Monday, March 8, 2010

The Art of Connecting

Nowadays, it seems like everyone is part of a virtual social network.  I both love this and hate it.  Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, MySpace and on and on and on.... these sites are amazing.  They allow me to connect with friends past, present and future.  Some of my most treasured relationships are with people that I have never actually seen or whose voices I have never heard.  I love it that the world now feels like my neighborhood.  My friend in Budapest Hungary makes the most amazing jewelry, and takes stunning photographs.  I have several friends in Australia who are painters and creators extraordinaire!  And then there are all of the people right here in my home country that I can keep up with whenever I log on. 

The house that I live in was purchased from a dear 99 year old woman, Esther, who would have a glass of wine every afternoon with her behind the fence neighbor, Edna.  The two of them, no doubt, would talk about this and that, would complain about their husbands, and would just sit in the silence that is understood by friends, and enjoy the moment.  When we moved into the house, Edna came over and gave us her key to the house, and I was struck by the relationship that she and Esther had shared.  In some ways, social networking online expands on this idea and has the potential to open it up to a richer experience, but I also find that it allows for less intimacy that one would find with a "face to face" friendship. There is something about the banality of a day to day friendship that makes the whole thing more vulnerable, less scripted, and therefore more meaningful somehow.  Don't get me wrong: I'm not trying to diminish my true online friendships: NO!  But sometimes, when I've posted my blog update, checked my facebook page, and tweeted my latest piece of business, I think, "There, I'm all caught up with my friends."  But am I?  How long has it been since I picked up the phone to get together with someone that I love right here in my neighborhood?  I am feeling the need to nurture my "touchable" friendships, and I encourage everyone to hug a friend today!
Nevertheless, in honor of one of my online connections, I want to share with you this fancy Tomboy wallet that I made.  I belong to a fun group of women on Flickr (an online network for sharing photographs) who swap fabrics.  I saw this fun Japanese print depicting Alice in Wonderland with the Queen and Rabbit and wanted it with a white hot want!  Luckily I had some fabric that was desireable, and the trade was made.  It took me some time to find just the right stripe: I didn't want to use a stark white in the stripe since the rest of the fabric is unbleached linen, so when I saw this more natural off white and deeper red, I was overjoyed.

Happy Monday, everyone!


vadjutka said...

This wallet is so lovely!

I also love internet for giving me so much new friends and opening up a whole new world for me :-)

picciolo said...

Lovely wallet Colleen! I know what you mean, I think I neglect 'real life' friends too sometimes!
: )

Stephanie said...

I too have a love-hate feeling about the small-world feeling the Internet brings us. I LOVE finding old friends and making new ones, but I also tend to neglect the more personable forms of communication I used to have with close friends. I guess there are pluses and minuses to everything though :-)

Colleen MacDonald said...

So true, I would never want to do without the internet and all of its amazing benefits and friends. But I need to remember to balance on the tightrope!