Our differences can separate
Though distances be small —
But you can build connection
Out of anything at all
A conversation starter kit,
A picture on the wall —
Yes, you can build connection
Out of anything
You can’t tell just by looking at it, but the old train car in the photograph above is being used as a bridge. Here is another view:
I stumbled on these pictures on the Internet, and was excited to see they were taken Georgia (where I can easily go see the place myself, since I live there), only to realize they were taken in Georgia, the country, not Georgia, the state in the southern United States. From what I can find, the bridge is a Soviet-era legacy.
Bridges are another “old technology” in the family of old technologies I discussed here the other day: so are trains. I love old technologies, because human ingenuity in problem solving is part of what connects all of us.
Overcoming connection barriers is one of the primary purposes of technology. Both trains and bridges were ways of connecting people who would otherwise have found connection difficult-to-impossible. Train bridges themselves are fascinating, although I will forever see images from “The Polar Express” any time I even think about train bridges.
Connections. In life, we make them with others, sometimes only once, sometimes just for a period of hours, or days, or weeks. Sometimes, even very short ones can be intensely memorable.
I’ve been around blogging a few years now, and it is much the same as the rest of life: people come, stay awhile, then leave. A small few stay over a longer period of time, but lives and their vicissitudes simply take people off in new and different directions. That doesn’t make the connection any less real or important.
Blogging allows us to connect with people we would never otherwise have met. From this November’s National Blog Posting Month (“Nano Poblano”, as it’s called around here), you need only see the fabulous Julie Burton’s “Meet Oyiwodu, from Nigeria” for as wonderful an example of this as you could find.
Of the many blog posts I read, the majority of the ones I enjoy the most are ones where people just talk about their lives: their work, their loves, their disappointments, their heartaches, them. Their lives. A leading feature of posts of this type is that their authors are frequently apologetic about making them. They seem to think a better sort of blog takes a more detached tone, and writes about more important subjects than everyday life.
In short, their unstated view is: “real authors” know all, and are above it all.
To that view, I say, “piffle”. That’s right. Piffle.
Sorry for using such strong language.
A blog is a sort of technological extension of the author, one that allows for more intimacy than many other literary technologies allow for. It doesn’t replace more conventional types of connection, but it can be a better substitute for less efficient ways to make literary connection.
I sometimes think that blogs are where “the lost art of letter writing” went. Something that used to connect us, turned into something else that now connects us.
Kind of of an old train that got turned into a new bridge.