Sunday, January 25, 2009

Why I love the Internet

There is so much drama, so much strife perceived in every day life. Each day an economic struggle. Every argument an insurmountable disagreement after which nothing will ever be the same. And like a whirlpool, all this flows over my head with overwhelming force, and I struggle and drown and get sucked down into the very heart of the maelstrom.

Winston Churchill spoke of his depression as a large black dog that haunted him, growling and stalking and keeping those he loved at bay. If Mr. Churchill was right, and my maelstrom image fits too, then it might be best to say that for the last week or so, I find myself at the bottom of a roaring ocean, flailing and drowning, with only a large black dog to hold on to... and he bites.

Then a Sunday afternoon comes along which has some spare time and a bright sun peeping past the clouds. The blue sky seems unreal in its electric vivacious coloring, and it glistens behind the Griffith Observatory in a shot any cinematographer would glory to claim for his own. I see all this, but only in passing, temporarily blinded by all the ocean water and dog hair in my eyes. I return to my apartment and do some homework, and access the web, to check accounts, and perhaps peek at a few blogs (a pastime I rarely get to indulge anymore.) And a without realizing it, a life preserver falls neatly draped around my shoulders as I read the words of my tribe.

It doesn't take much to find people who mourn their losses, who sink into despairs. You can find someone bitching in front of you in line at the grocery store.... but until the vast Internet and blogs became a part of my life, I often believed myself alone in trying to persevere. But you... wonderful people you... so many of you speak of hope and joy and invigoration. You have weathered hardships, and have tremendous moments of great doubt, but you keep stepping forward, and I really do love you for it.

It is so easy and so popular to become resigned. Those that try to move past it are often called blind, ignorant, naive. They are mocked by those who secretly covet their indomitable spirit. And that mockery, if well-timed, can suck the wind out of renewed sails and drown barely afloat hopes. (good lord my metaphors are all over the place today... and I'm rambling.) My point is that I have a hard time keeping going. I get lost. I get overwhelmed. Sometimes I tell myself to go on. Sometimes I hope for more, then feel foolish for doing so. But the Internet has shown me that I'm not alone in these courageous charges of perseverance. If anything, I have seen that not only are there many out there who trudge ever forward... but MANY who seem to do it better than I. Who have ideas I haven't tried and wells of energy I haven't tapped into. They comfort me and inspire me and after 30 minutes or so of reading, I find myself possessed by the need to be outside, smelling the air, fascinated by blue sky and overjoyed at the feel of the breeze. I see the beauty in dandelions that grow between cracks in the sidewalk, and I'm blown away by the sound of bird wings as a flock of pigeons take flight.

Thank you Internet. Thank you heart-filled bloggers who express hopes and fears so honestly. Thank you, my dear tribe, for hopeful words, beautiful pictures and communities full of courageous passions. You open me to inspiration.