Water rises to it’s own level. I used to hear my dad say that. He felt that people gravitate to other people like themselves. Trouble finds trouble, kindness finds kindness. But is it true?
Being little more than a speck in sprawling universe of the internet makes it unlikely that we’d find each other. We’re each just one of gazillions of stars. How is it that we reduce such an immense population of internet users to find each other?
Even if you said that people who share common interests like motorcycling don’t have to look very hard. Is that true? I mean, click the hashtag motorcycles on Instagram. There are 100s of thousands of potential connections. What is it that makes another anonymous person catch your eye enough for you to follow them? And then once you do, do you often strike up a friendship or develop a deep interest in that person? For me, that would be an exception.
With blogging, you don’t really even have the same hashtag-ability to cluster everyone together. Blogs are a bit more passive with their reach. They often have to piggyback on your other social connections to get them in front of people. And yet, we find each other.
Given the instant gratification that something like Instagram can provide, why do some people want to take it further and keep a blog? And who are the people that are seeking something more than just a photo that read them?
Some blog authors become “friends” in my mind. The flow of their language, the depth of their introspection, their vulnerability, and their triumphs become something… personal? to me, too. I become invested in what they’re up to. In my mind some blog authors become perfect people and I admire them. I miss them when they go quiet or wonder about them at unusual times. For example, riding along I’ll see a scene and think – that looks like something X would photograph.
But, I suppose that is just an impression of what I think they’re like filtered through the prism of my own thoughts. But the fact that this person I’ve never met crosses my mind while I’m moving through the world says they are important to me.
How can you be friends with someone you’ve never met? But, it seems to happen.
It’s pretty awesome to have friends far and wide who will send me postcards from their journeys. Taking that one level up, it’s pretty awesome to have friends that travel and explore. The destinations needn’t be far away, instead, they only need to be experienced. After all, what exploration could be wilder and sometimes more remote than the deepest parts or your own heart? And yet nothing could be closer.
When the mail was brought in this morning, among the chaff was a curious plastic bag from Canada Post. It apologetically carried the mangled remains of a greeting from British Columbia. The card was sent by Ally, one of the most intrepid explorers of the self and the world around her that I have the pleasure to know.
My first thought was that she’d be disappointed to know that the postcard arrived in such a state – the message it bore torn away. But as I thought about it some more, what I had instead was another clue about life and people. Somehow, perhaps by happenstance, perhaps divine intervention, this tattered card clung to my name and found its way to me, persevering like its sender. This puzzle piece, a mere fragment of its original message, is part of a greater narrative which is still but a mystery to me.
My very first Santa-ride was a solo affair in 2010 – just me dressed like the big man cruising around on my DRZ. I don’t really remember what made me decide to buy the red suit and go for a ride in the first place. It really seems like a ridiculous idea. But, there is a special kind of magic in the ridiculous.
Over the years, what seemed like a good idea blossomed into a great idea when friends started to join in. Our little local Santa-ride has become something of a tradition. As new friends ride along and old friend watch from afar the feelings that come from doing it never change.
My favorite ADVelf:
There is a special moment, something akin to an awakening that happens across the face of a stranger when they see 10 motorcycle Santas. I kid you not, there is child-like elation that they cannot contain. The goal has always been to just ride around and spread cheer to the people on the roads. Happiness is a gift that everyone can use and it always fits.
I’ve said it for several years now – doing this, making someone’s day… is a gift you give yourself.
While I struggle to find the thread of a full blog post, I just have to share Leslie’s photo from Facebook and Madeline’s from Instagram of our lunch meeting on Sunday.
I’ve talked before about searching for women motorcyclists and bloggers that speak to me, that I can identify with. Well, I’m finding my tribe. One amazing broad at a time.
You know, it’s funny keeping a blog. If you’ve never kept one yourself, on the surface you might think that the relationship is one way. You write your thoughts down, you post your photos and you give something to the world. One way, right?
But really – it isn’t. What you get back from the people who engage with you gives you so much in return. I wish I could tell you how many times I’ve read a comment only to have it rattle around in my brain for days with me thinking about the hows and whys of what was posted. Sometimes a reader writes their own mini-blog in the form of a comment.
I’ll be the first to admit I have no clue what really makes a blog popular. I haven’t the slightest idea what makes a blog “work.” Is it the alignment of the stars? A matter of timing? Relentless promotion? Yes, I know some people are better writers or photographers than others but even that isn’t solely it.
I guess we gravitate to some people because they are more relatable than others. It seems like if you just do what you do authentically, someone will hear your tiny voice out there in the darkness and say hello.
One of the voices that came to say hello here some time ago is Ry. With his witty, well thought out and heartfelt comments he always gets me thinking. Wouldn’t you know he’s taken the leap and finally began to post his own thoughts on blog paper?
Just last week I received a fantastic blog calling card in my mailbox introducing his new home on the web:
It would be awesome if you’d swing over and read about his journeys. When you first begin your foray into the blogdom, it is such a great treat to hear from likeminded folks.
Welcome to the motoblogosphere, Ry. What took you so long? 😉