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I was thinking the other day how readers of our very erratic, but hopefully interesting blog, might assume that Helen and I are close friends.

Well, we are certainly friends – there is a genuine affection between us, we regularly send each other thoughtful and generous gifts, supportive emails and we share thoughts and ideas on our writing…

…but we have only met once, for about five minutes. We were both stall-holding at a Craft 2.0 market, so although excited to finally meet one another – the day was so chaotic and busy that we met, hugged and fizzed over one another for a few minutes…then later there were quick visits to one another’s stalls and that was it.

There is so much I don’t know about Helen, nor she about me. I don’t know stuff that friends know about one another, like where she met her husband, how long they’ve been together, what she studied at university. I don’t know her favourite colour or what she is likely to order at a cafe. I don’t know if she likes sushi or coloured stockings, like I do.

Yet, I do know her – I know what she thinks about motherhood, I know her tastes in poetry, I know a little of what she loves.

Ours is a very 21st century friendship, I think. We ‘met’ online – I actually forget how or where exactly now (can you remember, Helen?) We quickly became friends via email and blog comments, quite soon after meeting we had engaged in this project together.

I love the internet for how these connections can be made – I have made many friends through the internet now – some have been brief flirtations, others have evolved into deep and lasting ‘in real life’ friendships.

I know Helen and I will continue to get to know each other over time, and one day I hope to know her well enough to be able to give her order to the barista if I’m waiting for her at a cafe – in the meantime, her ongoing presence in my email in box and letter box is a wonderful addition to my life.

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