This picture symbolizes, on this day of endings and beginnings, what this blog has come to mean to me.
I started it because of an infatuation with Paris and all things French, which led me to Paris Daily Photo.
Starting my own led me to find friends all over the world - how many people in the US can say they know people in Kuala Lumpur, Szentes, Hungary, and Trier, Germany, just for starters -- but also right here at home. I am a starry-eyed optimist - I believe that the cause of world peace can be advanced through blogs - as we all get to know each other as individuals, the empathy and human understanding we develop can only help create energy, an impetus, action towards building peace.
Yesterday, I corresponded with three individuals who I came to know through this blog. Each one, somehow, demonstrates the power that blogging has to bring people together.
One, Mike, is the author of this aerial photograph of Sharon. (It's a very cool photo - click on it to get the full-screen view.) He lives here, and frequents the Sharon Valley Tavern where, he tells me this blog post
of mine has been tacked to the the wall and made (friendly) fun of. He invited me in good cheer to make my way to the Tavern where he is sure I'll be welcome - even by the bikers! He's also a pilot, and managed to take this photo while flying. My house is just visible, by the way - it's a whitish blotch, just at the top of the most settled part of town. (Roughly in the middle.)
Bill also found a post of mine that meant something to him: he lives in Millerton, the next town over from Shaorn, and I posted a picture of his house.
His daughter, working overseas, discovered it and sent him the link. A Vietnam Veteran, he feels very angry about what is happening in Iraq, and the subject of this photo is his way of saying his piece.
Mike and Bill wrote me for the first time yesterday. I've known Stewart
forever, it seems - at least a month. He posts beautiful photographs of Portugal, and passionate declarations of his beliefs about photography, humanity, the importance of friendship. He's also spent the few weeks so sharing the struggles of his beloved mother-in-law, Leonor, ill with Alzheimer's and lymphoma. She began a sudden decline and entered the hospital last week. Stewart has stayed by her side, holding her hand, bullying the uncaring medical bureaucracy, talking to her for hours every day, then coming home and writing about it. I've been awed by his devotion to her. Leonor died yesterday. Her soul has taken flight - I guess that's the connection with this photo! Because of blogs, I knew her, and I mourn her death.
By the way, if you are having trouble posting comments on my blog, it's because I've moved to something called "Blogger Beta." It's still full of bugs, but I can't switch back. To leave a comment, try selecting "other" or "anonymous" instead of using your regular identity! Or just send me an email! Thanks for your patience - they assure me it won't be long before they have this fixed!