Wednesday, March 28, 2012

See you on the flip side

The actual dung beetle rolling his nugget up the trail

I got an email the other day and knew it was spam as soon as I saw it, because the man it was addressed from is dead. Richard died a few years ago and I found out in a blog post written by a family member. I had been chatting with him on Yahoo just a week prior. We used to do that occasionally, our online schedules similar. He was one of those that would stop in daily and leave a comment and we got to know each other fairly well.

After reading of his passing, I did not write anything for a couple days. I couldn't. I was chatting with another blogger from India that knew him as well and she was expressing her dismay and how she was handling the emotions. Richard's passing was the first time I realized how much you can grow to care for those we have never met, but  read every day.

It was a few short weeks later that Barry passed away. I had followed his progress through his blog and even written a piece on him--- ringing the bell at the end of cancer treatment. Over the last three and a half years, many have come and gone. Some you never hear why they disappear. Some you still see around, but for whatever reason you no longer connect.
-----

I learned how to write from a blind man.

He used to come tune our piano when I was a child. He would sit on the bench and fumble his fingers around feeling for what he needed in his box of tools, then cock his head sideways and play a note. He would reach around and make adjustments, then play the note again.

When I write, I realize you can not see what I see, so I often close my eyes and fiddle around with words until I can see clearly what I am trying to say. What it sounds like, feels like, tastes like---so you can experience it. Whatever it is.

At the time, I was not even thinking about writing and I assure you he was not as well. I can't even remember his name but I can still picture him sitting on the piano bench every time I write.
-----

Today, another email came. It was from another blog friend, letting me know of the passing of the son of another blogger. We know each other from one of the writing groups we frequent online. I would not say I know him well, but enough to feel the moment for him in my own way. I stopped in and left him a virtual hug in the comments.
-----

Behind the words we write, behind the pictures we post---there are people. While that seems elementary, I think it is important. Each day when we stop by and read or leave a comment, we leave fingerprints in the play doh. What may not seem like much, may mean the world to someone. It's about people. Nothing else really matters all that much.

I just needed to hear that myself today, as I sit here watching a dung beetle push his nugget up the hill of the trail over looking the city.

I will be gone until Friday night and will not have access to a computer. Be well.

See you soon.

b

100 comments:

^.^ said...

Cyber hugs to you, B ... Love, cat.

Daniel said...

Brian,

I have a few people that I have connect with online but have never met. I do tend to smile when they smile and cry when they cry. What's kind of interesting to think about is whether I would connect with them if they worked in my building. Cheers.

Gloria said...

You have reason dear Brian, some of my close friends are here in internet,also always i think really talk with persons and for this when have problems worry me, nice post Brian hugs

Isha Ethera said...

I really like that, very true. Very important to note I think. Thank you for sharing thoughts :)

-Isha ethera

turtlememoir said...

Brian, the timing of your post is interesting - I've just finished writing (felt driven to write) about a fellow blogger, poet and philosopher I never met in the flesh, but whose living and dying touched me deeply...

'see you' when you return to the cyber-world

ipenka said...

The power of sharing is tremendous. I'm a better person thanks to blogging and the writing/experiences of those I connect with here. You are included. Best wishes!

♫♪♥PhilO♥♪♫ said...

It's difficult when someone you know, is no longer there. and everything seems empty and dark after that.
Learning from a blind person.. Interesting. Touching rather.
See you soon. Take Care.
Your post moved me.

CiCi said...

We do indeed form relationships with our online blogging friends. Many are such blessings. Many teach us wondrous things. Many encourage us.

I hope wherever you are the next few days, you get recharged and your love tank gets refilled. You are sharing love and affection wherever you go, it is great when you are on the receiving end.

happygirl said...

I'm sorry for your loss. Connections can form out here in the blogosphere and be closer than we imagine. btw, when I lived in VABeach my piano tuner was blind. Couldn't be the same guy. His wife drove him to our house.

Fred Rutherford said...

Wow, really makes you remember how everyone you talk to or read or see out on the internet is really a living, breathing person. I think most know that, I know I do, but it's odd how we forget, again i know I have. Reminders like this are tough to read, to see, as is going to a funeral parlor for someone you know, true sounds like there would be and probably should be a difference, and yeah, there is, but knowing someone, only knowing someone a little, or not knowing someone at all, doesn't take away the sorrow and void that is created somewhere from a passing. and I like to think that every thought of that person, helps them on their true voyage. Great write up Brian. Thanks

Jyoti Mishra said...

It was a touching post... u showed how we feel about each other... though we never met.. but still this virtual relation is something special.. !!!

Pat Hatt said...

Yeah I never knew such virtual connection could come to be from a rhyming cat. But it has and there are plenty I connect with more than those in real life. Have a good break.

Mary said...

Brian, what a touching post. There are so many in the blogosphere we really end up caring about as we get to know them through their words. Sometime I think that those who read my words may know me more deeply than those I see in person every day. See you when you return and thinking of you while you are away.

adeeyoyo said...

I loved reading your thoughts today, Brian. You seemed so much more 'real' to me than usual. God bless you, my friend.

Manicddaily said...

Brian---so right here! We do live in a crazy world where we make these virtual connections, but they can be very strong, particularly when they involve the sharing of something as intimate and immediate as blogged poetry. I think you give a great deal of comfort and sustenance to people--you are so active and generous. It's a terrific gift that you have and give. (And I look forward to meeting you in person!) K.

Sue said...

All true and well said.

"See" you soon, Brian. Hope all is well.

=)

joeh said...

What a nice post! Often the one who infuuence us the most are those whom we never meet.


Cranky Old Man

Mama Zen said...

The connections we make online are much stronger than you would think.

Daydreamertoo said...

This is all so true and, I've had that happen. People disappear and you never know why or where they've gone because maybe they didn't want to be found again.
Hard to lose someone, even through the internet connections we make, some bonds are so strong.
Have a good time away Brian, yes, see you on the flip side.

Wander said...

I just wanted to say that your piece was moving Brian, have safe travels.

Wander

AmyLK said...

Be Well Brian. I love my online friends. Was actually just talking with AZ and Neicy about my Real Life Friends and my online friends. There are many online friends that I feel close to and consider real life.

MorningAJ said...

I don't always comment on your blog (you get so many. Sometimes it doesn't feel like you need me to comment as well) but I know I'd miss you if you weren't there.
Come back soon. AJ

Titanium said...

Brian, you're one of those people who consistently rekindle the spark of hope in others simply by stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

This week, my thoughts are with you.

Thank you for being who you are, for sharing this part of you with all of us.

G-Man said...

Sometimes I feel guilty that I'm still around.
But mostly...I' feel thankful.
Safe Travels Son

Laurie Kolp said...

I reAlly love this post Brian and couldn't agree more. I often wonder iabout the same thing and think I will have to include something in my will so that all my online friends will know when Im gone. Typing from
Y phone is miknf me. Be safe and enjoy. You will. E
Issued.

Laurie Kolp said...

The typing on my phone is killing me & you will be missed.

Magpie said...

Yours words, as always, are uplifting and inspiring. Prompting and challenging us to see humanity, with all its warts and scars, through the eyes of love. Be safe and hurry home.

Deb Colarossi said...

oh, Brian.
sending love.

Claudia said...

yep..they're real people and we learn so much about their life, the longer we read their work.. and we laugh and cry with them...and can't even think how it would be if some of them would be no longer around

Christine said...

You have a gentle soul Brian, thank you for these personal thoughts.

Jackie Jordan said...

My heartfelt condolences go out to you and your lost friends. One thing is for sure, they were loved, at a distance maybe, but loved just the same. Isn't that why we write anyway, to touch the emotions of our readers in a way that no one else can. Your writing, Brian, is unique - you have a gift that will forever be a part of you. Your friends, here and gone, relish in the privilege of reading your words.

hedgewitch said...

Too many people forget there's a person behind the screen, behind the email, behind the blog, or behind the way the piano sounds just right. I count my online friends as closer than any so-called Real Life friends, because so much of my *real* life is online. Have a good time off and rest your head, brian. You are a vital part of many people's worlds.

adan said...

"I realized how much you can grow to care for those we have never met, but read every day" -

so very true; a beautiful write brian

the story of how you learned to write is so perfect, i feel i could learn to write, just a bit better, just from reading that -

and to finish with the image of the little creature going up the hill with a view of the city, wow, that's us, when we know we're really very lucky

you leave a big imprint brian, or maybe push a big dung-heap ;-) but either way, enjoy the time away from the keyboard, take care ;-)

Josh Hoyt said...

This is so true. It is odd how hurtful some people can be over the internet and at the same time how thoughtful others can be.

Betsy said...

totally agree with you here....I've grown to love several blog friends and have connections to them stronger than most family members! When we loose one, it hurts. The internet is a wonderful thing, isn't it? It expands our world like nothing else yet brings it in smaller at the same time.

enjoy your break away!

ayala said...

Brian, this post touched me deeply. How true that we get to know one another and in an intimate way by sharing our thoughts and our tears. I love your heart..you are a generous spirit and I am happy that we met here.I hope you enjoy your break !

Nikki Rules said...

I often wonder what it means when bloggers suddenly disappear. Like stars that suddenly don't shine... Thanks for letting us know you'll be without internet for a week, losing you would be a grand loss. Even if I'm not always out here, there are certainly people that matter to me. Yay, you're one of them!

Hahaha! No seriously though, you are.

Sigh.

Hilary said...

Beautiful post, Brian. I've often said that some of my blog friends and those with whom I've connected before in IRC are some of the nicest people I've never met. We connect, we relate, we care.

missing moments said...

Friendship happens in all forms ... I think the best is always with words. Lovely thoughts today.

Heaven said...

I like your writing process Brian. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Have a safe travel and see you soon~

Vodka Mom said...

Oh Brian.


I am thinking of you, and all of the angels who are convening as we speak. May they rest in peace, and shine their love down upon us all.


as we send ours back to them...

KB said...

I too have lost a couple of dear friends I know from the internet world. It's heartbrreaking. Take care.

Vodka Mom said...

and thank you for reminding me.



It's about everyone else. That's what it's really about. Everyone else.



xoxox

otin said...

I too am saddened when I hear of people passing in this blog world. Often times we are not able to see into their world and we don't know the full circumstances of what happened. Richard's passing was a shock.

As far as people disappearing from the blog arena, I think that is just a part of the process. Most people who blog are searching for something in their lives...something that is missing. When they find what they are looking for then the blogging fades out. In my case I was very unhappy at home and I needed an escape from reality.

Unfortunately, my escape from reality became an obsession. I felt like I couldn't go anywhere without checking in and i would adjust my plans to my blogging schedule. The truth is...I never went away. Anyone who wanted to keep in touch could just email me and vice versa. Yes blogging is partly about relationships, but it is also about the thrill of having other people read our thoughts.
Somewhere along the line I realized that I wanted to try to make a profit from people reading my thoughts. I'm still waiting...haha

farmlady said...

This was nice... and true.

Lisa Golden said...

The people. That's what it's about...I'm glad to know you, Brian, to share a bit of the same space. Your words never rail to move me.

Anne said...

I've been considering retiring my page because I'm having a hard time fitting the blog in with taking care of my Hubby and the house by myself. Two things are keeping me here; the creative outlet and the people. As an artist, I can claim to draw, paint, write or play for myself, but to be honest I need to share what I create with others. And I've met some wonderful people here that I would truly miss.

I'm so sorry for your loss Brian. And thank you for writing this.

oceangirl said...

I had been touched deeper than friendship, so what can I say. Missing you already Brian.

Tara Miller said...

I love your heart for others and the way you see the world around you.

kaykuala said...

On the flip side is a person carrying a name. We get up close and personal caring,guiding and sharing among us but still we have not met! Come back when you are done, Brian!

Hank

Barbara Shallue said...

Brian, this really hit home. It's true you can become close friends despite never meeting face to face. True friendship is a heart to heart thing, after all.
Love your description of writing. I've done that myself, but not nearly as well as you do!

Ginny Brannan said...

Blessed to have had my life touched by a few special people like you on the internet, who always have a thought, a kind word to share, a *smile.* My world would surely be a bit duller, a bit emptier, without them. Very thoughtful of you Brian, to remember these people who have touched you in some way.

Safe travels my friend. Be well :-)

PattiKen said...

You speak truth here, Brian. The people out there become real parts of our lives. Some become real friends, and make us happy with their words, both in the comments they leave as gifts on our blog doorstep and in their own posts. It's a very good thing.

Sadly, they also have the power to hurt, and that's not so good.

SUCEN said...

Like

Bernie said...

Oh Brian I so feel this post, I live it so often. We do connect with those through our computers, they become friends almost family. I have lost so many as I found my niche in the cancer community, only God knows the tears I have shed. I have had to pull away, the pain grew too big. Sending big hugs my blogging friend, never stop connecting, never stop caring.
.....:-)Hugs

She Writes Here Now said...

Brian,

How right you are. It's the strangest thing how we connect with strangers through blogs, and yet we do. Years go by and we learn about each other as we go. It's amazing this blogosphere we are in.

ladyfi said...

So very touching. I'll remember this.

Valerie said...

I am so with you, Brian. People who don't blog will never understand the friendships that are made. I have made so many friends all over the world and it bothers me to think that one day one or more may just disappear.

Goofball said...

That's why I find it so important to regularly leave a comment, even though I don't have always much to say. But I just want to give that small thumbs up, let the author on the other side know I stopped by, cared to read what was on their mind and connect in a small way. I like that.

the walking man said...

Travel safely Brian.

Eva Gallant said...

It is strange how you develop a feeling of kinship with people you have never met in person while blogging. It's nice to feel those bonds. Have a sefe trip.

annell said...

'See' you soon... such a lovely post. It is good to slow down and just think, remember, who we are, what we are doing, and who it is intended for. You have been very kind to me, through your comments. Is it OK to say 'I love you." I like the thought that the internet, just spreads love... Thanks so much.

janaki nagaraj said...

As I have said in my blog "Connections"...we tend to make a bond online and today my online friends mean so much to me.
Nice post.
virtual hugs too.

ninotaziz said...

Dear Brian,
I saw your post over at Stafford's. This dotted line of connection on the blogosphere is as real as any other friendship I have.

You take care, Brian. And be happy that your friendship and sincerity comes shining through.

SueAnn said...

I so appreciate the tenderness and care I receive from my blog friends, I do consider them "family". I love to hear of their lives and I love that they are interested in mine.
Well said Brian.
Hugs
SueAnn

kweschn said...

THis is beautiful and thoughtful message, Brian!! May those who passed away rest in peace!

My best wishes for you and your family!

And the last bit about the dung beetle was brilliant! :)

Anonymous said...

stay well brian. our cyber friends become very dear part of our lives, there is no doubt about that.

take care.

Anonymous said...

stay well brian. our cyber friends become very dear part of our lives, there is no doubt about that.

take care.

sharmishtha said...

well the previous two anonymous comments were by me.

my cat waltzed on the keyboard, dont be mad at him

Kathe W. said...

"we leave fingerprints in the play doh. What may not seem like much, may mean the world to someone. It's about people. Nothing else really matters all that much"
Truer words were never written. Thank you for writing and sharing them.

sheila said...

enjoyed your insights and reflections here. I get so excited when someone I used to read starts posting again. also, have a sense of relief to see them post because, ya just never know...

Nezzy said...

This was one of the most surprisin' things to me that came with bloggin'.

The bonds that are formed. We share and care, pray and cry together.

Today I'm carryin' a burden for a baby born imperfect. He's 2.5 months old and already an old had a surgery. I care for him and his mother like family although we've never met.

Your post shrieks volumes Man. I've hear it said, "but their not 'real' friends. I'm sorry but I disagree.

I'm so sorry for your losses and my heart and prayer are with ya.

God bless and have a beautifully peaceful day.

lifeisaroadtrip said...

That is so true, Brian and I count you has one of my most cherished Blogger friends. I am sorry for the losses you have experienced. You did scare me - when I first started reading your post because I thought you might be quitting. Have a safe trip. xxoo

moondustwriter said...

so many people to care for
too little time
Thanks Bri for caring
Have a wonderful time...

Slamdunk said...

Sorry to hear about the losses Brian. It is easy to forget that their is a human with a story behind each username.

I hope you get to relax a little while you are away.

momto8 said...

we all all in this world together. and connected. and we all effect each other...so let's just all be the best we can be!!

zongrik said...

i agree that this new world gives us friends and number of friends we never imagined we could have.

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

"Behind the words we write, behind the pictures we post---there are people. While that seems elementary, I think it is important. Each day when we stop by and read or leave a comment, we leave fingerprints in the play doh. What may not seem like much, may mean the world to someone. It's about people. Nothing else really matters all that much."
See you, Brian...

deedee :-(

Lorraine said...

You honour them so well Brian, you are a wonderful man

Myrna R. said...

Dropping in to say "Hi". I've missed you. Your post today especially touched me, since I hope the people that I've connected to, FEEL the connection and don't merely consider this a fun game.

Some of my friends find it hard to conceive that I could feel so close to people I've only met on line. I guess this is one of those things one must experience to appreciate. And I so much appreciate people like you. What you write matters and I'm still deeply grateful that you awakened in me a love of poetry. Thanks Brian, my friend, for being such a genuinely nice person. I know you feel the losses you mention because you have such a kind and loving heart. Blessings.

Luke Prater said...

It's so true... real people behind these words and computer screens. And is is crazy how close one can become to others just through sharing poetry. 'just' - poetry is baring our souls, let's nopt forget that... Important article, Brian. Thanks for posting this. Peace be to those that have departed.

Ed Pilolla said...

you have a good spirit that touches lots of people. and whoever taught you to write knew a thing or two:)

Margaret said...

Heartfelt and real, you always are. Many of my friends have no idea I (try to) write poetry. Some don't even know I have a blog ... (blogs).

I have been enriched with my "friends" here on the internet. They in many aspects, are my teachers, my partners in crime ;)

You are a blessing, Brain. :)

Rebecca S. said...

Good pensive post, Brian. It really is about people, and I know that now, too, though it took a bit to get to that point.
I love the bit about the blind piano tuner - just lovely.
I hope you are having a good week.

Natasha Head said...

Be well...and make sure you come back! There will be real people awaiting your return.

Pauline said...

The word touch - it's what you have with everyone who comes here to read. It's as powerful as a physical touch sometimes. Thanks for all your fingerprints in the Play Doh :)

darkangelwrites said...

We had a young Hubber friend die last month too. You can really get attached to people you never actually meet, its weird. Thanks for reminder.

Glenn Buttkus said...

Your touching sentiments resonate so deeply
with thousands of us out here, beyond the
reach of your arms, your lens, but not your
imagination. I had death flirt with me once
a few years ago, reminding me to find some
poetic joy in every moment I exist in; this one,
and this one too; came to realize that death
is not a fearsome monster, rather a doorway,
and entrance, a black hole portal, a transport
device.

I began to write more seriously after a generous
junior high English teacher began to give me
atta boys for my very free verse and purple
muscular prose. I love your blind man analogy;
worked with the blind as an educator for 33
years; read I WISH YOU COULD SEE WHAT I
HEAR by Tom Sullivan. Hope you & Claudia
had a bitchin good time!

Syd said...

Brian, so true. I feel that those I read and "know" through blogs are friends and connected to me. Have a safe trip, man. Talk soon.

Anonymous said...

I have missed you this week and was stopping by to say hello, see what you're up to, let you know I missed your poem at dverse yesterday.

You're so right; we are all connected in different ways, and the encouragement and appreciation we share with one another is often valued and felt quite deeply. Thank you for who you are, Brian. Always speaking truth.

~Shawna
rosemarymint.wordpress.com

Katherine Krige said...

Those are some pretty thoughtful words Brian. And you are a lucky man to have so many friends out there in the web. I certainly count you as one of mine and am thankful that fate introduced us. Be well dear man.

The Constant Complainer said...

Some of the relationships you make with other bloggers out there is amazing. Some I've spoken to, some I've e-maile and some I just read their blogs. I love the blog family!

Sharp Little Pencil said...

Brian, I understand. Some of my closest friends were met on the Net through prompts... some of the women, I stayed with on my cross-country trip. They opened their homes to me, no questions asked.

I'm sorry to hear off all these losses. It's hard to outlive other creative, bright souls. But we exist to tell their stories, too, don't we? HUGS.

Love, Amy
http://sharplittlepencil.com/2012/03/30/bring-back-my-heart-song-included/

Lydia said...

I bought my husband an old upright piano 13 years ago. He doesn't play much and I don't play at all, so the piano has only been tuned once. When I called a number in the yellow pages the man arranged to come tune, but arranged it when he had "a ride." I didn't even wonder about it. He was blind and brought to our house by his son, who sat in the car while the tuner worked his magic (exactly as you described). From now on I will try to think of this when I write. SEe, you gave me a new insight (which you often do), and such are the joys and wondes of these blogging friendships that you wrote about so eloquently.

Have a peaceful weekend, Brian.

Joanna Jenkins said...

You write about something I would never have understood before I started blogging-- but meaningful connections and friendships are made via blogs and I'm glad I have them.... even when we sadly lose someone.

Well said.

Safe travels. jj

poeticlicensee said...

WordPress is an interesting, complex, & supportive place to write. share & compare thoughts. Have yet to receive any negative comments or criticisms...

Secret Agent Woman said...

Ah, that's always hard. I lost a blog friend who came to mean a great deal to me - didn't matter that we never met in person.

ds said...

I am sorry for your friend's loss.
You are always the one who reminds us of what is important. Thank you for that. "Fingerprints in the play doh"--yes. Hope your trip was grand!

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