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Monday, January 04, 2010

blog family

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Photo by Ginnie of her "Gathering Wisdom" bronze sculpture in October getting packed for her move to the Netherlands last month; NOTE: the sculptor is Mark Hopkins - after a couple of you thought Ginnie sculpted it, but quite frankly, she is artistic and soulful enough to do this kind of work, believe me. I am adding her avatar, below, which she drew when she was a teenager. It was my idea to make it her blog avatar. I don't know what I love most about it - the free girl, the forward motion of the whole image, the sillhouetteness, I don't know, but I have admired it since I was a little girl, maybe longing to be as free as that.


Remember if you can the first time you heard the word blog. Weblog. Web log. We blog. I think my first time must have been in 2005 when my sister Ginnie started hers. (I call her "Boots" because when she was born she was tiny, her booties went all the way up to her hips, and the doctor said "She's all boots!" That's her photo, above, and the blog post about the lady is embedded in Ginnie's name under it.) Blogging hadn't exploded yet, and I just wasn't very interested. I didn't even visit hers that whole first year, I really didn't get it. What's a blog? Even so, I tried to convince our decorator sister Nancy to start one too, picturing her beautiful designs on a pretty site that would reflect her talents.

Finally in January 2006 feeling inspired by Ginnie's In Soul blog because she did such a good job chronicling her life in words and photos, and I always liked journaling (though I didn't stick with it), I went out shooting pictures of the snow, came in, picked out a Blogger template (Minima Ochre), uploaded a photo of our spruce tree, et voila! -- instant publication -- what a rush! On January 21 I will have posted here every three days for four years, something I couldn't have known I would stick with at the time, let alone turn it into an outlet for writing practice and a new hobby of photography.

I've noticed a lot of reflective end-of-year and new-year blog posts about how blog friends are real friends. I couldn't agree more, and I also wonder what we imply with that statement. Maybe we feel some guilt that we don't have more face to face contact with people nearby? More on that in a minute.

These days online newspaper columnists have blogs. Celebrities and authors have them. What is it with blogging?



Is it that in just a few minutes you can fly over oceans and continents and meet a man in Chennai, India who tells you a story about a young girl named Priya saving him from wild dogs in a lovely tribal village near Varagaliar forest? That post needs to be made into a children's story and picture book. Through stunning photographs, humor and wit, rauf opens our eyes to Indian culture, to Nature, to what is not right with India's society and ours too, and he also shows what is so very right with humans, by being the right kind of human. I hope one day Don and I can shake hands with rauf in Chennai-Madras, with the smell of curry and diesel, the yells of street vendors and humidity so high my hair frizzes up like bird feathers - oh, kinda like Priya's, below. Please do browse rauf's posts and photographs, but be gentle on him because he hasn't had as much time to blog as he used to, and comments might frighten him as much as wild dogs!




Photos of Priya by rauf

This is what we owe each other. To speak honestly, to listen quietly, and to connect. When we live like this, our life is a prayer. I could not have predicted that in four years of contact with bloggers I would travel so far and learn so much - about specific places in the world and in space, about humanity, about myself, and that I would become more curious.


Don's turkey and chickens


I am happy to report that at least five of these dear friends are real. Don is my husband: real. Ginnie is my sister: real. Loring is my hometown neighbor and classmate: real. I've met dear friend Susie twice and Sanna once, and it felt like old home week: real.

As for face time with locals, I actually think I may get enough of it with Don's and my big families and my 1,000 academic advisees. But something Patricia told me in a comment got me to a gorgeous web site that supports reestablishing oral stories, to connect people with each other and the earth, called the Alliance for Wild Ethics - "a loose group of folks around the world who all share a common aim to rejuvenate a wild, animistic, participatory culture that honors the whole boisterous community of earthly life -- plants, animals, woodlands, rivers, winds, and thunderclouds -- as our real neighborhood." Apparently the site is somewhat dormant now, according to the founder David Abram, that is until he releases his next book in August. But it's worth exploring even in dormancy (like a woodland in winter). In 2010, thanks in part to Wild Ethics, while we're meeting here in our digital salons I'm going to remember to keep eye and hand connection with people and Nature firsthand.

Here's to being more wild, more free, more connected. If you have time please listen to Andrew Bird accompany himself on violin - while he sings - about becoming "this animal" in the official Rolling Stone released stop-animation video directed by Lisa Barcy.




Anonanimal

See a sea anemone, the enemy see a sea anemone
And that'll be the end of me
While the vicious fish was caught unawares
In the tenderest of tendrils

See a sea anemone, the enemy see a sea anemone
And that'll be the end of me, that'll be the end of me
While the vicious fish was caught unawares
In the tenderest of tendrils

Underneath her tender gills I will become this animal
Perfectly adapted to the music halls
Oh and I will become this animal
Anomalous appendages, anonanimal, anonanimal

Anonanimal, anonanimal
Anonanimal, anonanimal

Hold on just a second
Don't tell me this one you know
I know this one, I know this song
I know this one, I love this song

Hold on just a second
Don't tell me this one you know
I know this one, I know this song
I know this one, I love this song
I know this one

Underneath the stalactites
The troglodytes lost their sight, oh
The seemingly innocuous plecostomus though posthumous
They talk to us, they talk too much

See a sea anemone, the enemy see a sea anemone
That'll be the end of me, that'll be the end of me
Vicious fish was caught unawares
In the tenderest tendrils

Underneath her tender gills and I will become this animal
Perfectly adapted to a music hall
I will become this animal
Anomalous appendages, anonanimal, anonanimal
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79 comments:

Claudia said...

You're my blog big sister, Ruth! Rauf is my blog favorite uncle and Peter and João are my blog dear cousins. It would be lovely to meet you all for real one day.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Thanks so much for the sweet mention. I am now off to meet these other bloggers!!

Loring Wirbel said...

You know, I don't listen with much fervor or attention to the people who call virtual links "imaginary" or "second rate". Certainly, we need to remember and stress flesh and blood ties, but you made a very good case for proving the real - start with those ties that began in the physical world, and work your way outward. The thing I find remarkable about the Web, that predated blogs and social networks but was made more powerful by the new tools, is that the sentient creatures on the planet breathe as one, and information is instantaneous and shared. Sure, you can choose to be off the grid, but there is scarcely a secret island or mountain stronghold anywhere where one could go and do something nefarious without the world knowing it in a few hours. Value systems slowly become shared because the planet is the neighborhood. And I don't believe that the Internet flattens all cultural differences and makes things boring (fast food and corporate branding do that) -- our awareness of regional culture is strengthened! You serve as the ideal emissary for Rauf's world and all the other worlds out there, because you care so passionately about the ties that bind.

And thanks for the Andrew Bird video - I hadn't seen that one, and I love it!

Annie said...

Blogging is a great way of connecting, great way of releaving pressure anonymously, great way of sending a message for people all around the world. I've also found some good, real, friends via the internet. People I would've never met in any other way.

Blogging and net also offer a means to communicate for people who are not that social or good-looking in real life. What is real life anyway? Isn't it most important what's inside our heads? I don't recommend net addiction but the internet isn't just a waste of time either.

Kamana said...

isnt blogging great? so many wonderful souls to find and get to know better. learn from. share with. laugh together. listen to. and through this post, i can find so many new ones to me. thanks!

Shattered said...

Blogging has been a powerful tool for me. I started my own blog and walked away but I have always been drawn back. I love the community, the support, the chance to meet unique people with unique stories, and to just feel a little less alone.

I always enjoy visiting your blog and I'm so excited to visit the other bloggers you have mentioned in this post.

Happy New Blogging Year to you!

♥ Kathy said...

I've really enjoyed getting to know you here in blogland Ruth!

Susan said...

How is it that I've never seen any of Ginnie's sculptures? She is wonderfully talented! Please pass along my admiration!

Thank you, sweet Ruthie, for the lovely mentions here. May I tell you that anything you garner from reading my posts is multiplied ten-fold by the joy and inspiration and learning and pure beauty that I receive from yours.

Joining this blogging circle has been the most satisfying and fulfilling thing in my life other than my family and you are a big part of the reason why.

And yes, I remember well the instant rush of gratification I felt the first time I saw my words on the computer screen. I also remember the rush of terror I felt when I realized that "real" people might be reading them! I needn't have feared, there was only one in those days! :)

photowannabe said...

Ginny's sculpture is stunning. I can't take my eyes off of it. Thank you for all the wonderful posts and photographs you have delivered to Blogland. It is always a joy to visit and see whats happening on the other side of the USA.
Sue

Ginnie said...

You will have to let everyone know, of course, that it is not MY sculpture...that is, I did not sculpt it...but that it is one I purchased from the soulful sculptor, Mark Hopkins. It is one of three of his I kept, as you know. We have both worked off of each other in this blogging journey, Ruth, inspiring each other. In a round about way I met Astrid because you started your photography blog and I chose a different one to not be a copycat. If it weren't for the web, I would not be in Holland right now, making a new home and preparing to marry. It all is really amazing when you stop and think about it!

Kim said...

Who knew that blogging could be so therapeutic...I love it and I love visiting yours...I am now going to peruse some of your favorites...

Patricia said...

Isn't it amazing that with a little searching online we can enter into communities of people that value some of those things that we hold dear, can identify and provide solutions to thorny problems, and rejoice in each others creative thoughts and acts. If we tried to put a monetary value on this we just couldn't come up with enough zeros.

Let us all hope that the following decade will give us more sharing and growing and connection!

shicat said...

Hi Ruth, Well lets see now... I didn't realize you posted once every three days? I just notice that when you don't post I miss it. It's always such a pleasure to read you thoughtful and thought provoking posts.
Rauf's blog is beautiful I need to remember to visit it more often.

I wish i lived near Loring and you, when you were growing up,maybe some of that smart stuff would have rubbed off.


We are all connected and journey is only more exciting because we get to know people all over the world. That pleases me so. I love to imagine how others live in different cultures,in different parts of the world and blogs have become our window.

Oh, I always enjoy your pictures of the birds.I think the sketch reminds me of freedom too, in that magical child-like way we were fortunate enough to enjoy in the
50's and 60's. The sketch has a vintage feel,don't you think?

ellen abbott said...

Thank you Ruth. Very good post. I've been exploring the link to the Alliance for Wild Ethics.

Nancy said...

What a soulful post, Ruth. Love it. And I love visiting you. The blog world is very real and I ditto everything you said so beautifully.

gemma said...

Ruth, I loved reading this. Checking links as I went,I stopped at Rauf's story of Pryia and then was charmed by Don's blog. Reading further I linked to and enjoyed other blogs you mentioned... What a surprise when I found my own name. How sweet for you to mention me. My blogging has been rather sparse lately....
Thank you sister friend.
life is good!

Vagabonde said...

Blogging and the blogging world is amazing. My daughter had a blog for a couple of years, but mostly for family members and to show photos. She told me I should start one and helped me. The blog was intended to write my memories of travel and of France and I never thought that people, from all over, would ever come and read it. It is unbelievable to me too that in an instant I can comment on a blog in the US then with a click can go to Senegal in Africa or in Malaysia. It has brought me much pleasure too because here in Georgia I never spoke French and now on my blog I have francophone friends I can speak with. It is true that blogging has revolutionized communications between people, people that one would never have encountered in their regular life – and it is such a thrill. I don’t remember how I came to see your blog Ruth but I am so pleased that I found it – yours is always so eloquent and creative and such a joy to read.

*jean* said...

o ruth you are so sweet...i am happy to count you in my blog family and am humbled that you like what i do...what a wonderful post! i'm going blinking (blog linking to all your post links) in blogland now...

wishing you all the best in the coming year...

Babs-beetle said...

I have been blogging for almost two years. I've made several friends that I truly believe, if it was possible to meet them, we would have an instant bond. Before I became a blogger, I wouldn't have thought it possible, to forge such close friendships over the internet.
Thank you for mentioning me in your list.

ds said...

Always, always when I visit here, I come away feeling calmed, having learned something, being awed in some way by one of your photos, or poems, or discoveries--or the simple pleasure you find on and around the farm & give new light to. You are a treasure, Ruth; I am glad to know you.
(Thanks for the kind mention; I will read rauf's story & check out others...very cool video & song)
It is good that you are here. All the worlds that you are in--bloggy or 'real'--are enriched by your presence.

CottageGirl said...

First off ... the sculpture is fascinating. I couldn't stop looking at it ... the face and the hands ... especially the hands... and then the illusion of floating in space.

Next ... Your connection with rauf is what is really so amazing about blogging. People from opposite ends of the globe connecting in a way that was unimaginable even 10 years ago. Will world peace finally come about, not through the efforts of big governments, but through one-on-one relationships via the internet?

Finally ... Thanks for the shout-out. So many great bloggers ... so little time. (I remember you writing about that once.) We definitely are friends. We are connected by sharing things with each other that sometimes is deeper than we might even share with close face-to-face friends.

As always, Ruth ... great post!

Arti said...

It's my pleasure to be in this 'family'. You know Ruth, I'm beginning to feel the line between 'real' and 'virtual' getting to be more and more blurry. While those whom we can see physically are 'real', those whom we get in touch with in the blogosphere are not less so, for the reasons you've so marvellously detailed here in your post. Blogging really does wonders in creating a world beyond the physical, and connecting us in a meaningful way that I feel sometimes may be elusive even in the 'real' world.

Anyway, my pleasure to be counted in this virtual family.

Ruth said...

Oh my, Claudia, that would be heaven. It is amazing to feel so connected. I wish travel didn't cost so much.

Ruth said...

Pamela, enjoy!

I'm so glad you read Anne Michaels' Fugitive Pieces and felt its profound beauty.

Ruth said...

Loring, that was one of the best comments ever, and I appreciate your sentiment from the bottom of my heart.

Yay, I posted a music video you hadn't seen!

Ruth said...

Annie, yes, it's a place we can choose what we reveal, more than real flesh and blood life. It's more controlled, and in some way I think it's a place we can practice being who we want to be. I think that is healthy.

Ruth said...

Hi, Kamana, enjoy.

Anet said...

I am very honored to be in a list of such talented artist.
Really Ruth, I'm just a weekend crafter in my mind.

The "Gathering Wisdom" sculpture is an amazing piece! Something about it just pulls at me.

Ruth, you are my friend and for that I am blessed:)

João said...

" we live like this, our life is a prayer "

Everyday we pray and wish and work for the best. It's great to know that we have company, as you also say : hello, Neighbor !

Deborah said...

Ruth, I was so intrigued by your mention of your sister that I went to her place. What a very interesting and gutsy woman she must be!

I think we'll gradually stop making the distinction between 'real' (face-to-face) friends and those we come to know, appreciate and like through different mediums. For those of us who once knew a world without these possibilities, it can still seem like these relationships are something apart from the norm, but that will fade away soon enough.

Wanting to meet a blog friend in person is a bit like liking somebody at the office, and wanting to expand the friendship beyond that territory. It's not always necessary, desireable or workable. But it doesn't mean that the relationship is worth less or more...just that it can be perfectly fine in that environment alone. Year ago I realized that I was trying to put my friendships into the same box - always thinking I had a kind of obligation to develop them further, but situational relationships are very gratifying too Don't feel like I'm making a lot of sense today, but hope you get some idea of what I mean!

And thank you so much for the honour of being included in your mention of other bloggers.

LeenaM said...

I am sitting her even a midnight has gone and creating a link list again to my old joensuudailyphoto blog. I came here for your address and read your lovely post.
I am happy about blogging, I don`t feel any guilt, only pleasure about knowing all wonderful people in this blogcommunity.
( Mikael`s holes have become smaller, he was today in a hospital. It was very glad to hear )

Ruth said...

Shattered, it is very encouraging to me that you feel supported, that you love the community. I must say, I get blown away not only by your posts, but by your friends' responses to them. I have seen the best minds and hearts come around you that I think I've seen anywhere. How wonderful that is.

Happy New Blogging Year to you too. I wonder what we'll be saying to each other one year from now.

Ruth said...

♥ Kathy, thank you, and likewise. That betterworldbooks.com site you just posted has me excited.

Ruth said...

Dear Susie, teehee, yes we all started out with 0 or 1. I had Bootsie at the start. She went a long time before she had a regular following. It takes time. But I think now the growth is happening much faster. I notice a lot of people have many followers. I think Blogger has created some gadgets that make it easy to maintain the community part of this.

I have SO much fun going to your blog. I never know what to expect, because you just have a lot of fun with life, no matter what you're doing, and when you share it, the fun and joy gets spread around. A friend of mine told me I have gravitas. Well that's probably so, and I need a husband, family and friends who hold up the other side and make me laugh. Thank you for your dear friendship.

Ruth said...

Sue, I meant to tell Susie this too, I have added a note to the caption under Ginnie's photo, that the sculptor is Mark Hopkins, but Ginnie is a fabulous artist in her own right.

Thank you for being one of my longest standing blog friends, Sue.

Ruth said...

Boots, I added that note under the photo of your lady so folks would know about Mark Hopkins. I can't wait to hear from you that the shipment has finally arrived, and you can unpack them in your apartment, their new home - your wolf, shaman, and gathering lady. I bet you already have a spot for them to rest already.

I had not thought of the sequence of you and Astrid that way before. If it weren't for you, I wonder if I would have started a blog?

Ruth said...

Kim, so many women especially have found a platform for their voices. I love it.

Ruth said...

Patricia, in the short amount of time I've known you, you have made stellar recommendations. This Wild Ethics thing is on another level, and I thank you again.

Of course imagining where we will be with any of this in another 5 or 10 years is not even possible I suppose.

rauf said...

oh i am overwhelmed Ruth, thank you. i really wonder how my silly and goofy experiences can cause any impact. Some times i perform a postmortem of my posts and i found that i have been trying to be a lesser human with all my shortcomings and weaknesses highlighted. Actually want to be a lesser human Ruth and go back to where we came from ? Nice species they are. No worries. Its tough to be a human. If you study one cow you have studied all cows, if you study humans you get nowhere. But Synchronizing always urged me to be a human.

All you have said on Sync for four years is, its wonderful to be a human and we live in a beautiful world. You kept reminding us always.

Congratulations on completing 4 years Ruth. i remember my very first comment on Sync, it was Wordsworth's Daffodils. i feel lucky and rich meeting you. It was a lucky day i found your blog.

Shari Sunday said...

I went out to check out Ginnie's blog and it was awesome. I really enjoyed 'O Dennenboom' and the pictures of Holland. With the richness of your experiences and all your contacts in the blog world, I feel honored that you stop by my humble little blog and leave generous comments behind. I feel I have really found a special friend.

Ruth said...

Cathy, I got to know Loring late, here in fact. We only said hi in Grand Ledge. Maybe if I had hung around him more I would have been smarter too. I don't belong in Loring's league, but thank you for that.

And thank you for saying you miss if I don't post. Sometimes I feel I post too often, so that came as a surprise. I know I get wordy. But no apologies.

rauf's blog is in a category by itself. When I first went there in 2006, my eyes were opened, and kept opening.

Oh yes, Bootsie's sketch has the 60s feel, those Buster Brown striped shirts, or sailor shirts like preppy kids wore. Bootsie used to draw calligraphy for me, for my school notebooks. She is a very talented artist and photographer.

I think you and I should meet sometime this year, Cathy. After all, we are in the same state. Let's talk. Email me: ruth.mowry@gmail.com.

I hope school is going fine now that you're back.

Ruth said...

Ellen, it is a very elegant site, I was impressed with the design as much as the purpose. Carolyn Frayn is the site designer, and I went to her photgraphy site - caryolynfrayn.com, which is quite something.

Mama Zen said...

What an awesome post!

Ruth said...

Thank you, Nancy. You have found a devoted following at Life in the Second Half with your honesty, humor and spiritual sensitivity. Here's to more Life in 2010!

Ruth said...

Gemma dear, I follow you and see your posts on Google Reader, don't often comment. You draw me in with simplicity, a childlike beauty.

freefalling said...

I hate it when you make me think.
I'm very lazy.

I'm not 100% sure why I blog.
I don't really show people in real life who I am.
When I do "talk about stuff" on my blog, I'm more open.
It's easier from behind a shield.
I find it difficult when people in real life get too close.

My blog friends make me feel accepted for who I am.
And I believe them.
They don't have anything to gain by being nice to me.
If they don't like me, they don't have to visit me, right?
It's not just about how they make me feel.
My blog friends are interesting people and I'm interested in them and their lives and what they have to say.
They have enriched my life.
I feel very lucky to have met them.

Montag said...

Well said! Very well said. If the future times need someone to describe the impact of the internet upon our age, I hope they have your writing available.

Ruth said...

Thank you, cher Vagabonde.

There for a while I heard whispers that blogging was becoming passé, Facebook was replacing it, and even that might be going out because we fifty-somethings were a bulk of the users - so uncool. But I have seen in the community of bloggers I hang with that meaning and affection are deepening. Maybe as Letitia/freefalling in a comment below said, we feel more comfortable opening up here than we do with friends and family in the flesh. In some way maybe this medium is having a profound effect on us psychologically and emotionally that we might not have had access to otherwise. How interesting!

Ruth said...

Jean, blinking - that's grand.

Ruth said...

Babs, I can see how online dating services would be a good way to find someone to connect with, because you're finding out about the things that matter to you at the outset, rather than being attracted to someone by physical presence first.

Ruth said...

DS, thank you for your extremely kind comment. Mutual vibrations.

Ruth said...

I think so, CottageGirl, what you said about this growing Life that happens among bloggers. It's difficult or impossible now to make stereotyped statements about someone in a distant country if you know an individual who doesn't fit the stereotype. Shame on our media for shaping our thinking about, for instance, China, when there are vast changes happening there that are giving their people amazing hope for recreating their lives. I wonder where the Chinese people will be with the Internet and blogging in a few short years. They are already out there criticizing what is wrong with their country, though not the government yet. As Loring said, this place is where we can be emissaries and diplomats and supportive friends. I love it. I'm so glad to know you.

Ruth said...

Arti, now you have me thinking about the world below ground and behind trees, the magic "flesh" as Maurice Merleau-Ponty calls "the breathing biosphere" and David Abram calls "the animate earth." Is this blog world much different than that? We can't see all of Life, but we do not doubt its existence or validity.

Ruth said...

Dear Anet, your life is art, I think. What you do with Noah, Autumn and Caleb - and with Brad - is the art of living. I also admire the photos you choose, and your web design, etc. You have a beautiful aesthetic.

Ruth said...

João, you care about offering the best things to the world in your blog, in your family and in work, in all you do.

Ruth said...

Deborah, I'm happy you visited Ginnie. She is a deep soul sister as well as biological sister.

I really like your points. Maybe there is something in us that wants to homogenize everything, put everything on an equal playing field. But the truth is, we feel closer to some people than to others, and there are different kinds of love, different needs met, different gifts offered.

Marriage for instance. I think a marriage is doomed if either partner looks for the other to fulfill all relational needs.

Blogging friends really do fill in a gap that I didn't even know existed.

What's also interesting is that I have become more confident and a better friend in my face relationships as a result of this experience in these blog pages.

Ruth said...

Leena, a whole piece of me would be missing without my Finnish sister Leena. My little Melli. So lovely to be sisters in this place and feel a kindred heart for the beautiful northern worlds where we live. I hope I see Finland one day, and you.

Happy with tears about your little Mikael.

Ruth said...

rauf, you are an interesting human. When you saw the sad things humans do, you wanted to strip off civilization and see what being simpler might be. Sitting like that, looking at civilization, things look different. What you do takes work, constant daily work.

I have another kind of looking here. We each have a way of looking, and when they come together, listening with open hearts and minds, we become a Big One. Makes me so happy.

Ruth said...

I'm so glad, Shari. I didn't tell you I have a niece Shari just around the corner from you in Sarasota!

Ruth said...

Blogging is nice, isn't it Mama Zen?

Ruth said...

Letty, pshaw. You went and made me think.

I agree, this seems in some ways less conditional than people we live with. On the other hand, there is some sort of reciprocal stuff that seems to make people feel obligated in certain ways here. I don't much like that.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Montag, that is really nice.

♥ Kathy said...

Hi Ruth! I just wanted to thank you for all your comments on my Crazy Life blog...because of that I gave you an award :) It's HERE

Jeanie said...

First, let me say (in advance) congratulations on your long (and might I add as a reader) and most delightful blogging career! I couldn't believe it when Linda (Shoreacres) said I really should check out your France posts -- "I think she's from Michigan!" -- only to find out you're just down the road! I've loved seeing the part of you shared on syn-chro-ni-zing, as I learn about your life, your family, and your outlook. And of course I devoured every bit of Paris Deconstructed!

I'm delighted you blogged -- and I have to say, putting this one together had to take a lot of time! Bravo!

Wrensong Farm said...

Blogging is one of the biggest joys in my life. I love everyone of my blogging "connections" even when I disagree. I love that my fellow bloggers make me think, look at the world around me through others eyes, make me laugh and make me cry. I would love to be able to travel to meet everyone in person, but until then I will continue to enjoy our connection through blogs. Thanks for a phenomenal post (and giving me some other wonderful lives to visit)

Shaista said...

Ruth!!! Merry belated Christmas tidings Wise Sister of West and East and Spirit in between. Oh yes it is indeed a Happy New Year, for having the assurance of being loved by friends, just for being ourselves.
Congratulations on your four years of blogging and for inspiring so many many of us (more than every three days)... my love to you for enriching my life xxx

Oliag said...

Dear Ruth

I started visiting blogs thru photography sites like Digital Photography School and Shutter Sisters...I would visit the sites of people whose photos I liked or who made interesting comments...oh and that tangled web has led me everywhere!...Altho I have many sites I visit for photographic inspiration, the sites I enjoy the most are for the inspiration of words...then there is the best of both worlds where I find both...and synch-ro-ni-zing is one of those. I no longer remember how I came across your blog but I remember immediately bonding.

I would love to meet in person everyone that I have come to consider friends here on the web...but I am glad to have these new fashioned "pen-pals" even if I can't meet them. How I love to travel the world through these blogs...but I am wandering...

...Andrew Bird is one of my favorite musicans...see how we connect!

Can't wait to explore Alliance for Wild Ethics...

Bella Rum said...

"To speak honestly, to listen quietly, and to connect. When we live like this, our life is a prayer."

Ruth,
I can not say how happy I am that I've found you and your blog. I feel a little lighter when I leave here. I enjoy your perspective so much. Here's to a wonderful year of blogging and connecting and quiet listening.
Bella Rum

Ruth said...

Thank you, how kind, ♥ Kathy!

Ruth said...

Jeanie, our connection is definitely one of the odd ones, and I had the advantage having seen you on WKAR TV so many times during the public TV fund raisers, so when you came by the first time I knew exactly who you were!

Thank you for your kind words, and I look forward to lunch very very soon. Yippee!

Ruth said...

Tammy, it is so nice to see you and hear what blogging has done for you. I have never seen such a beautiful home for animals as you have. The view from your hills as backdrop to peafowl and sheep and llamas, it is breathtaking, those lucky things.

I feel very sad about your mother, not only for her passing, but for the long good-bye you suffered. I know it too well. Now it's a new day.

Ruth said...

Shaista, thank you, and you have completed one year - congratulations back to you!

I have never felt as much affirmation for the gift that blogging is to so many - especially to women - as I have in these last few weeks. It's a wonder, really.

Ruth said...

Oliag, I am so like you. I love the combination of words and images (obviously I guess), and I look for inspiration from both separately too.

I had only just heard of Andrew Bird a month or two ago, and I have to see he's a favorite of mine too.

Ruth said...

Yay, Bella! Thank you for that, my dear. The feeling is mutual.

Oh dear, I can feel my life getting stressful again now that I'm back at work. I think I have to practice breathing. You know, blogging helps me breathe.

California Girl said...

Blog friends intrigue me. I am surprised and exhilarated by the loyalty they show, they kindness in their comments and the experiences they write about.

I suppose it must be that way for a published author, to gain new friends, followers, admirers and want to please them as well as oneself.

I used to wonder how to increase the number of followers on my two blogs. But, there are so many and I feel grateful to have the ones I do who are kind enough to stick it out with me. Love this process!

Peter said...

Sorry for late arrival!

... and we all had the pleasure to read your fantastic and always interesting posts! Sincere thanks!!

I would so much agree with Claudia's wish!!

Ruth said...

I hope so, Peter, I really do.

dutchbaby said...

I am proud, proud, proud to be considered part of this esteemed blog family. Thank you so much for the shout-outs. I am humbled by your writing, how it exudes warmth and intelligence in each and every post. Thank you for being here so reliably; it's always such a joy to visit here. Happy blogiversary, my friend!

P.S. I've fallen behind in visiting your blog; my daughter and I were enjoying the last whirlwind week of her Christmas vacation.

Ruth said...

Dear dear Dutchbaby, it's taking me a while to catch up on comments too. But you see, I am the one who is proud to know you and have you visit me here all the way from Palo Alto. You have such a gorgeous design sense, you are one smart engineer, and you have a beautiful heart. AND, I'll be forever indebted to you for teaching me 1.6 X n = big photo. :D