These days the posts I write tend to come in bursts of 140 characters. Not because I discovered the benefits of brevity by any means. It’s just that with the season in which we resort to an orgy of lights to keep those long, long dark nights at bay, my interactions in what is called Real Life have picked up a mighty pace, leaving little room for reflections of the long kind. All thanks to Twitter.
Nearly 10 years ago when I first started to blog and eventually found myself part of a community spread across the world it seemed to me that I had the best of both worlds for an introvert with sudden flare-ups of extroverted periods: plenty of communication, but all of it well within my control. Not just the flow of words as such, but the actual physical, sensory input that get-togethers generate. All of which can create a lot of noise, or buzzing in the brain. But talking by writing, that was convenient and promised to be without the mess of nonverbal communication signals to distort things. Right… In to time at all, that group had get-togethers, but since we were scattered not just across the country, but also on continents, our face-to-face interactions were few and far between.
Back then, about 10 years ago, my actual social life in my neighborhood was circumscribed by my kids’ activities, so the people I hung out with were other parents, mostly my age and living similar lives. I was going to say that we could have made our own Stepford Wives movie, but I don't think I need to be that obvious... As soon as my younger son headed off to college, it was a very big shock to me to find that group of "friends" I thought I had disappear from my social horizon. Like my kids who went off and found themselves looking for new friends, I too was suddenly at loose ends for like-minded company. Slowly, I built up one community locally, mostly through the yoga classes I attended. But again, we in the group were a lot more similar than different.
It wasn’t until I became active on Twitter that things changed. I had a Twitter account since 2007, but never had much use for it. Then, one day I decided to tweet something mentioning a local organic farm. To my surprise, the person tweeting for them followed me. Soon enough, because this person had a large local following, I found myself in a group of locals, who not only carried on delightful (and informative) conversation online, but also met up regularly in local spots … and so my twitterized life took off.
If I’ve been writing less here, it’s because I’ve been talking more IRL (in real life). And because I’ve been talking more locally, I’ve also been covering a lot more local ground these days. Literally. Getting to know new neighborhoods, new local businesses, local artists, and the kinds of secrets about a place that only those who haunt it at all seasons and all times of the day get to know…
And because of Twitter, I found myself on a boat last night, with a magical moon rising over Belvedere as dozens of lit-up boats made their way through the darkly glistening bay, sometimes flanked by people draped in lights as well in canoes and kayaks, and on paddle boards. It all ended with fireworks aimed at showering the moon with light, as if it needed any more light….
Moon path leading to Sausalito Harbor
Santa's got a yacht
O, the zen of gliding on the water on the path of moonlight