Saturday, 31 January 2009

Oh, Blog!

I reached my half-century today. Fifty not out! Of course, I raised my bat in acknowledgement of the crowd’s applause. And then I immediately clicked to see who follower number fifty might be. And as I did so I was whisked across the Atlantic to someone who had found me, ‘friend of a friend’ style and was asking, in her sidebar, that we pray for a little girl called ‘Tuesday’.
I clicked, I read, I cried, I prayed. I also got there just a day too late. Tuesday died on January 30th 2009.
And so I thought - why bother? What are we all here for? No, not in an existential sense (although it might as well have been) but in a moment of blogging reflection. As Suburbia says, there are currently around 70 million blogs on the internet. About 120,000 new blogs are being created worldwide each day. That's about 1.4 blogs created every second of every day. So what are we all doing here?
Well, I’ve decided why I’m here. The Blog-o-sphere is full of real human lives and human life stories, expressed without intrusive journalists or TV hosts imposing an agenda. And the personal expressions are on the whole so simple, and so moving. I didn’t know it then, but that is why I blog now.
‘No man is an island’ wrote John Donne, but little could he possibly have known how this great cyber-sea we’re all surrounded by keeps washing messages upon our little shore. And as a poet rather closer to our own age said:
...we should be careful of each other, we should be kind while there is still time.

39 comments:

  1. How right you are - no imposed agenda - that is the magic of blogging for me too. No editor to impose their own set of rules, but writing that goes directly from one human to another, direct communiction. I think that's why tears and laughter are so powerful in their transference from all these written words.
    Condolences to those affected by the death you mentioned, and congratulations to you on your half century not out!

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  2. True there ar blogging millions but I am always intrigued and eternally grateful for the particular ones who somehow end up at my blogging door... I do often wonder how they get there though.

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  3. A very happy birthday to you my dear, I wish you many more of them

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  4. It's the unedited that is so effective, Jinksy. Absolutely.

    And like you, Steve, I'm constantly amazed at the connections blogging brings. Random sometimes, but always welcome.

    Oh dear, AG. That's bad blogging on my part, you see. I'm only 43!

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  5. And today, not a day too late, but a day in time, in the time of our lives as parents, as persons, as bloggers we both share in the sorrow of strangers, you and I.. Tuesday and her family.. today the world be came a bit smaller because of the life and passing of a child... My hugs to Charlie and the family.. from your 50th follower and your new fan.

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  6. Happy Birthday, sir - You are so wise and so right! Blogging seems to make the world a smaller place and a friendlier place, I feel... x

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  7. That's beautifully said and so true. In the sea of nothing that's our life the only saving grace, the only "lifejackets" are the millions lives around us that touch us every day. Without them nothing will be worth it. So terribly sad about Tuesday, another life that touched us and it's never too late. Have a nice Sunday! Give an extra hug to Charlie from me. Ciao. Antonella

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  8. 'Be kind whenever possible ... it is always possible' said the current Dalai Lama. I couldn't agree more.

    The blogosphere has been an eye opener for me too - the sense of community was a total surprise, but it is there. People care about people.

    Take care. x

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  9. beautiful post you got there, happy fifty to you.

    I have been having the same existential-blogging-conundrum myself recently (this time it really was existential) and came to the same conclusions, it is about the people the connections, the synchronicity, the tears.

    I thought about giving it all up then I received one amazing comment and that saved me and the blog.

    Then I just clicked on the link to Tuesday - more tears, more doubts, more wondering what it is all for. Then knowing: this is what it is all for; for the chance to make that random click and in that split second have your life change in front of your eyes.

    thanks for this,
    x

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  10. Happy birthday my friend. I am sorry that you cried but glad that you were able to reflect and come out of your reflection with a positive message.

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  11. Happy Birthday - I hit the big 50 last year and have been reflecting on what I've achieved in my half century compared to others , it does tend to humble you. Don't be sad - look for the positives , Tuesday's no longer suffering and her family and suffering a 'living grief.
    Blogging has made me more aware of the diversity of people and the way they react to life.

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  12. Oh dear, I feel a proper fraud now. I'm not fifty years old at all; I was referring to 'follower' number fifty, who led me to a place in blogland where I encountered Tuesday Fiona. Never mind; I'll save all the good wishes for a few years time. I can see where the confusion comes from (apart from my bad blogging!). Birthdays do that to you, especially as the numbers start getting bigger. It's sad that there weren't more of them for this lovely little girl.

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  13. Happy not 50th birthday to you! (I thought you were 50, too).

    I totally agree with your view on blogging.

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  14. Heh, serves you right for being clever, that you had several extra years attributed to you. Happy 52 followers - the 50 having been left behind.

    And what you say about blogging is absolutely right and perfectly expressed, and people don't know until they feel it themselves. Once they - we - do, it's a new outlook on the world. I love it, and am moved by it, and have often cried or rejoiced for people I will never meet.

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  15. ...and you're up to 52 already! I found you through my latest follower but I've seen you on DJs blog a lot, thought I should come and see the fuss, particularly as another Charlie owner! We should all have a blog - it brings us together.

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  16. It's interesting you mentioned Tuesday because I just went over to their blog yesterday(via my SITS group!) and left a comment. I cried too. I didn't know she had passed away as I hadn't checked today. Sad so sad but it sounds like they are celebraing her life in style!!

    This blogosphere is a neat phenomenon yes...I love reading the stories of stranger's lives, not sure why but maybe it's like you said and also it is connecting with other humans who share similar life struggles..we know we are not alone. I also love that we can be exactly who we are and were created to be here in blogland. No outside pressures to be something we are not! I love that we can FREELY express ourselves! Have a good night, although it is 2:30am for you as I write this!

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  17. I didn't think you were 50. I thought you were much older than that... ha ha ha not really, you spring chicken, you. I caused confusion recently with a 'historial' post about discovering I was pregnant, and have now had several e-mails of congratulations. Ooops.

    Congratulations on the success of your blog.

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  18. As Bill & Ted had it, "Be excellent to each other!"

    You can't argue with that.

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  19. Lovely and true, and beautifully said. Thank you for this! And Happy Birthday! It did feel a bit strange turning fifty, but now that I'm a few years into it, it's not so bad at all. xo

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  20. Well Mr. D.. it seems we shall be forever linked in the confusion surrounding your age!! I'm 50 and proud (not in years mind you.. HA)... I wanted you to know I linked up your blog today upon my return having celebrated Tuesday's life with a fun filled day of activities with my four kids. Go check it out when you have a moment.. we'll share a cupa some day and laugh about our ages!

    http://chickennuggetsofwisdom.blogspot.com/2009/02/i-have-returned-bearing-gifts-no-less.html

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  21. Yes, that is why I am here too. Thank you for the mention.
    I like your last line, can I use it on mine?

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  22. I knew that you were writing about followers. Blogging can be quite an eye opener in a nice kind of way.

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  23. I'm getting worried now, Robert - all these people who thought that I was fifty! Looking after Charlie all day must be really taking its toll.

    Thanks, Z. It's a whole new world, isn't it?

    Another Charlie owner, Sparx! Welcome to the club. Do you think we should begin a Charlie-bloggers circle?

    Interesting perspective, Swile. When I started blogging someone actually said the opposite - that blogging meant you couldn't be yourself. Needless to say, I don't agree!

    Gee, thanks MtaM! I love you too!

    That's is indeed profound, Barry. And poetic.

    I'm not sure myself anymore, DD. I'm beginning to feel 100!

    Thanks, Sue. I'll put the sentiment aside for a few years.

    Yes, DiPaola - it's all your fault!! (Put the kettle on will you? I need that cuppa.)

    By all means, Suburbia - it's by Philip Larkin, from a poem called 'The Mower'.

    It certainly can, CW!

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  24. Poetic indeed, but not my work:

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=WVXGC896Jdw

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  25. Agree completely. What a lovely, cheering post. Thank you x

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  26. 50?

    Wow, that's a congregation. Or an army.

    Lead forth!

    And happy 50th birthday for seven years time.

    Don't forget 'Send three and fourpence we're going to a dance' or was it 'Send reinforcements we're going to advance'

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  27. Consider the kettle on. I've just purchased your book. I'm rather excited for the read. Should I love it, like I am sure I will, it will be a featured review for my 100+ readers and perhaps a treasured give away on my blog/website, surely a candidate for our readers club (nearly 300 strong these days). I hear that snow has found it's way to your rock in the sea. Enjoy! We are expecting quite a bit over the next two days ourselves. Best to Charlie, Sally, The Mum and yourself.

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  28. it's true - you do get wiser with age. great post

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  29. Yep. I've heard that even arch-anti-moralist Jean Genet when asked what was the most important thing in life said "kindness".

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  30. Cancer was a nasty villain January 30th--more so than usual.

    I too have felt the community spirit of this great Blog-o-Sphere this week! And better for it.

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  31. No, not one of yours I'm afraid Barry. What news of the Laureateship?

    Thank you Red Rum.

    Or how about a Mahlerian orchestra? (No, you're right - I'd need at least 100 followers for that!)

    I really hope you enjoy it, DP. It's, er... different.

    Well, if that is true GM then there's hope for me yet!

    These writers are a funny bunch, Gadj, aren't they? And old Joe Stalin used to write poetry!

    It's nice to think that something positive has emerged out of the sadness, Dori.

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  32. Blogger just ate my message! Apart from that, I've made some lovely friends in blogland. All these personalities makes us realise why we are here, we are each and everyone of us significant in our own way.

    CJ xx

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  33. Different is exactly what I long for. I am now even more exicited for the read!

    I wanted to let you know that there will be a virtual tribute to Tuesday's memory. Feel free to visit my blog for details, your readers are welcome as well. Perhaps the humanity of the blogosphere will spread beyond the borders of the web.

    http://chickennuggetsofwisdom.blogspot.com/2009/02/virtual-wagie-ride-for-tuesday.html

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  34. Different is exactly what I long for. I am now even more exicited for the read!

    I wanted to let you know that there will be a virtual tribute to Tuesday's memory. Feel free to visit my blog for details, your readers are welcome as well. Perhaps the humanity of the blogosphere will spread beyond the borders of the web.

    http://chickennuggetsofwisdom.blogspot.com/2009/02/virtual-wagie-ride-for-tuesday.html

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  35. Nicely put, CJ. My sentiments precisely.

    Thanks for the info, DiPaola - I'm on my way to your blog now.

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  36. Happy not 50 to you - if I hadn't read the comments I also would have thought it was your half-century.

    I really must pop here more often, you keep an awfully good blog - let's forget the trillions of others you mentioned - I like the few that I visit and who visit me. I can't think of the big numbers at all.

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