Apparently my last post was a bit... obscure.
I am not a Generation MySpace. I grew up producing papers on a typewriter with the Encyclopedia Britannica as the fact-providing resource. And I am not old. My upbringing predisposes me to approach the Internet with an eternally renewing awe, i.e., I don't take it for granted. Every few months I will have an almost-epiphany about the real nature and scope of it, the essential humanity of it. I had one of those yesterday.
Every morning I start my day with CNN.com (not surprising since my husband is a techie geek there... why else would we live in Atlanta?). I read about the last minutes of life for dozens of people in Iraq the day before, the daily agonies inflicted upon children all over the world, the pain, and death and worse that one human perpetrates on another in the unending flow of "life". It is mentally and emotionally numbing. How can we cope with the constant stream of bad? How can we keep seeing the beauty and joy in life? Dave shakes his head and says, "Your life would be better if you didn't read that." But someone else had to live and die it, it seems the least I can do to honor that is to read about it.
So yesterday someone I do not know (the essence of the net) read Stranded in the South and posted on USB microscope envy. Being a curious mammal I tracked back to see who this person is. I read her blog Inconstant Directive. I love reading about other people's lives and prefer it if they are not celebrities or other famous people alive or dead whose (auto)biographies are bound and sold. I like to discover the extraordinary in other ordinary people. Her blog is new and only has links to two other blogs on it; one to Jodi's Snarky Dork (I already read that one) and one to someone named Erik who writes My Year of New Things. I jumped over to Erik and read about his friend Uma who had a brain aneurysm recently. For a whole set of complicated triggers and responses in my head that I cannot even begin to lay out here, I was compelled to go into our backyard last night and write Uma's name on the green man we have on our deck (backed by Jessie's Prince Charming frog pond spitter that I haven't got a pond for yet, two little squirrel drinking cups with frog and lizard, and an Isobel Bloom ceramic fish).
I stood there freezing my feet with my hand on the green man and sent good thoughts winging to Uma. Will it do any good for her? Who knows. But it did good for me. In the daily tide of faceless death and woe on the Internet I felt a connection with the real humanness, humanity of Erik's post on vandalizing the world for Uma day... and I can't explain it any better than that. Like I said, I have an almost-epiphany. It's like calculus that way.