Thank you, Lesley

Yesterday, ABC news had a story about the Pope (whom my ex-Catholic husband refers to as “The Poop”) using YouTube. He felt, apparently, that using current media would help get the word out about God and His work. I’m not Catholic, and I’m not a big fan of YouTube, so it doesn’t matter to me one way or another.

But, he cautioned people against relying too much on blogs as friendship: people should not let real life friendships slide, he said.

Hmmm…I’ve had real life friendships which are no where near as close as I feel to blog friendships. Beverly has asked to meet me when I come to Florida. Bookfool and I have shared ups and downs about our sons. Tanabata has recognized my love for origami and sent me paper from Japan. Chris has encouraged me and comforted me about being a mother. JoAnn and I share a deep affinity for being lakeside. Nan has gifted me with a song for my iPod when I was particularly discouraged. Harry has left enormous insights to books I’ve read through our discussions. These are just off the top of my head; many more people have extended friendship through comments and commiserations.

And, Les, one of my oldest friends in the whole entire blog-o-sphere, has sent me this pillow for my birthday:

along with a devotional book in which to record prayers and praise.
Now, I ask you, is there a friend who knows me better than that? Even some of my own cousins, dear as they are, do not know me so well.
Just shows you what the Pope knows…

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21 thoughts on “Thank you, Lesley”

  1. Bellezza -I'm with you – I've found some wonderful friendships here. I'm also not Catholic but I can still see the Pope's point of view on this – fellowship is an important part of life, especially for those of us who follow Christ. I don't mean that to sound preachy but I'm sure it's part of the Pope's reasoning.I hope that makes sense. I've attended to your generous award, by the way. Thank you again.cjh

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  2. You are very right about this. I am Catholic and, like many Catholics I personally know, we feel the Pope could not be further removed from the twenty-first century. Oh how I miss John Paul II. He managed to keep traditions and bring in the new like no other pope. ANYway :), I believe that friendships are not grounded in how much you see the person, but how much you relate to the person, share experiences with the person, and support the person. My best friend I met in "real life" but since she lives in Virginia, I hardly ever see her. We communicate by phone and e-mail and Facebook. Does this make our friendship less real? Of course not. Does meeting someone online and interacting via technology make a friendship less real? Of course not. The Pope is probably trying to say that we all need human touch and interaction and not to become a hermit who never leaves the house. But the way he words things shows he is out of touch with the world and his followers and the way God interacts in the twenty-first century.

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  3. What a lovely and true post! 😉 People are always worried that people are going to stay glued to the computer screen and not have a life. But honestly, if I did that there'd be nothing to blog about. 😉 Before blogs I used to have snail mail pen pals and irl friends, too! Friendship comes in many different ways.

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  4. I do agree that real life relationships are incredibly important, but that being said I don't want to discount the friends I've made here as well. I think part of the reason you are all so special to me is that we share the common interest of one of the most beloved parts of my life–reading and books. I don't have that with many of my "real life" friends.

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  5. You're so right on Bellezza. I was a skeptic at first when I joined the blogging world, but soon found that this community really is a uniting force. Where else can you find others who share this specific love so passionately. My mom was just telling me the other day that I know way too much about everyone :p That's what happens when you care about people. I truly cherish many of the friendships that I've made through blogging, you included. I just wish we all lived closer 😦

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  6. Excellent pillow, love the devotional journal and best of all, your tributes to your blog friends.I had no idea 'til about a year ago when I began blogging that there would be such friendships out there – ya' just kinda know when you bump into them.Blog on!

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  7. I agree with you Meredith, blogging I have formed friendships as real as any. I am Catholic but find this Pope very removed from the twentiest century.Have a wonderful week-end my friendSylvie (aka Madeleine)

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  8. Some of my closest friends are ones that I met and got to know through the internet. Les is one of them. I have met her once face-to-face but we've been friedns for over 10 years and almost all of that has been through an online connection. I think that we all share a love of books and that is what initially brings us together, but it becomes so much more. Thank God for that!

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  9. What a great, great, great posting! And so true. Sometimes when I wake in the night, I think to myself about the blogs I haven't visited for a bit, or one I need to comment on. I have one friend-in-real-life who reads my blog regularly, period. My blog is where I talk about the day, the week, the book, whatever I'm thinking about. And when people come and read my words, and care about them, and if they have time, to comment, it just amazes me. And pleases me beyond words. Fellowship may be fine, but it's really hard to find people who are as passionate as I am about certain things. Through the internet I have found many kindred spirits who truly do, in Debby Boone's words, 'light up my life,' and you are one of them!!

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  10. Bellezza,I think the Poop has a minor point that we shouldn't totally shutter ourselves away from the world, but I so agree with you that online friendships can end up being much deeper and more meaningful than those in "real life". I can certainly tell you that the Christmas presents I received from bloggers, last year (including you!!!) were more personal than anything I've gotten from my family in a long, long time.Les is such a doll. I completely forgot your birthday was coming up! I'm so sorry! We have had one of those months, if you know what I mean — household things falling apart all over the place, and kid worries. Did I tell you my sister sold my mother's house without even bothering to tell me she'd gotten around to putting it on the market? It was the only childhood home I've ever known and I found out it had been sold when I finally gave in and wrote to her for an update. I got a 2-line reply. None of my blogger friends would ever treat me like my real-life sister, I can assure you.

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  11. YouTube may be a good move for the Pope…it worked for Obama!We all know most things in life require some sort of balance, so the pope has a point there. Being a relative newcomer to the blog-o-sphere (only 3 months), I'm enjoying the beginnings of new friendships that have added much to my life. It's so nice to have people to talk books with (we often don't do much of that in my bookgroup)…and to have a friend that understands the peace being by a lake brings!

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  12. I am really touched by all the sweet comments left here; they just proove my point that we all share a connection with one another. Bookfool, my heart goes especially to you with the unfortunate treatment your sister has shown you. Who can understand the complexity of family relationships? Certainly not me; I only know as my mother says, that sometimes we find a father figure, mother figure, sister figure in a person who bears no relationship at all. Connections are not automatically made just because of a common gene pool. I know, being adopted.JoAnn, I'll take being by the beach any day of the week! We'll be by the ocean next weekend, which is also nice, but I love the pine trees by the lakes in the Northern Woods.

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  13. I feel the same way, Bellezza. I've made so many great friends through blogging and I cherish each of them as much as my "real world" friends that I see regularly, and many of my online "peeps" know me much better than my in-person friends.

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  14. I am so touched by this entire post and all the comments you've received. Like so many others, I can say that some of my online friends do know me better than some of my f2f friends. What a joy and comfort it's been to be a part of such a loving community during the past few years. I'm thrilled you got your gifts before heading to the beach for your birthday. I'm so happy you're pleased with what I sent. You deserve to be spoiled on your birthday and I do hope it's a lovely day. Hugs to you, my kindred spirit. We'll get together some day for a paddle on a lake. I promise!

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  15. What a great cushion!And I feel the same way about the wonderful friends I've made online. Most of my RL friends don't share my love of reading or read my blog so my blog friends have a better idea of what's going on with me on a daily basis than my RL friends. Course we do always talk up a storm when we do get together. I understand the idea of balance and not becoming addicted to only online contact, but one kind of friend is certainly not 'better' than another. 🙂

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  16. Yes, I'd have to say that relationships through blogs have developed in ways that no one would have anticipated. These bonds of friendship are every bit as real…even more so in some cases, as you pointed out…than those who we are regularly in physical contact with. And I don't think that has to do with people not taking personal risks, I just think that this is an amazing medium through which people connect. It is very cool and life-affirming and worth cherishing.

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