Saturday, February 26, 2011

I've always been the guy with 4 friends, my nearest and dearest, no need for more.  Lots of peripheral people, certainly lots of nice pals and friendly coworkers, but only a few who I really, deeply cared about.   Well, something shifted about a year ago: I started bonding to people in a different way.

I'm not sure if it's just getting older (this new-found ability to cut down to the essence of people) but it seems that's what's happening.  As we age and get more comfortable with ourselves, we're simply better-equipped to find our tribe, those people we flock to, commonalities and perfect-differences that make us take another look at ourselves.  It's kind of spectacular, no?

And the friends we make at this stage are more like editors, sculpting, perhaps softening the negatives and drawing out the really good stuff. It's happened a few times lately, that shock of a new friend, and it's tough to describe.  It's as if you special-ordered them from a catalogue, with all the bells and whistles life requires at this moment.

And it can happen in the flesh or through the wonders of the internet, it seems.  I've "met" a slew of terrific humans through blogging.  A few of us have created a community that's really special, and something hard to explain if you don't get it.  Allow me to try.

Tara O'Brady over at Seven Spoons is many things to me.  (First of all, you should know she's Tar-ah, not Tair-ah, in case you ever see her in the street and F that up.  That'd be embarrassing.)

I'm not sure when we went from lurking on each other's blogs to direct-Tweet-mentions to lunch on a patio, but these things don't happen over night.  She's become a special friend who I text late at night about all kinds of things.  She's a source of inspiration and of vast support and snarky co-conspiracy.  She's gone from a talented enigma on the internet to a real-life person and I adore her, top to bottom.  

(Tara's incredible gratin.  Seven Spoons, February 2011)

Tim Robison (there's no N in there, folks, and he gets upset about it!) is just about the sweetest dude on the world wide web. His photos (That's Just It Photo) showcase his seemingly-serene life in North Carolina where I imagine him shopping for produce and calming the babies of frazzled women at the market.  I fancy him a modern-day hero, splinting the broken bones of a fawn or charmingly programming cell phones for the technologically-retarded.

His photos have made me see through my own camera a little differently.  They tell stories in ways I don't, but want to. Magical, meandering stories.  Pulled-back and vast landscapes or the rustic details right up close.  And when someone with his talent comments on a photo you've taken, you hold that compliment close and revel in it.  The words mean so very much through the eyes and brain of such a kind and thoughtful buddy.

(And he's a good sport when I want to sexually harass him publicly via Twitter.)

(One of Tim's trips to the mountains.  That's Just It Photo, February 2011)

Coming up in another installment:  Kathleen Shannon of Jeremy & Kathleen and Ryan Marshall at Pacing the Panic Room.


  1. aw, sweetness, you're ridiculous in the best sort of way. the feeling's mutual. drinks and nibbles soon. hugs, too. and don't forget our shared love of gin and tonics - lime, always!

    and yeah, that's totally mr. robison. you've got him pegged.

  2. Thanks pal. Really, this is too kind. ( and you picked my favorite pic from the post! )

    And that Tara… well, you said it best.

  3. the internet has made the world so small & cozy. love this. :)

  4. looking forward to the next installment...2 of my favs!

  5. I love this post. Before starting my blog, making friends online was a concept that freaked me out a bit. But now, over a year later, I can honestly say that I have a couple of very dear close friends whom I've met through blogging. I've met a couple in person in USA when we visited last year and one dear one I'm yet to meet, but I know it's going to be great when we do. You've written this post beautifully.

  6. I've been following Tara since she made an appearance on your blog, but Tim - well, my goodness. I wasn't familiar with him before, but now....not only are his photos stunning, but I would kind of like to be his neighbor (I have a toddler that could use soothing and a cell that needs programming). What a guy ;)

  7. Now I question whether I met Tara through you, or you through Tara? Hmm...I don't remember!! I still think Tara first, I guess.

    Anyway, what I don't question is how much I remember loving this post. Still do. You referenced finding your "tribe"...Kristian and I passed an article back and forth that struck us both from the NYTimes: about that very term sometime in 2004? 2005? I still have a print out copy somewhere if I dig deep enough. I only remember now how much I loved that you referenced the term. Kinda makes me laugh because it's such a small thing, I suppose, but it stuck out.