Saturday, March 25, 2006

Separations and friendships

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.

1 comment:

Frances Mackay said...

Hi Bob. Your discussions/comments, are interesting. I'm with you on this one. You can have friends in cyber space (time permitting) I have made a few from the writing group. Some move on, or I do, but I find it helpful to build a relationship with the others over time. Especially as I am stuck in the middle of nowhere, no writers workshops where I am.
The travelling does break the flow of communication. At the moment my ideas are very jumbled as I have so much catching up to do. I've been travelling to and from the coast (3 hours away) each fortnight for the past two months and all aspects of work has suffered.
Hope your cats aren't siamese? We travelled from Victoria up to Torrens Creek (nth. Queensland) with our boy yeowling as only a siamese can - all the way.
Congrats on your publication to be.