Thursday, June 28, 2007

We met as bloggers; we departed as friends 

Maybe now is as good a time as any. This is the fourth time I’ve sat down to write something about last Saturday’s meet-up between four bloggers – Jean, Natalie and myself taking the opportunity to meet with Tamar on her way through London on the way to a walking holiday in the north of England. On the face of it, this is the least auspicious moment for writing – taking a lunch break at work, in a busy open plan office, surrounded by paperwork, head full of work-stuff – but there have been many times when I’ve surprised myself by what materialises on the screen in such circumstances; it seems that the distraction caused by being in such an environment is just the right sort of distraction to occupy the over-critical, thinking-too-hard part of my brain, bypassing it sufficiently to allow the remainder the chance to communicate.

We met as bloggers; we departed as friends. To be fair though, I think there were already developed friendships among the other three – to begin with, I felt very much the newcomer. But it’s been reported on any number of occasions how it is that, having first met on the pages of a blog where secrets may be shared which might never be expressed in everyday conversation, relationships get a kick-start. Much of that getting-to-know-you preamble can be dispensed with; it’s already happened. Not only the simple sharing of facts and opinions; when you lay open aspects of your heart and soul and find them accepted, a mutual trust can develop; a deep respect and caring which is all too rare in the everyday world of hurried superficial relationships.

I said there had been three previous attempts to write about this meeting. I started one of those attempts by bemoaning my perception that the “I” who was sitting down to write was not the same “I” who was present on Saturday. That may sound strange, but it’s another manifestation of the issue which has bugged me ever since I began blogging; indeed, which caused me to spend 18 months and far too money on counselling, trying, unsuccessfully, to resolve the polarisation I felt – and still feel – between two aspects of self. One, the creative, the writer/photographer, the one who seeks to make deep connections; the other, the ordinary guy, father, husband, breadwinner, who mechanically handles the practicalities of living, working, commuting. Essentially, it was the increasing imbalance between these two – the mechanic having taken over almost completely from the artist - which was behind that Letting Go post a couple of weeks back.

I still haven’t said much about our meeting, have I? Well, I couldn’t say it any better than Jean already has; it would be churlish to try. It felt good though to discover that the part with which I identify as the “real me” takes only a little encouragement to begin to emerge.

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