Tuesday, July 10, 2012

month of beauty: in real life

Here we are. All we secret keepers, word writers, blog makers. Here we are: all who once kept childhood journals and wrote our tortured teenage poetry and maybe a novel and tucked it in a drawer somewhere.

Here we are—all we who love to write.

Here we are, so many of us, marking our names in sand, scratching our initials in trees, darting over and scrawling into just laid cement. Sometimes we even pay people to write words in the sky.

Why do we do it?

For some of us, it's simply to take note. 

We are here. We were here. We thought things. We wondered. We cried. We loved. We exist(ed) and we matter(ed).

For some of us…it's for this, and more than this, both. 

We write and reach out with our words so that we can connect. So we can learn and so we can help. So we can be part of someone or something bigger than this. This Us that is who we are, living our simple or not so simple lives, inside our own quiet skin. 

And sometimes we get lucky. We connect—not just through words and pictures in this space called the World Wide Web—but in real life. In actual physical space: in honest-to-goodness 3D.

Yes. It happens to people all the time! Crazy…but true!

We write words into the ether, and over time, we become friends. We bond over blogs, over comments, over Facebook posts, over Twitter, over text messages. And then we figure out we live only an hour (or two or three) apart. We say to each other, "Now, wouldn't it be nice to meet "IRL"? Wouldn't that be fun?" 

We vigorously cyber-nod: "Why yes; that would be lovely!" 

Time passes, then a day comes when the getting together actually happens. When Real Human People in actual bodies with hands and feet and faces and wearing actual clothes meet. When two (or more) non-digital, actual carbon-based life forms get together and actually hang out! I kid you not. It happens all over the world. It's kind of extraordinary.

Anyway, that just happened to me (and my whole family). For real.

It was all sorts of wonderful!

My family and I met Ingi, of Defying Gravity, and her gorgeous family. We drove to a town and they drove to the exact same town, and we got out of our cars and walked to a playground and just like that we stood in front of each other and smiled. And then hugged! In Real Life. 

Crazy…but true!

Then we totally hung out. For over 24 hours. We talked, our kids talked; we walked, our kids walked, and sword fought, and found shells, and told stories, and ran, and jumped, and explored, and became friends in pretty much an Instant. 

It was fantastic. 

And we kept looking at each other and going, "Wow. You're real!" And we kept stopping to take photographs to pin the moment in time and space. To make sure we didn't forget just How Fun it is, to write a blog and make a friend and meet a friend and find your families totally connect and the kids completely hit it off and start talking about the Next Time We'll Meet and how fun THAT will be. Awesome, awesome, awesome. 

Thanks so much, Ingi. Thank you for opening your home to us, and feeding us truly divine vegan gluten-free food. (Amazing coconut carrot soup and a quinoa garden loaf concoction that was To Die For).  Thanks for the long, long talks and thanks for how easy and relaxing it was to be around you. Thank you for giving us an awesome talk on fossils and telling us the history of all the rocks we walked on. That was amazing.

Thank you, Ingi's husband for being so welcoming, for your conversation, and for not minding just How Late we stayed!

Thank you, Video Boy, for chatting to me about chess at the beach, and for our shell sword fight (and joust!). Thanks for introducing me to Three of a Crime, and for totally getting my kind-of-wacky sense of humour. Thanks for leaping off sand dunes with my kids and becoming a Shaman in my boy's tribe. 

Thank you, Wombat Girl, for showing me one of your favourite games and oh-so-patiently teaching it to me. Thank you, too, for collecting bird bones and sorting them with me (and totally getting why anyone would want to do that). Thank you for showing my girl your sweet toy cats. I loved how as we were leaving you and she weren't ready for the visit to end. That made my happy heart crinkle. 

Thank you, Wombat Girl and Video Boy, for being such cool friends to my kids and being so much fun to be around.

Thank you, Ingi's family, for having us. 

Let's do it again, shall we? 

We can find a piece of sand to write on, 

and all of us can scrawl, big as thunder, big as the world:


photo by my girl, on Ingi's camera :)

shell sword fight!
(photo by Ingi)

photo by Ingi

So much laughter!

Fossils! (What were these ones again, Ingi? :) )
Standing at the spot where New Zealand split from Australia to do its own thing.
How cool is that?
planning the birdhouse made of bones…
my girl's bone bird
Thank you, Max, for your tail-waggy welcome and sweetness
Thank you, beautiful ocean, and sky for staying so clear and blue



  1. I think I have to be the first commenter here, on this post...because I've been waiting for it. Waiting to see what WONDERFUL words you would use to describe our wonderful days together.

    The toy cats are on my bed. Just like a little reminder of your visit. You was here! Loved every minute!

  2. You guys met? In real life? IS THAT EVEN ALLOWED?!?!

    hah! real people! scary, man.

  3. What a great post.....and what a beautiful time you had, and ain't it great when the words we seemingly (at times) feel like we send out into the void.....only to hear a call echoing back. I've met quite a few people now from the world wide web land, and it's been all grand and wondrous so far. So bizarre to know a person virtually, and their kids, and what they do, and to never have talked and pressed flesh. And then to meet - you know and don't know all at the same time! But they quickly catch up, and you start forming memories of the expressions and glances and physical realities you miss out on when typing....I love it. And I loved how you expressed it! Thank you :)

  4. I WOULD LOVE TO MEET YOU for reals! I have so many blog friends that I would give anything to meet. I have always wished, that just for a month or so, we could all be whisked away to an island and just have a blast. All these amazing Moms I have met and their amazing kids. And the hubbys could come too of course. I love this post! And why do you live so far away!!!???

  5. Helena and Ingi (and families) together. In real life. I love it!


I love hearing from you! Thank you for your heartfelt, thoughtful responses—they lift me, and give me light.