Posts Tagged ‘Friends’

After Parting

July 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Photo by greekadman (used by permission via Creative Commons)

I continue to soak in the glory of Michael O’Siadhail’s poetry. In “Elegy for a Singer,” he writes one line that pierced and exposed my heart at the same time.

“…but know
that always after parting
I cherished you…”

One of the greatest treasures in my life is a meal and conversation with a few friends. And yet, I never feel that I sufficiently express my gratitude to the friends who spent their valuable time and presence in my life. After parting, the words of gratitude burn inside.

So as I read O’Siadhail, I can only echo the simmering love revealed in his words to a friend. I am rich for I have dined in the presence of glorious people who fed my soul and continue to strengthen my memories.

Shiny Happy People

January 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Doug Smilin’

Originally uploaded by dulasfloyd

My day started with a mouthful of smile as I read a note posted by the JTV Friends on Facebook. These shiny happy people love jewelry, gemstones and people. They posted a note of appreciation for the time I spent helping start a JTV community online.

Their kind words made this bright day just a bit brighter. We rarely catch of glimpse of the impact our lives have on others, so it’s a nice surprise when we discover our lives have touched someone else.

While many spend their lives pursuing fancy job titles, power, or boatloads of cash, I’d rather make a few friends along the way. Thanks JTV Friends for surprising me with some smiles today.

Living a Life of Dialogue

October 31, 2006 1 comment

Here’s a great quote from a man whose writings have deeply shaped my life:

All real living is meeting. – Martin Buber

I could write a few paragraphs of commentary or I could simply let it stand and encourage you to think about that for a little while today. Good words.

OneWebDay – September 22

September 6, 2006 Leave a comment

Let’s all join together in a big network and sing in virtual harmony an ode to OneWebDay, coming September 22. A VC suggests that “It’s like earth day in that there will be celebrations of the web taking place all over the world.” Not sure if anything is going down in K-town but there’s a big shindig in NYC.

Online Creative Interactivity

August 27, 2006 Leave a comment

In one of Van Gogh’s most productive creative periods, he was exchanging letters with a friend. Apparently the interaction spurred his creativity. As I’ve studied creativity and community over the years, I’ve noticed that relationships can be helpful for spurring new ideas, encouraging

An online expression of this tendency is surfacing in some of the online communities. jeong-hyun-lim.jpg

Jeong-Hyn Lim (photo by Seokyong Lee for The New York Times)
The New York Times today tells the story of a young guitarist whose identity remained in shadows until now. He had uploaded a video of himself playing the guitar and soon it was a web world phenomenon. Not only was everyone talking about it, everyone was trying to duplicate it. In the process, musicians were exchanging ideas about technique, and helping one another improve their skills.

This type of trend shines positive light on the possibilities of online interaction.

Look at all the Lonely People

August 6, 2006 Leave a comment

It seems there are more and more Eleanor Rigbys sitting by the door. Just a few weeks ago I linked to several articles about the growing sense of isolation in America. Now MSNBC has picked up as AP story on the theme. It is a growing problem that even threatens the health of many Americans:

In its most pronounced forms, loneliness is considered a serious, even life-threatening condition, heightening the risks of heart disease and depression. A sense of isolation can strike at almost any age, in any demographic sector — parents struggling to adjust to empty-nest status, divorcees unable to rebuild a social life, even seemingly self-confident college students.

In one disturbing line, they point out that some students opt out of chances to meet people to talk online instead.

John Powell, a psychologist at the University of Illinois counseling center, says it’s common for incoming freshmen to stay in their rooms, chatting by computer with high school friends rather than venturing out to get-acquainted activities on campus.

When I was first exposed to the Internet in 1992, I was concerned about the possible ramifications this might have for isolation and loss of the ability to enter into genuine face to face dialogue. When I read lines like that, it seems like for some that fear is coming true. There is value ot online conversation, but we as humans are more than just word producers. And we cannot ignore the dynamics, rewards, and challenges of face to face encounters. Avoiding the challenges, some may lost a vital link that protects them from isolationism.

There is much on this topic and maybe I’ll write sometime about community and why I believe relationship is an essential part of being human.

A lonely boy in a lonely world

July 2, 2006 1 comment

Larry Norman once sang,

I’m a lonely boy in a lonely world
There’s no place left for me

Just as Paul Simon responded to Donne’s essay, For Whom the Bell Tolls by singing,

I am a rock,
I am an island

And of course, Bob Dylan expressed the sense of communal loss by singing,

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolliing stone?

Well, the press continues to talk about the increasing sense of loneliness in our world. New York Times today returns to the recent study on the growing loneliness in our culture. The Western World and America is continuing along a path of loneliness, isolation, and unrestrained individualism.

I’m not sure articles are enough to respond to the increasing trend. And in a world that loves techniques and methods, I don’t think there is a technique to address this. Although I’m sure publishers are already excited about the possibility of publishing a new slate of books on how to combat loneliness.

The reality is unrestrained individualism cannot help but lead to loneliness and isolation. Short term, self focused relationships cannot stem a growing sense of personal loss. The Internet may open channels for sustaining long term relationships but by and large most of them are short. Most online communities do not have long life spans.

It take time, a long time, to build deep trust. And we live in a world that knows the latest technology, can argue and polarize over politics, but fails to build enduring. Deep trust gives the soul room to risk and love and even sacrifice. But it will cost more than the latest iPod. It will cost time, and ultimately it will cost our lives.

Most people may still fear investing what a deep trusting relationship requires and would prefer some technique that can start working tomorrow. But those who chose to risk it all and let go of today for tomorrow, may discover an intimacy most never even realized was possible.

Categories: Community, Society & Culture Tags:

Thank You!

July 1, 2006 1 comment

Jeremy’s wondering the appropriate way to respond to a thank you. Thanks for the blog Jer.


June 25, 2006 Leave a comment

The story I cited yesterday seems to be taking legs. I’ve noticed several others folks writing and talking about social isolation and absence of friendships. Dr. Helen offers some interesting thoughts and questions what “friendless” means in terms of our behavior.

This is and has been a passion of mine for the last fifteen years. It part of why I’ve chosen to function bi-vocationally. Trying to learn how to pattern and live in a way that encourages the possiblity of lifelong intimate friendships drives much of what of I do.

I hope more will come of this article and more people will think deeply of their own friendships or lack thereof. Maybe some will rediscover ancient writings on friendships by folks like Cicero, Augustine and Aelred of Rievaulx. And maybe some will actually devote themselves to building lifelong loving relationships.

Categories: Community Tags: ,
%d bloggers like this: