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Bird's Blog

Poetry, musings, observations, commentary, rants, confessions...and who knows what else!

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Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Teacher, writer, poet, grandmother, lover, wine-drinker, chocolate eater, beach comber, hiker, traveler, Giants fan, San Franciscan. All work on this blog is copyrighted material.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Cyberspace and the Material World

Now that I’m back online and blogging again, I am surprised at how much I missed all of you - my cyberspace friends!

I am not sure what that says about the blogging community and cyberspace - or about me as an individual. But it's curious that I have grown attached to people I have not met (for the most part) and people whom I really don't know except via their words on the flickering screen. I take all of you as I find you – and grant you provisional trust (to a point, of course). At the same time, I am keenly aware that who we are in this space may not always jive with who we are in our material worlds – we do not see each other in our entirety – just a speck – just what we allow to spill out on the screen for others to see and interpret.

And even more curious to me is that I have been blogging now with a particular group of bloggers for almost two years. And despite lags and hiatuses, we continue on – floating back and forth from each other’s sites, noodling on each other’s thoughts,offering advice, condolences, jokes, suggestions, reflections, observations.

On the one hand, we often wish each other well; on the other, we often argue vehemently. Case in point would be Aunty Belle – of whom I’ve grown quite fond – which shocks me to the core, since I detest some of AB’s politics and philosophies – yet concur with others. And though I would level her verbally at the drop of a hat in defense of those I love, I can find common ground – something I thought I would never, ever do with one who holds such strong and completely opposite views as mine regarding homosexuality.

I’ve even come to miss our nasty, slavering, over-the-top Hell Pig – who quite infuriates and aggravates me. But where are you Piggy-Poo? Has the great Moby Dick served you your comeuppance?

Are not our exchanges the stuff of intimacy? And yet, we have this buffer, the screen, the keyboard. We hide behind our icons and our blogging personas. And yet, somewhere in all this is indeed a sense of truthfulness, honesty. What an odd mixture this is – of reality and non-reality.

I am grateful for my “real” life in the material world. I was going to say I am grateful that my cyberspace world and friends are an auxiliary to that material life, but that isn’t quite right. Certainly, my material world takes priority – and thank goodness for that – I don’t want my only interests and friends to be online – I need the substantive reality of the material world – the faces, voices, physical presences of people – their words, actions, and touch. This physical world must be the primary place of my life, but I cannot call the cyberspace world merely an auxiliary world. It is something more than that.

Yet I still, after almost two years, cannot accurately define the nature of this venue and the community it creates, nor adequately express how this world connects with the other world (and disconnects as well) and what that really means.

Perhaps I should just stop thinking about it.

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Blogger Pete Bogs said...

Aunt B's wonderful... I met her in person... you met her at BogsBlog, as you may recall?

come by soon... lotsa new stuff, mostly short... I am in my waning days... (as a blogger)

September 11, 2007 11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when i came
to the internet,
circa 1981-82, it was new,
having just been invented, and there was almost nobody here -- everyone i knew then was a programmer or 'systems' person (before the days of 'it') -- 'email' took 24 hours

when i came to the world wide web in early 1994, it was new, less than a year old, and there was almost nobody here -- everyone i knew then was a programmer, systems person, academic, or an artist (pretty much) -- by 1999, it seemed like the whole world had a web site

when i came to blogging a couple of years ago, it was pretty well in full-swing with everyone and his uncle on board -- everyone i knew then was a programmer, systems person, academic, artist, or a porn star -- i've heard there are people still without a blog, but i don't know any of them

i hope that you continue to examine your question, bird, because it is one of interest to myself and many more of us here for a very long time now -- what the heck is this thing that is 'real', but is not 'reality'?!?

also, i have many friendships now that are purely 'cyber' -- some are new and some go all the way back to those early web days


September 11, 2007 3:03 PM  
Blogger NameChanged said...

I have missed you Bird. Good to have you back.

:)Mrs. B

September 11, 2007 4:32 PM  
Blogger Riki D said...

A bit of "reality" checking in on the "cyber". My take--a completely different side, because sometimes cyber is more real than reality; or rather, they complement each other?

September 11, 2007 11:16 PM  
Blogger Jack K. said...

bird, you have done it again.

What an accurate and truly marvelous posting.

We do set ourselves out there for anyone to read, ignore, become involved with, become invested in, argue with, agree with, admire, detest, etc. The list could go on, but you get the point.

Why, do I "circle" back on a daily basis? Besides visiting my children's journals, there is you, bird, and a few others: bogs, bronxbt, cristina, darlene, fatty, hale, infinitesimal, lbb, peter,polly, serena, just to name a few. Because there is something in your postings that has caught my attention. Perhaps I sense something akin to the closing words of this comment.

I endeavor to check in daily, but don't always get the opportunity. Sometimes I even leave a comment.

I admit I do look forward to comments from others.

I'm not quite sure where is saw this idea, I believe it was in the first part of zeitgest: the movie. We are nearing the change to the age of Aquarius. That is going to be an intersting paradigm shift. I suspect that cyberspace interactions is just another harbinger of such a shift. We are probably on the cutting edge. When we come back in future lives we will hardly recognize the place, but, rest assured we had some small part in the shift.

Just some random thoughts. Thanks, bird, for the nudge.

And, as you always do, continue to...

serve others, care about those you serve, and, most of all, share the love in your heart.

September 12, 2007 4:54 AM  
Blogger Polly said...

I count you as one of my friends, Bird.
I guess this makes me a bit suspect too?
Your writings over the years have helped me, stimulated me and provided me with comfort.
You are a finger on the pulse of the other side of the world, the other side of the American experience.
It has been a while that I realised you are a soul mate of mine.
You are a thinker, a writer, a teacher and an amazingly tolerant and caring woman.

I miss you when you are not there, or I can't access your writings.

Your passion, compassion and clarity of explanation make me strive to do better, myself.

I may have developed, morphed, crystallised and transformed, but I always come back to the Bird.

Like Charlie, you speak to me. Most times you speak for me.
The world, my world is richer for having met you online.

Real or not, this thing called blogging has helped me to be in contact with those I can respect and love.

Take care of you and yours.
Your new city-home is beautiful, like you.

From an old Pelican.

September 12, 2007 11:07 PM  
Blogger Aunty Belle said...

Ho! What is this? A rumination on reality and perceived reality, cyber is virtual, or no?

Dang Bird Beauty, these are the questions! Weirdly synchronous (watch it--Ab doan talk thataway)
since recently as't some of the same questions---and I'se real curious about how all ya'll feel 'bout yore blogmates.

Bird Beauty, ya' said it true...

"I need the substantive reality of the material world – the faces, voices, physical presences of people – their words, actions, and touch. This physical world must be the primary place of my life, but I cannot call the cyberspace world merely an auxiliary world. It is something more than that."

Yeah Honey, somehow, it IS "more than that".

Thanky fer yore kind words, and why we can turn 'em into cudgels and still care is a shure sign of "family" in mah book.

Bawgs, Sugar Pie, I'se blusin' over yor sweet words...an'I think youse RIGHT (in a manner of
speakin' :) ) it were at yore place that Birdy and me first got into some scrap or 'tother. Thas' because folks always find food fer thought down in the Peaty Bogs.

And whar' is our Hail Pig???

September 13, 2007 5:12 AM  
Blogger Pete Bogs said...

aunt b - Sweet Shoat has been MIA for some time... whenever I see a fishing boat I think of him...

September 13, 2007 10:46 AM  
Blogger Bird said...

the last time i saw the pig, he'd traced me to my roost and hung out, rooting, snooting and slavering as pigs will do. we crossed words vehemently, then abruptly kissed and made up - a shocking turn of events for the bird and pig - unheard of and apparently, never to be repeated again.

come back you swine, come back -i'll put my black net stockings on and school you good.

September 13, 2007 11:42 AM  
Blogger Pete Bogs said...

bird - re: America's favorite pastime... Bush's words, not mine... remember, it was a speech I purloined from him... ;-)

September 13, 2007 12:25 PM  

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