This June we'll be packing up our laptops and our cats, and we'll drive across country from Massachusetts to New Mexico. We need the change of scenery, the change of climate, the lower cost of living. Will we stay? Who knows? We'll probably give it a year to test the strength of New England's gravitational pull. Meanwhile, the mere prospect of uprooting our lives leaves my writing less focused, and it engenders a sense of impending loss of the regular company of my writer's group of 15 years. It's times like these that make me happy to live in the Internet and e-mail age, because it will be so easy to stay in touch with everyone.
We talked about friendship at my writer's group meeting last night. Can you really make friends on the Internet? We all agreed you can use it to maintain already-existing friendships over wide distances, but what about friendships where the initial contact is on the Internet? One person thought no, because it's so easy to disguise one's identity. I'm more sanguine; while it's easier to accumulate a lot of pleasant acquaintances by using only a keyboard, I suspect it's also possible to find good friends here and there. As with traditional friendships, they take time and common sense to develop, and recognition of the limitations of thinking you know someone you'll probably never meet.