I understand the griping I hear so often about the social disconnect our society is enduring because of time spent online: cell phones ever in use narcissistically snapping “selfies”, the inane chatter, the mindless games. I’m the first to chime in when I see the abuses, but there is also a certain magic to it all. I have “met” from my often lonely studio some truly incredible people, folks I would most likely have never met, or had the confidence to introduce myself to.
This year has been a wonderful year in that I have actually met two “virtual” friends. Earlier this year I met my friend Carla who has been following my sites for some time. We were visiting beautiful Oregon and we had the chance to actually meet Carla and her husband Allen over dinner (best Italian food I have had in a very long time). One senses kinship from your computer screen but to have it confirmed in the flesh is a very special thing. My friendship with Carla would never have occurred without the internet pixies sprinkling camaraderie and goodwill.
Such was the case last evening as I was further blessed in having met another long time friend (who I had actually never heard speak) Andrew P.Wood ( his voice is lovely, he is southern boy after all). Andrew has always offered such kind support to my work; so often I feel I work in a vacuum , shouting at the winds,yet Andrew has consistently listened. Its all rather stunning as I hold him in such esteem, he is an incredibly gifted photo journalist, capturing in amber all that is beautiful, broken and left to be forgotten, namely the architecture and landscape of the rural American South. His images have struck me time and again for their intelligence and poetry , he expresses empathy for the material world that I share as well. He imbues fallen houses, decrepit storefronts and broken fencing with meanings that convey our own frailties ; memento moris others would rather pass by.
Last evening we actually met. Andrew with his equally convivial husband Greg were in LA on business and we arranged to have them for dinner last night. It was an absolutely wonderful evening , Andrew came bearing a very beautiful print (above) of one his memento moris , how fortunate is that? Having never actually met one another there could have been awkwardness but there was not, instead there was the kinship that I had suspected from our brief exchanges.
There is magic out there, and its online.
I feel fortunate indeed.
Post Script: speaking of “selfies”, which are never kind to me, Andrew snapped one of us as I was fussing with dinner.