Monday, July 26, 2010

Meeting an old friend for the first time

I mentioned the pleasure I felt in meeting a woman who follows my blog. Truly, it was touching, surprising and enlightening. There was a moment of cultural confusion -- the written English language is relatively easy to communicate in for those of us from the Americas/British Iles/Australia/New Zealand/ etc., but our accents can be quite different! She with her beautiful Irish lilt that I had to listen carefully to, myself with my speedy delivery with no doubt a nasal touch from my NY/Seattle/Mid-West past.

We found subjects in common -- I'd not realized (or had not carefully read) that she shared a love and knowledge of photography with me. We came together in a city and on a day when there were shows aplenty to see, and so we were able to explore this dimension of our connection. We were able as well to touch on the powerful subjects of the soul mate, the couple, the expectations of collaboration, sharing and love. She has lived and lost what I dearly would like to experience. Having lived such beauty once in her life (for 20 years if I remember correctly) will she be granted another such? or will her knowledge, love and expertise shine on a larger world?

To know each other and yet to not know each other at all. I, the American in Provence, getting her hair done, wandering about a city with her dog, bubbling with nervousness and pleasure at our encounter. She, seemingly more poised, a touch older (but not by much), certainly calmer. Her experiences and direction appeared focused. Whereas I am only just gelling a few ideas into a larger whole.

The world of blogging has offered me a chance to share and to communicate. I love the written word. I've now met two different woman who've been following my blog for over a year. It is startling. I know little of them. I have much to learn. It is my turn to ask questions, to listen. They know intimate details of me. They've read me and mine. My time for sharing is put on hold.

Once the first encounter has passed, will we keep in touch further? Will I hop on a plane to Ireland? I'm tempted, but scared to drive on the other side of the road, I might be a burden. Will we collaborate on future projects?

The written word is a first level. The physical presence of two beings in the same space is another. As many who've tried internet web sites to meet a beloved have discovered, the reality doesn't always fit the words read. I wonder again about my outer and inner self. Is there yet a schism there? Do I surprise? or do I confirm?

However, I am also simply grateful. This has been a magical summer filled with much of what I seek: beauty, work, friends and new encounters. Thank you.

1 comment:

Gillian said...

Hah! Not quite as I remember it Madeline, you looking younger than your blog photos, quite unphased by the heat, me positively melting into a blob of sweat - most unladylike!!! A charming encounter, and thank you for your time and presence and enjoyable jaunt around some exhibitions. A jam packed month around various locations/experiences in La Belle France including a communication with Nora from Le Thor with whom I haven't spoken since spending a Lost Summer In Provence (her words) at 19. Unfortunately we were already far away before she found us! Bonne chance for the future and who knows, maybe there will be a collaboration when the time is right. As for the rest, good luck also with meeting the right one for you in love. Bisous Gillian PS Driving on the other side of the road is easy!