’m not going to see the sights; I’m going to see the people. At which point my questioner tends to give me a look which indicates that they find me quite baffling, and the subject gets changed.
Just occasionally I’ll find someone astute enough to grasp the entirety of the idea behind my trip, and then I get the slightly incredulous question:
“So…you don’t actually KNOW any of these people? And you’re going to stay with them? On a massive trip through a bajillion states?” (accompanied by an implicit “Are you MAD?!”)
In reverse order – no, I’m not mad; yes, though it’s a bajillion-and-one states; and yes, I’m going to stay with them. But do I KNOW them? Well…yes and no.
For three glorious weeks in autumn (‘fall’, for ye across the pond) I shall be playing pass-the-parcel down the east coast of America. With me as the parcel. I’m coming over to finally meet some of my very most favourite bloggers In Real for the first time ever.
Some people have the luxury of meeting their friends from around the Blogosphere at places like BlogHer or BlogU, but as an Englander, it’s just not possible to justify the expense, especially when I know that the reason I would be attending would be the people, not the information. Added to which, I could pretty much guarantee that in spite of the wide attendance at these functions, there would be a few glaring omissions from the list of friends I’d love to meet.
So I’m cutting out the middle man. Conference be hanged – I’m going to meet my friends where THEY are.
And here’s the thing – in spite of the thousands of miles between us and the fact that we’ve never stood in the same room together – I most definitely DO know them: I’ve been reading their innermost beings for years.
The Blogosphere is a queer, Through-the-looking-glass kind of place, where you can fall hard for someone’s spirit and words before you ever lay eyes on them. You need no introductions to learn the weft and wend of their heart – you just click into their latest post. You may never have heard them speak, yet hear their voice echo beauty and truth through your mind. Having never met their eyes, you can nonetheless know that there is resonance between you.
Without them ever having touched your skin, they can give you goosebumps and leave you feeling a connection so strong that you might be forgiven for thinking that should you put your hand to the screen, they would be there, on the other side, palm raised, millimetres from your own.
For those I fell deeply in friends with, I created a symbol – a hardwired heart – to show that despite the geography which kept us apart, technology allowed us to create a pioneering kind of friendship – the sort which existed in the World Between the Wires.
And oh, that world…it is beautiful.
Some members of that world know my darkest moments. Most of them know my brightest ones. There are a few I talk to every day, and whom I hope I never, ever lose. We share honestly with one another. We chat intermittently, when it fits, or we might have long video-chats into the small hours. We email. We send voice messages on WhatsApp, or quick tweets to let each other know we’re thinking of the other one. We discuss all things under the sun and send each other snail-mail and glitterbombs. We send our feelings through asterisked *hugs* and dewy-eyed emojis, and as far as traditional person-to-person interaction is concerned, it’s bizarre…but it matters. We matter, to one another,
I can’t tell you the usual minutiae of friendships – how they laugh; what their mannerisms are, how their shadow falls; or what it feels like to hug them – but I can tell you some of the things which delight them, scare them, inspire them and move them to action. I can tell you stories about their childhoods; their mistakes; their triumphs. I can tell you what’s important to them; WHO’S important to them; and what they’d like to accomplish. I can tell you their soul.
And at last, come autumn, I’m going to go and meet the bodies which house those souls who have become so very precious – and in some cases quite vital – to me.
Then I shall learn how they laugh; what their mannerisms are; how their shadow falls; and the inexpressible delight of finally wrapping my arms around them in a For Real hug.
No wires required.
Lizzi is a Deep Thinker, Truth-Teller and seeker of Good Things. She’s also silly, irreverent and tries to write as beautifully as possible. She sends glitterbombs and gathers people around her – building community wherever she can.
She’s living Life in Silver Linings and *twinklysparklygoodness* because two miscarriages and a subsequent diagnosis of spousal infertility will rather upset anyone’s applecart. She borrows other people’s children to love while she learns to accept a future she never expected.
Lizzi is a founder member of Sisterwives and #1000Speak, and hosts the Ten Things of Thankful bloghop each weekend.
Have you ever met someone in person after encountering them online? Tell us about your favorite experience in a comment today.